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Pro Bono Program


Each April, the Pro Bono Executive Board hosts a Recognition Ceremony to honor the contributions of students at the law school. In addition, the Board chooses an "Outstanding Service" Award winner and recognizes students with the most reported hours in each class.

2012 Recognition Ceremony Keynote by Chas Horner, Staff Attorney, Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center

Recent past award winners include:

Recent past award winners include:

2013: Scott Ficklin and Sarah Holloway
2012: Joshua Eastman and Vannia Glasinovic
2011: Nicole Hermann and Jamie Kermode
2010: Sam Park and Andrew Goll
2009: Beau Kellogg and Bryce Ellsworth
2008: Kevin Parks and Ned Arenberg
2007: Adam Blake, Aric Newlon
2006: Michael Borges, Justin Hepworth and Sara Reisman
2005: Misha Dunlap and Tippi Pearse
2004: Jeremy Arling, David Eder and Sarah Drescher
2003: Travis Stoddard and James McCurdy
2002: Joshua Lippman and Travis Stoddard

The Nicole Richardson Outstanding Public Service Award


Nicole Richardson was a passionate law student with extraordinary dedication to underserved populations, especially indigent criminal defendants. After graduation, she took a job as a public defender for the Colorado State Public Defender Office in Grand Junction, CO, where she was known as an uncompromising crusader for justice–a trait she displayed throughout law school. As a student, she worked for the Lane County Public Defender, and during a funding crunch in which the Defender office closed for a period of weeks, Nicole continued working and defending individual clients in court. She also performed pro bono work for the Oregon State Public Defender, writing a clemency petition on behalf of a prison inmate. Nicole believed in being involved in her law school community, and as a student, was a member of OLSPIF, the Criminal Law Association, Phi Alpha Delta, and she served as a volunteer for a two day Death Penalty Symposium. A three-year member of the Pro Bono Executive Board, Nicole built the law school’s Street Law program from an idea, and developed its first classes in Search & Seizure and Landlord/Tenant law.

In honor of Nicole’s passion, spirit and commitment to justice, her family has established an annual award, the Nicole Richardson Outstanding Public Service Award, and annually one or more recipients will receive a cash award in the amount of a minimum of $1000.00.

Selection criteria

To receive full consideration, applicants are advised to be as responsive as possible in demonstrating their fulfillment of the selection criteria. The Award recipient will be a 3 L student who reflects characteristics similar to Nicole Richardson as demonstrated in the following ways:

1. A passion for public/indigent defense, demonstrated by work for that population during law school, and/or intent to practice law on behalf of that population after graduation; or a commitment to advocating for other vulnerable groups, such as clients served by legal aid offices. Preference will be given to students with a public/indigent defense focus.

2. Substantial performance of pro bono service that meets the law school’s definition of pro bono set forth at http://www.law.uoregon.edu/probono/ and that has made a significant impact on the community.

3. Involvement in public service oriented student groups such as OLSPIF, PIPS, Pro Bono Program, Phi Alpha Delta or the like.

Nomination process

The Pro Bono Executive Board will accept nominations for the Nicole Richardson Outstanding Public Service Award, and a selection committee comprised of Pro Bono Board members will select the successful nominee(s). Nicole’s family members may express a preference for a nominee, though will honor the Board’s selection(s) if different. Law students may nominate themselves. Nominees must submit nominating statements in writing, addressing the selection criteria set forth above, to Jane Steckbeck, Associate Director for Public Service Initiatives, Room 106 C.

Nicole Richardson Outstanding Public Service Award Recipients:

2013: Tessa Keller and Ariel Nelson

2012: Shelley Aschenbrenner and Bryan Boender

2011: Emily Marrer

2010: Robert “Beau” Kellogg

2009: Jordan Bates

2008: Jennifer Meisberger

2007: Peter Henkle

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