From left to right: Callan Barrett, Skyler Brocker-Knapp, Tucker Campbell and Thomas Housel
The University School of Law reports that this past school year, 42 students reported 3,707 pro bono hours. Of those who did pro bono work, the law school awarded the Nicole Richardson Outstanding Pro bono Service Award and Pro Bono Excellence Awards to third-year students.
“What is probably the most impressive is the range of nonprofits that benefit from students volunteer legal work,” said Jennifer Geller, managing director of the Public Law and Policy Program. “Most of these nonprofits are in Oregon, but many other states and Mexico.”
The 2019-20 organizations, clinics, and nonprofits include: Access the Law, the ACLU, Al Otro Lado, Alaska Business Development Center, CASA, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Climate Integrity, Center for Sustainable Economy, Environmental Law Foundation, Eugene Community Court, Federal Public Defender-Oregon, Grupo Latino de Acción Directa of Lane County, Lane County Circuit Court, Lane County District Attorney’s Office, Lane County Juvenile Court, National Lawyers Guild, Northwest Workers Justice Project, Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon District Court, Oregon Innocence Project, Oregon Law Center, Lane County Legal Aid, Oregon Mediation Association, Riverside County Public Defender's Office, Senior Law Services, Sponsors, St Vincent Second Chance Renters Program, The Commons Law Center, Vermont Supreme Court, Voz, and Wills for the Underserved.
Nicole Richardson Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award
The Nicole Richardson Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award is named after the young Nicole Richardson who graduated in 2004. Shortly after passing the bar, Richardson became a deputy public defender in Grand Junction. She passed in 2006 and was known for being deeply committed to underrepresented individuals and a “crusader for justice.” Each year, one or more law students who demonstrate an ongoing commitment and intent to serve and advocate for vulnerable and/or underserved populations are recipients of this award.
As a law student, Barrett has volunteered with Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), Lane County Legal Aid, and the Vermont Supreme Court. Barrett also received an OLSPIF stipend to spend a summer working for Legal Aid Services of Oregon’s Farmworker Program. She plans to pursue a public interest career after a clerkship with the Washington State Court of Appeals.
Brocker-Knapp’s pro bono work includes volunteering for Access the Law’s Veterans Clinic and participating in two J-term trips to the US-Mexico border to assist asylum seekers. After her first year of law school, Brocker-Knapp received an OLSPIF stipend to work at Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services. She also spent a summer working for Senator Ron Wyden as a Wayne Morse Fellow.
During his 1L year, Campbell started down his path as a public defender. He volunteered with the Eugene Community Court, a diversionary court that provides services to low level offenders, and with the reentry nonprofit Sponsors. While a student he worked as a legal assistant with Public Defender Services of Lange County, where he will continue to work after graduation as a staff attorney.
Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award
This award is given to the member of each class who records the most pro bono in the academic year.
Over the course of his last year at Oregon Law, Housel completed 500 hours of pro bono for the Center for Climate Integrity. In addition, he volunteered for Our Children’s Trust. During his time as a student, Housel engaged in various programs. He was a recipient of the Environmental and Natural Resources Center Scholarship, codirector of the student group Land Air Water, and conference codirector of the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. He also served as a tutor in the Legal Research & Writing Program and was a staff editor for the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation. In his third year, he presented group research project regarding high-road labor standards for the renewable energy sector to staff for the United States House Committee on Climate Crisis.