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Public Interest Public Service Student Group

News Archives

Polar Plunge for Public Interest
Eleven Oregon law students (including three PIPS board members) and a UO law professor participated in the Polar Plunge on February 5th to benefit Special Olympics Oregon. The law team, dubbed Unreasonable Persons, won the award for best costumes and raised nearly $2,200 for sports and athletic competitions benefitting children and adults with disabilities.

Partners in Public Service Reception
UO Law's Public Interest Public Service program, Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund, and Pro Bono Board hosted the Oregon Law Partners in Public Service Receptionon Thursday, February 3rd at the White Stag Building in downtown Portland.

This collaborative celebration of public service among attorneys, UO Law faculty and law students featured student groups' presentations of public service community activities and accomplishments and a silent auction to benefit OLSPIF. The event raised $3,100 to help fund OLSPIF stipends for law students to accept unpaid summer work in public service or with public interest organizations.

UO Law Places High on Public Interest List
The University of Oregon School of Law was recently ranked #13 in the nation for public interest programs by preLaw magazine. The Winter 2011 edition looked at three criteria: one or more public interest clinics, one or more faculty committees or administrators that oversaw public interest work, and the existence of a loan repayment assistance program. The 96 law schools that met the criteria were then weighted according to curriculum (including courses and clinical opportunities), cost (tuition, debt, and loan repayment options), and placement (the percentage of graduates who work in public interest).

Students Give Thanks by Giving Thanksgiving Baskets
Each year PIPS coordinates with River Road Elementary School in Eugene to deliver wonderful Thanksgiving baskets to needy families. Law school student groups, a group of friends or an individual agree to "adopt" a family in need and create a basket for the Thanksgiving holiday containing food for a full Thanksgiving meal (with a gift certificate for a turkey), mittens, scarves, and other personal products for the families, and small gifts and board games for the children. This year, UO Law groups generated 40 baskets (tying the record set last year), and delivered the baskets on Tuesday, November 23rd despite an ice storm that closed schools and made driving a bit tricky.

Selling Out
For the past several years, PIPS has donated "service hours" to the annual auction put on by the Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund (OLSPIF). Under this arrangement, PIPS musters board members and other volunteers to provide a certain number of hours of labor to use as the winning bidder sees fit.

The most recent purchaser of PIPS hours was our own Professor Caroline Forell. Instead of using PIPS labor to her own advantage, Professor Forell graciously asked that we donate our time to Habitat for Humanity. On Saturday, November 20th, PIPS board members and volunteers joined Professor Forell in helping Habitat for Humanity with construction on a house in the Thurston area.

Green Grabs Gold in 2010 Canned Food Drive
The 1L Green section mustered an astonishing 1,741 cans to take first place in the PIPS/PAD 2010 annual canned food drive, which ran from November 15-19. The Yellow section followed with 893 cans. In a first, the 2L/3Ls edged into third place with 571 cans, while the Blue section came in with 516. All donations benefit Food for Lane County.

PIPS Annual Canned Food Drive
Combat hunger by donating canned goods, other non-perishables, or dollars that will go directly to an empty dinner table in our community. In 2009, our school collected over 2,000 lbs of canned foods and $1600.00 in donations!!

Because we are law students, and love the adversarial process, the Food Drive will feature COMPETITION.

Here are the guidelines: Each $1 donated = 2 cans. Donations will be counted and announced daily so everyone will know who's boss-and who's in for a loss! The cut-off for money and canned good donations is Friday the 19th at precisely 3 pm.

Please donate generously and competitively, as all canned food benefits Food For Lane County.

Student Group Thanksgiving Baskets
Each year PIPS coordinates with an elementary school in Eugene to deliver wonderful Thanksgiving baskets to needy families. Law school student groups, a group of friends or an individual can agree to "adopt" a family in need and create a basket for the Thanksgiving holiday!

2010 Fall Public Interest Symposium
The PIPS 2010 Fall Public Interest Symposium, Panorama on Public Service, took place at the University of Oregon School of Law on Friday, September 17, 2010. Following a keynote speech by Ben Campbell, outgoing U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the program featured discussion panels organized around different avenues of practicing law and serving the public. Click the links to hear the recordings of panels on Environmental Law, Criminal Law, Civil & Human Rights Law and Education Law.

PIPS Fall Public Service Day 2010
On Saturday, August 21, 2010, more than 50 law students convened in the Law School Commons to share in a pre-volunteer power breakfast (eggs, bacon, tofu scramble, fruit, sausage, the works) before heading out to volunteer at sites throughout the Willamette Valley, including Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Scio, Food for Lane County's Organic Garden, Relief Nursery, a Habitat for Humanity project, and Willamalane Parks in Springfield. Click here for pictures!

PIPS Presents Catherine Carr With Dom Vetri ‘Champion of the Public Interest’ Award
On November 5, 2009, Oregon Law’s Public Interest/Public Service (PIPS) program presented the Dom Vetri “Champion of the Public Interest” Award to Catherine Carr. Ms. Carr is the executive director of Philadelphia’s Community Legal Services.

2009 Public Interest Symposium Keynoted by Jefferson Smith
The 2009 Public Interest Symposium’s keynote speaker was Jefferson Smith. Smith represents the 47th District in the Oregon House of Representatives, and is the founder of Oregon’s Bus Project, a nationally recognized non-profit organization engaging young people in forward-thinking, community-focused politics. Smith attended the University of Oregon and then Harvard Law School where he graduated magna cum laude.

Second Annual Vetri Award for Contributions to Public Service
PIPS is pleased to honor this year’s recipient, Catherine Carr, the executive director of Philadelphia’s Community Legal Services. Ms. Carr’s distinguished public service career includes eleven years as a staff attorney at Community Legal Services, where she litigated public benefits cases, advocating services for low-income clients. Ms. Carr spoke about crafting careers in public service and the importance of community advocacy.

Dom Vetri receives first "Champion of the Public Interest Award"
Oregon Law’s Public Interest Public Service (“PIPS”) Program presented the first-ever “Champion of the Public Interest Award” to B.A. Kliks Professor of Law Dominick Vetri on Friday, September 19, 2008, in the Knight Law Center’s Wayne Morse Commons. The presentation was the kickoff for the 2008 Public Interest Symposium.

5th Annual Public Service Day
Public Service Day draws record numbers. Approximately 80 students, professors, and community members attended Public Service Day this year. PIPS partnered with community organizations including Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Save the Pets, Nearby Nature, Food for Lane County, and Willamalane Parks & Recreation. Thanks to all who participated to make this event a great success!

'Public Interest Law at Work' Event March 19
Co-Sponsored by Oregon Law’s Public Interest Public Service Program, Loan Repayment Assistance Program and Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics“Public Interest Law at Work: Advancing Economic and Social Rights” event will be held on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, at the Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St., in Eugene. The event includes a wine and cheese reception honoring Loan Repayment Assistance Program donors and recipients from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and a public address by Catherine Albisa, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative executive director, from 7 to 8 p.m.Registration is available online or by contacting Rachel Johnson at 541-346-3970 or by email. Registration deadline is March 14.The event is co-sponsored by Oregon Law’s Public Interest Public Service Program (PIPS), Loan Repayment Assistant Program (LRAP) and Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics.

5th Annual Public Service Day Scheduled Saturday, April 5
Community members, attorneys, and Oregon Law students, staff, faculty and family members are invited to participate in the 5th annual Public Service Day, scheduled Saturday, April 5, 2008. The event will kick-off with brunch at 10 a.m. in the Knight Law Center Commons. Public service events will occur from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting times at each project vary and each event lasts approximately three hours.