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Employment Statistics: Class of 2011

2011 Graduates at the Starting Line

Oregon Law gives students the tools they need for a successful and rewarding professional life.

Our graduates begin their careers engaged in a variety of activities and in a variety of places. In February 2012, we captured an employment snapshot of the members of the class of 2011, who were then at the starting line of their professional careers. About half of the class opted to stay in Oregon after graduation; the others were working in fifteen states and the nation’s capital.

Our 2011 graduates chose to follow diverse paths.

Class of 2011 Employment Status as of February 15, 2012

Known to be employed: 121

  • Law firm: 56
  • Business: 10
  • Government: 20
  • Public Interest: 12
  • Judicial Clerkship: 21
  • Academia: 1

Enrolled in full-time degree program: 4
Not seeking work: 4
Seeking work: 37
Employment status unknown: 8
Total Graduates: 174

Class of 2011 Employment Statistics

Geographic distribution of where our 2011 graduates are working as of February 15, 2012

Class of 2011 Geographic Distribution

Class of 2011 Salary Data as of February 15, 2012 (based on 40 reported salaries)

Salary range, full-time private sector jobs: $50,000 – $60,000
Median salary, full-time private sector jobs: $55,000
Salary range, full-time public service jobs: $44,300 – $64,000
Median salary, full-time public service jobs: $50,000

Class of 2011 Employment Report

More importantly, members of the class of 2011 are excited about their current work and about the opportunities they’ll encounter down the road. For many, the Oregon Law curriculum played a key role in helping them land a rewarding position. For others, the Duck alumni network connected them with a unique opportunity.

Meet a few of the members of the Class of 2010

I am an Associate at Nixon Peabody LLP in San Francisco in the Energy and Environmental Practice Group. I always planned to return to California after studying at Oregon Law, so I focused on landing California summer jobs. For my 1L summer, I worked at the US Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resource Division in Sacramento, an opportunity I saw on Oregon Law's job database. After connecting with Oregon Law alumni in northern California, during my 2L fall, I applied to every medium and large firm that had at least one energy, environmental, or cleantech attorney on staff; Nixon Peabody LLP offered me a 2L Summer Associate position, which led to a post-graduation job offer.

Oregon Law helped me by making me unique; in a flood of UC Berkeley and Stanford graduates, I have something memorable to talk about. Our football team is always an easy in with partners. Our public interest environmental law conference is world-known and provides us timely discussion topics. Also, knowledge of Oregon Pinot Noir often comes in handy with clients. In sum, I graduated with a more interesting law school story, less debt, some great Oregon memories, and great friends and colleagues, and ended up with the same job (or maybe even a better job than) I would have been able to get had I chosen a California law school.

– Alison Torbitt, Class of 2010

I am an associate in the Environment, Energy, and Resources practice group at Perkins Coie LLP in Portland. Before law school, I worked for nonprofit and government agencies to address poor health outcomes disproportionately affecting marginalized groups.

My interest in public policy and health led me to Oregon Law. I was also attracted by the school's commitment to public service and the chance to enjoy outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest. I had many opportunities during law school to study with scholars, practitioners, and students who formulate policy and law protective of our environment and human health. I also participated in Land, Air, Water (the student organization that hosts the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference) and served on the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation.

Through these experiences, I developed a network of colleagues and an understanding of the complex web of environmental laws and regulations governing businesses and individuals. With the Career Center's assistance, I interviewed on campus during my second year, which led to my current position. As a 3L, the Career Center helped me obtain a one-year judicial clerkship with the U.S. District Court in Reno, Nevada.

The Oregon Law community is supportive and inspiring. The University of Oregon is an excellent place to learn fundamental legal concepts critical to your success as a lawyer and to explore specific areas of the law about which you are passionate.

– Teresa Jacobs, Class of 2010

'I am working as a public defender at Umpqua Valley Public Defender in Roseburg, Oregon. When I began law school, I had no idea I'd pursue a career in criminal defense work. At Oregon Law, I earned a JD/MA in International Studies, thinking I would work in environmental law or for an international or environmental nonprofit. As a result, during law school I focused on environmental and international studies courses, served on the Oregon Review of International Law Journal, and participated in the environmental law clinic at the Western Environmental Law Center. In addition, the strong reputation of Oregon's environmental law program helped me secure summer clerkships at the Southern Environmental Law Center and Earthjustice.

Upon graduating, I wanted to expand my legal experiences and gain more exposure to litigation, so I clerked at Lane County Circuit Court, first for the Honorable Douglas Mitchell and then with the Honorable Josephine Mooney. I secured the judicial clerkship through alumni connections and a law school class taught by one of the Circuit Court's Judges. As a clerk, I became interested in criminal defense work and was able to meet local attorneys, actively participate in local bar functions, and network. It was through the connections I made as a clerk and through alumni connections that I found and was hired at my current job as a public defender. My career path so far shows how your career goals and path can change based on who you meet and your alumni connections!

– Michelle Bassi, Class of 2010

'I am an Assistant Dean of Students at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA. I work with undergraduate and graduate students primarily on student conduct matters to enforce community standards and help students have a transformative experience at UCLA.

I chose Oregon Law immediately after visiting the campus and knowing right then that it was a community I wanted to be a part of. I was attracted to what I felt was a genuine commitment to serving the public as well as a student body that wasn't just friendly, but extremely supportive of each other.

While at Oregon, I dove into the student experience, starting as a 1L on the board for PIPS (Public Interest Public Service Program) and serving on the Dean's Student Advisory Committee. The bond and community that I felt during that first year made me want to work for my fellow students (which I did as a representative to both University and Law School student government), and the support from my professors and peers gave me the motivation and confidence to seek out a non-traditional legal career path.

I also worked as a Graduate Teaching Fellow for the Office of Student Conduct on Oregon's main campus. This direct work with students put me on the career path I am on today. Oregon Law gave me the leadership and hands-on opportunities to grow as a professional. It also encouraged me to follow my passions for public service and education.

– Sandy Weintraub, Class of 2010

'When I was applying to law schools, I was working at a legal nonprofit in the deep South. Oregon Law appealed to me because it was near my hometown of Springfield, Oregon, and because I wanted to be a part of the school's public-spirited culture. While at Oregon Law, I found a clerkship with a small firm in my hometown. The firm serves as the City Attorney Office and also represents private clients in civil matters. As a law student I worked on private cases, represented City staff before the City Council, and prosecuted drunk driving cases in municipal court. I loved the work.

That work was enhanced by my ability to come back to the law school and take a constitutional law class from a visiting scholar, learn civil procedure from a renowned judge, and study local government with a great public law attorney. During my second year, I was selected for a legislative externship in the Oregon Attorney General's office in Salem, which was a thrilling and immensely rewarding experience, but my heart was set on practicing law in my hometown. I'm now an associate in the same firm I worked for as a student, and I feel very thankful for the opportunities I received at Oregon Law. I am an assistant city attorney, which means I provide counsel in areas ranging from elections to planning to criminal procedure. My private practice focuses on litigation, where I help people solve problems that desperately need attention. Because of Oregon Law's externships, practical skills classes, and extraordinarily helpful Career Center, I was able to graduate and almost immediately embark on a rewarding career.

– Taylor Murdoch, Class of 2010

'I was raised on a working cattle ranch in rural Central Oregon, which sparked my interest in natural resources law at a young age. I studied environmental economics at Oregon State University before coming to Oregon Law (though I have to admit I still root for the Beavers come civil war time!). While at Oregon State University, I spent two semesters working for Congress in Washington, DC, an experience that solidified my interest in natural resources and environmental policy. This fascination carried through to law school, where I was a fellow in the Environmental and Natural Resources Program, and to my current position as an associate at Dunn Carney. I am a member of our general litigation practice group and focus primarily on natural resources and environmental law. As a new associate, I work on a variety of cases, covering issues including Endangered Species Act compliance, NEPA compliance, and insurance defense and coverage work.

One of the best things about Oregon Law is its diverse (and friendly!) student body. I made some great friends while in law school, and these friends have helped me survive my job search and first year of practice. These same friends now practice in areas ranging from construction defect litigation to corporate law to public interest environmental and energy law. In this tough economic climate, having close friends connected to a variety of industries has provided me with many networking and professional development opportunities. There is also a huge alumni network in the Pacific Northwest (and nationwide) that is always willing to meet and share advice with recent graduates. Over a quarter of the attorneys at my firm are graduates of Oregon Law, and they are always willing to meet and share advice with law students and new attorneys. The faculty, alumni, and friends you will meet at Oregon Law will enable you to start building your network while in law school, and will provide the support you need to find the right opportunity after law school. I look forward to "paying it forward" with Oregon Law alums and helping them like so many helped me.

– Mary Anne Nash, Class of 2010

I had been in the world a little longer than most folks who apply to law school. I already knew what I wanted. I'd spent years trying to protect the Earth and I needed another tool, the law. My dream path was to clerk for a year at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to land a staff attorney job with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Thanks to the faculty and staff, and the students and alumni, of Oregon Law, I did just that. I picked Oregon for two reasons, a great environmental law program and an unparalleled focus on the public interest. I didn't realize until later that I was also getting a top-ten legal research and writing program and an environmental law community fairly unmatched.

From recruiting and placement, to resume writing and interview advice, I can thank Oregon Law for my recent successes. My year at the Ninth Circuit has provided incredible insight for a new litigator. In my position at the Center, I have already experienced the joy of helping the sire of the famous wandering wolf of Oregon, OR-7, western Oregon's first in 65 years, with a stay of execution granted by the Oregon Court of Appeals. And as just another example of this great Oregon Law community, my co-counsels in the wolf case are both alumni. Go Oregon!

– Tim Ream, Class of 2010

The fall of my 3L year, I interned at Nike Legal through the Extern Program offered by the University of Oregon School of Law. While I was incredibly excited by the unique opportunity, only now do I appreciate the significance of my internship with Nike. My workload at Nike World Headquarters covered the legal spectrum – contract drafting, primary legal research, lease review and memo composition. Though demanding, it was an absolutely incredible experience and provided me with a skill set that would prove invaluable in my professional development. Fast-forward to the night before the Oregon State Bar Exam. After a number of interviews, phone calls and e-mails, I was offered a position in Nike's new Sustainable Business & Innovation Lab. The "Lab," as it's called, is a strategic investment and development team designed to assist Nike in achieving its visionary sustainability and growth goals. I have been a part of the team now for about 18 months and I couldn't be happier. I feel fortunate to have landed in a dynamic position, with a global, brand name company, focused on the intersection of economics and a discipline I care deeply about: sustainability. In short, my job is to wake up every day and figure out how to effect environmental change through resource reduction, process efficiency, and green technology – at massive industry scale. In this position, I use my law degree in unconventional ways. While I'm not in the courthouse and I don't sit within Nike Legal, the bulk of my job requires me to leverage the skills I learned at the University of Oregon: aggregating relevant research, developing comprehensive knowledge in broad areas, synthesizing information into a concise thesis and presenting the business case to senior leadership. Though in a fast-paced transactional team, the legal lens and background I bring to the table is both complementary and appreciated. Though early in my young career, one thing is already certain: I wouldn't be where I am today without the professors, peers and preparation I found at the University of Oregon School of Law.

– Drew Fletcher, Class of 2010

Class of 2011

Statistics tracking the first jobs our students secure after graduation for the class of 2011 will be available in the spring. But we’ve already heard about many of the exciting professional opportunities that our most recent graduates are pursuing. We share a few of their stories here.

I am clerking for Justice Susan Owens on the Washington State Supreme Court. Afterwards, I will be working for a law firm in Seattle. As a law clerk, I research and analyze complex legal issues that are before the court and produce a clear, concise written work product. Oregon Law more than prepared me for my current position, and it helped me secure it.

The law school prepared me by providing a quality legal education along with opportunities for practical application. Specifically, the LRW program gave me with a framework that I use each time I approach a new writing project to ensure quality finished work product. As for practical applications, during my third year I externed for the U.S. District Court in Eugene and participated in the prosecution clinic. Those opportunities gave me first-hand experience with a courtroom and helped me further refine my research and writing. The externship and clinic also made me more comfortable with the practice of law.

Oregon Law also helped me get here. For example, the Career Center was always available to review my application materials and answer any questions about applying for legal jobs. Because of the education I received at Oregon Law, along with the resources available at the Career Center, I have my current clerkship and a job waiting for me at a law firm in Seattle.

– Aaron Millstein, Class of 2011

Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, I chose to attend the University of Oregon School of Law because of its strong academic credentials and its reputation as a relaxed and fun learning atmosphere. I am now clerking for Judge Timothy Sercombe on the Oregon Court of Appeals. As Judge Sercombe's clerk, I perform legal research, draft opinions, and participate in the editing process. I believe that I was able to get a great job clerking because I spent time during law school making connections and gaining experience.

During my first year, I focused on learning the required substantive material and learning to write like a lawyer. That spring, I talked with other law students, professors, lawyers, and Oregon Law administrators about their experiences in seeking and obtaining legal jobs. I applied to as many jobs as I could, and I remained open to working in unfamiliar areas of the law. I was hired by the Oregon Department of Justice, and I continued working during the school year, which was a great way to gain additional experience while solidifying and making new connections in the legal community.

During the fall of my 2L year, I participated in on-campus interviews. Through that process, I was offered a job with a prominent local firm, Hershner Hunter, where I worked during the following summer and throughout my 3L year. During my 2L spring, I decided to pursue a post-graduate judicial clerkship. I attended Career Center events about the application process, and I spoke with professors and current clerks about clerking. That research helped me secure my current position with Judge Sercombe.

– Alexandra Hilsher, Class of 2011

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, I earned a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master's degree from Pratt Institute. Before attending Oregon Law, I worked for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

While in law school, I stayed busy. I was involved with several student groups and worked with the school's admissions office as its minority outreach assistant. I also spent two summers working with Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue, a midsize law firm in Portland, Oregon, focusing on business, land use, and real estate law.

Since graduating, I passed the Oregon bar exam and now work as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Cynthia D. Carlson. My third year in school, I served as a judicial extern; I enjoyed working at the Lane County Circuit Court, so it seemed like a no-brainer to apply for a post-graduate clerkship. I am learning so much everyday, and I never would have known about this opportunity without Oregon Law's externship program.

– Lauren Charles, Class of 2011

Class of 2012

At Oregon Law, the Career Center works closely with each student, supporting each student’s progress toward his or her goals. Our excellent programs, dedicated faculty, and extensive alumni network pay professional dividends for our students. Through persistence and focus, students can convert their Oregon Law education into incredible professional experiences.

Before law school, I practiced with a civil engineering firm for five years. I still reach out to my former colleagues in the engineering industry, one of whom helped connect me with a legal job. It's amazing where connections can take you!

After I graduate, I will clerk for the Honorable Rives Kistler of the Oregon Supreme Court. Then I will head to Washington, D.C. to work with Beveridge & Diamond, PC, which has one of the largest environmental law practices in the country. I'm excited to put my technical background to work in the legal context.

To help me prepare for my career, I took every advantage that Oregon Law presented to me. During my first-year summer, I served as an extern with the Oregon Supreme Court. I became a member (and eventually Editor in Chief) of the Oregon Law Review, helping me hone my skills in writing, analytical thinking, and management. I participated in on-campus interviews, attended Oregon State Bar events, and worked for the Oregon State Senate through a Legislative Issues class.

Perhaps most importantly, I take my course work very seriously. My colleagues and professors at Oregon Law have taught me how to work really, really hard, and that has certainly helped me achieve my goals.

– Nadia Dahab, Class of 2012

Born and raised in the Chicago area, I moved to Portland, Oregon during high school. After earning a degree in accountancy and business administration from Oregon State University and working briefly in public accounting, I chose to attend the law school at the University of Oregon.

I will be working for a business law firm in Eugene after graduation. I will be doing primarily litigation and some transactional work.

During my first year I studied hard but also made sure to network and get involved in the student groups I was interested in. I took advantage of Oregon Law's strong externship program to get practical experience during my 1L summer, and I participated on the Moot Court Board and as an editor for the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation.

By the time On-Campus Interviews rolled around in my 2L fall term, I was able to use these experiences to help secure a clerkship with a firm, which eventually led to a full-time offer.

– David Jacobson, Class of 2012

I am a Northwest native, but I have also lived in California, Colorado, and Illinois over the years. Before law school, I worked at a law firm for a year and then earned a master's degree. After graduation I will serve as an Honors Attorney for the Oregon Department of Justice.

My job search has been a three-year process. Beyond my coursework – and there has been plenty of that – I have worked as a law clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice for the past two years. I also work as a legal writing tutor, serve as an Articles Editor for the Oregon Law Review, and have participated in several moot court competitions.

These activities helped me to hone my writing and legal advocacy skills, and also connected me with the local legal community. Practitioners can offer insight into possible career choices and are a great resource as you begin to look for jobs.

I came to law school knowing that I wanted to work in the public sector. Oregon Law helped me narrow that broad interest and turn it into a career in law. The varied course offerings at the law school allowed me to explore many different areas of law. As my interests evolved, the Career Center helped me identify job opportunities and prepare my application materials.

– Jake Hogue, Class of 2012

A native of Wisconsin, I received my B.A. in History from Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. When I'm not studying law, I spend time with my wife and two daughters. After I graduate, I will work as a law clerk for Judge Thomas Fulton of the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Kentucky, in Louisville.

My bankruptcy court clerkship applications benefited from my academic focus at Oregon Law. I took as many bankruptcy and commercial law classes as I could and developed close relationships with my bankruptcy and commercial law professors. These professors nurtured my interests and provided fantastic conversation, advice, and research work. They gave me great support when it came to thinking about my professional future.

In addition, I took advantage of the law school's judicial externship and legal writing opportunities. I externed for a federal magistrate during my first summer and for a bankruptcy judge during my third year; these externships offered me great experience and helped me present myself as a strong clerkship candidate. I supplemented my externships with writing-related activities pertinent to judicial work: I took a judicial writing class and served as a Law Review board member.

Of course, I also spent a lot of time working on my application materials, and, because bankruptcy courts are located all across the country, I was geographically flexible and open-minded.

– Doug Barron, Class of 2012


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