Message from the Dean
As my first year as dean of Oregon Law comes to a close, I want to recognize the generosity of our alumni and friends at this historical moment in legal education. You have been generous with your financial support, your time, and your talents, helping our students and positioning our school to continue its leadership locally, regionally, and beyond.
Legal education in this country is at a well-publicized crossroads. Although much of what has been reported in the media about the national state of legal education is unflattering, Oregon Law continues to have encouraging news to share. Recent 2012 graduate Jason Tashea has received a Fulbright Research Grant to study judicial reform in Kosovo. Assistant Professor Jennifer Reynolds just received the UO’s highest teaching honor – the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching. Two Oregon Law students are completing internships this summer with the Environmental Protection Agency. Two Oregon Law students were named Shepherd Scholars. Associate Professor Michelle McKinley has been awarded a Surrency Prize, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and is a recipient of the UO’s highly competitive Fund for Faculty Excellence award.
I am also thrilled to share the news about three visionary philanthropic gifts to our school. Tom Bowerman has recently pledged support for a groundbreaking Environmental Public Policy Clinic, an innovative approach to education on which I expect our school to be a national leader. David Stern has recently provided significant funding in order to enhance our school’s ability to support students, faculty, and programs in projects related conflict resolution, ethics, and human rights. Bill Waterman has provided initial funding for the law school’s ambitious Yasui Endowment in Human and Civil Rights, providing support for students and faculty engaged in these critical areas of scholarship and practice.
Alumni of Oregon Law are playing an increasingly important role in our school’s future. Alumni provide generous philanthropic support for our most important initiatives. Alumni are also becoming central to the way we engage in admissions, student outreach, mentorship, and career and professional development. I have learned during my first year as Dean that Oregon Law’s alumni network has a long tradition of playing a vital role for our school. Perhaps, as a student, an alumnus opened an important professional door for you during your time in law school? Perhaps you organized an event in which alumni participated or attended? Perhaps an alumnus took the time to help you craft your resume or provided you with a professional experience? I ask you to recall how Oregon Law alumni may have factored into your success and then to “pay it forward” for this next generation of leaders.
Please take a moment to read through this edition of Oregon Lawyer Online. I believe you will be inspired, and I hope that you will seek opportunities to become more engaged with the great work taking place in your law school.
Philip H. Knight Dean
University of Oregon School of Law