OLSPIF supports access to justice and our future public service leaders. OLSPIF-funded stipends for living expenses allow law students to work in unpaid summer public interest positions at legal nonprofits that serve underrepresented people and causes.
OLSPIF will hold its 2024 Dinner and Auction on Friday, February 2, 2024, at 5:00 pm in the University of Oregon EMU Ballroom. All supporters are encouraged to participate in the online Silent Auction, February 1-8. Registration and event site will launch on January 2, 2024.
2023 OLSPIF Recipients
This summer, I interned with Access the Law in Eugene, Oregon. Access the Law provides legal services for working and low-income families and individuals. I had the opportunity to experience various areas of law, including property law, family law, and immigration law. I spent the summer researching case law, writing memorandums, and sitting in on client-attorney meetings. The OLSPIF stipend allowed me to gain a valuable experience in public interest law.
With my internship at Access the Law, I had the opportunity to learn about writing legal documents, court procedure, and several legal fields. I was able to put into practice the topics that we discussed in legal research and writing, observe how lawyers approach trial, and learn about the business challenges that can arise in legal services. Access the Law's approach to law also allowed me to learn about a broader range of legal topics than might be typical of an internship, and I'm grateful to both Access the Law and OLSPIF for making it possible.
With the support of OLSPIF, I interned with the Guardian ad Litem’s office in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a court certified law student, I stood first chair in shelter proceedings. My work required arguing whether child(ren) should stay in the state’s custody for reasons of abuse and neglect. This summer also gave me an opportunity to work with my supervising attorney in researching and briefing the issue of parents’ fundamental rights of contact and visitation vs. parents’ fundamental duties of support. This summer, I gained valuable practice representing children in child welfare proceedings. Thank you OLSPIF!
This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern with Our Children’s Trust, a local Eugene non-profit focused on youth-centered climate change litigation. Through this internship, I was able to further develop my legal research and writing skills while contributing to an important cause. The highlight of the internship watching Our Children’s Trust go to trial in the constitutional climate lawsuit, Held v. Montana. I am very grateful to have received OLSPIF funding for this experience.
This summer, I had the privilege of interning at Wildlands Network, where my work centered around environmental advocacy. This experience expanded my understanding of conservation and environmental policy while also bettering my skills in communication and research. I'm excited to continue contributing to a sustainable future.
This summer, I interned as a law clerk at the Public Defenders Services of Lane County. I spent most of my time researching case law, writing motions, submitting funding requests for cases, and assisting with arraignments. The OLSPIF stipend allowed me to enhance my legal research and writing skills. Additionally, OLSPIF reduced the significant barrier of paying housing costs while pursuing the field of public interest. I learned something new every day at work, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to stay with PDSLC during the school year.
This summer I transitioned from the United States Attorney’s Office to the Public Defenders of Marion County. As a Certified Law Clerk with PDMC, my work has been primarily focused on building in-court experience. I handled initial appearances and plea hearings. I also had the opportunity to serve as first chair in a trial. I look forward to continuing to improve as an advocate and developing my skillset for post-grad opportunities in criminal defense.
I am forever grateful for the opportunity OLSPIF provided to explore public interest as a career option and still maintain financial stability. My summer spent with the Metropolitan Public Defenders was eye-opening. Representing indigent clients charged with misdemeanors has deepened my resolve to become a public defender. I helped clients understand their criminal cases, represented them in court, and negotiated on their behalf. I feel more confident in my ability to practice the law, and my passion for the field has only increased.
This summer I worked at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Workgroup. As a law clerk for this workgroup, I was able to help low-income clients preserve and maintain their housing as they faced unlawful and predatory eviction proceedings. I had the opportunity to work directly with clients, work on legal research for novel housing questions, and participate in pretrial motions and hearings. It was an incredible experience both because of the mentorship I received from the highly skilled attorneys and because I was able to give back to my hometown community.
The OLSPIF stipend allowed me to work at Deschutes Defenders over the summer of 2023. I worked on plea hearings, wrote motions to suppress, consulted clients, and had my first trial! Now I am certain that I want to begin my career by working in criminal defense. The experience I have gained, the confidence I now have in court, and the clarity about my future career are all a direct result of being awarded the OLSPIF stipend.
I had a wonderful experience working for Willamette Riverkeeper. In this position, I worked on numerous environmental issues throughout the Willamette Basin, ranging from responding to seismic stability or water quality rulemaking to researching possible sources of contamination at an inactive mining site. The Willamette Riverkeeper’s dedication to the preservation of clean drinking water, aquatic ecosystems, and accessible river recreation inspired me. This position also introduced me to the ongoing problems facing our waterways and provided me with valuable experience and understanding on how to help our state tackle them.
Because of OLSPIF, I had the opportunity to work with Center for Food Safety. I was able to support impactful litigation protecting the environment and the integrity of the food system. OLSPIF allowed me to improve all aspects of my lawyering while making a real impact. I had the chance to work on litigation drafting, research, and many other types of legal writing. I know that I will draw on this experience throughout my entire legal career. The connections I made this year will last a lifetime!
Through the OLSPIF stipend I was able to continue my passion for helping the underserved and underrepresented with my summer law clerk position at Access the Law. Access the Law is a local nonprofit that provides legal services to low-income individuals. During my summer I was able to develop my legal writing and researching skills, as well as gain valuable exposure to a variety of areas of law such as family law, landlord-tenant law, and immigration law. I am extremely thankful to OLSPIF for assisting with my legal journey in providing access to justice.
I am so grateful for the OLSPIF stipend, which allowed me to spend my summer with Public Defender Services of Lane County (PDSLC), which represents indigent clients accused of misdemeanors and felonies. As a Court Certified Law Clerk, I was able to work directly with clients in resolving their cases. I also researched case law, wrote motions, and observed attorneys in court. I appreciated the excellent mentorship from PDSLC attorneys and the opportunity to see how the research I did helped clients. I am so thankful for this experience, as I hope to continue this work after graduation.
This summer I worked at the Oregon Innocence Project, where I had the opportunity to investigate inquirers’ claims of actual innocence in addition to working on innocence cases that were actively being litigated by OIP staff attorneys. The OLSPIF stipend allowed me to work my dream summer job, supporting Oregonians unjustly impacted by our criminal legal system. This work has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m so grateful to OLSPIF for giving me this opportunity.
This summer, I was able to work on a wide range of projects promoting wildlife and ecological connectivity with Wildlands Network. Through this work, I gained experience developing federal administrative comments, writing state model legislation, and working on legal issues relating to solar energy. The stipend gave me the opportunity to pursue this work, which helped to contextualize and motivate me to work in the environmental non-profit space.
This summer, I was a law clerk with the Oregon Law Center (OLC) working specifically with homeless rights advocacy issues in and beyond the city of Portland. OLC’s mission is in the pursuit of justice for low-income Oregonians by providing the highest civil legal services to those wouldn’t be able to afford it. I am grateful for the OLSPIF stipend for allowing me the opportunity to advocate for those who have been captured in such a complex issue. Public interest work is about improving the lives of the unheard, and I am appreciative to play some part in it.
This summer I worked with the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) in Eugene, Oregon. The CLDC is a grassroots organization that defends progressive activists and undertakes civil rights litigation to foster a more sustainable and equitable world. During my time there, I worked on both civil and criminal cases in varying procedural stages. I was also able to help with important legal research for CLDC’s attorneys in their defense of two activists at trial. This experience bolstered my confidence and helped me hone my research and writing skills. This opportunity would not have been possible without the support of OLSPIF.
During my internship at Tualatin Riverkeepers this summer, I delved into local issues, evaluated permit applications, and honed my skills in crafting legal memos and public comments. The experience enriched my understanding of environmental matters and legal procedures, fostering growth and expertise in the field.
Through OLSPIF, I was able to intern for the Metropolitan Public Defenders with their Community Law Division. I drafted felony reduction motions, fines and fees waivers, re-sentencing petitions. I also helped with expungement clinics. This work was incredibly rewarding, as I was able to directly address various barriers that individuals face to re-entry after incarceration. Further, the experience I gained with public defense work was invaluable. I am grateful to OLSPIF for this wonderful opportunity!
This summer, I clerked for the Public Defender Services of Lane County (PDSLC). I spent most of my summer researching caselaw, writing motions and memorandums for attorneys, and observing trials and hearings. I am very grateful for the OLSPIF stipend, as it allowed me to participate in this incredibly valuable experience. I hope to become a public defender after law school and the OLSPIF stipend allowed me to gain knowledge in the field without the stress of finances. Thank you!