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Public Interest Student Work Reaches New Heights

Oregon Law’s OLSPIF raises record funds for stipends

Students at the Feb. 2011 OLSPIF Auction in Portland at the White Stag Building.

By Jane Steckbeck
Associate Director for Public Service Initiatives

The Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund (OLSPIF) is pleased to announce and congratulate its 2011 stipend recipients. As a result of OLSPIF’s new fundraising efforts, and the generosity of Oregon Law alumni and friends, 13 law students received stipends this year.

OLSPIF is a dynamic student group dedicated to raising funds annually to provide stipends to law students to work for public interest organizations. These organizations typically cannot afford to pay for law clerks, though their clients’ needs outstrip their capacity to meet those needs.  Stipend-funded students are a force multiplier, enabling more vulnerable individuals to receive legal assistance.

OLSPIF’s history dates back to the early 1990s, when a group of law students — Emilio Bandiero, Matt Kenna, and Laura Hitchcock — joined a growing movement nationwide to raise funds to support their peers in public service summer employment. At Oregon Law, OLSPIF held its first Annual Auction in 1994 sparking a long and successful tradition of spirited fundraising. With strong student, faculty, and community support, the OLSPIF Annual Auction has enjoyed a rich history of success with Oregon Law students dedicating thousands of hours working in service positions. In 1996, Professor Tom Lininger began his incomparable service as OLSPIF Emcee and Auctioneer, elevating the auction’s success to new heights.

In 2009, the economy took its toll on auction fundraising, despite OLSPIF’s outstanding efforts. So, in 2010, the OLSPIF Board, led by Allison Widney ’11, Cassandra Champion ’12 and Bryan Boender ’12, made two strategic decisions to elevate its fundraising outcomes. First, in an innovative and new collaboration with the Public Interest Public Service Program and Pro Bono Board, OLSPIF hosted its first Silent Auction in Portland through the Partners in Public Service Reception. Second, OLSPIF moved the Eugene auction location from the law school campus to the Eugene Country Club to welcome greater participation by the local bar and alumni. 

OLSPIF’s visionary moves paid off handsomely in terms of fundraising outcomes and launching new partnerships with the local bar, alumni, and businesses.  Eight law firms and organizations purchased tables, helping to defray the costs of moving off campus. Featuring new and exciting promotions, such as a 100-bottle “Wall of Wine,” sponsored by Authentica Wines, a dessert auction, the “50 Ducks for 50 Bucks” raffle (with a grand prize of a $1,350 Malka Diamonds and Jewelry Diamond “O” Necklace), the OLSPIF Auction has ascended to a new level of professional fundraising.  The 2012 Auction will be held on February 17, 2012, at the Eugene Country Club and planning is underway to achieve another record year.

Of course, the beneficiaries of this success are people in need. The following law students will be dedicating their summers to serving the public interest through the aid of an OLSPIF stipend.

Aila Hoss, Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth, Eugene, OR

Emily Sitton, Farmworker Program, Oregon Law Center, Portland, OR

Joseph Matuk, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, San Diego, CA

Elizabeth Brown, Our Children’s Trust, Eugene, OR

Allison Folks, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, Portland, OR

Jonathan Patterson, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Portland, OR

Devin Visciano, U.S. Department of Justice, Juneau, AK

Brittany Lyman, Attorney General of Washington, Olympia, WA

Vannia Glasinovic-Hindery, Centro Latino Americano, Eugene, OR

Kasia Mlynski, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, Portland, OR

Rachael Lipinski, Josephine County Circuit Court, Grants Pass, OR

Diva Lucille Jones, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Los Angeles, CA

Galen Carrico, Washoe County Public Defender, Reno, NV


Oregon Law » Oregon Lawyer Online » Summer 2011 » Public Interest Student Work Reaches New Heights