Spotlight on Public Law and Policy Fellows

Thomas Griffen

Thomas was a summer associate at Schwabe, Williamson, and Wyatt in Portland, Oregon. Thomas put his natural resources and public policy background to good use performing legal and policy analyses for natural resource clients, among other transactional and litigation projects.

Thomas grew up on a farm in rural central Oregon and followed in the footsteps of both of his parents in attending Oregon State University. Thomas originally planned to return to the family seed company after his undergraduate degree, but while at Oregon State, he developed an interest in public policy, particularly relating to agriculture and natural resources. After graduation and before law school, Thomas worked in Washington, D.C. for Congressman Greg Walden for four years and focused primarily on natural resources policy.

Lucy Ohlsen

This past summer, Lucy worked as the Wayne Morse Legislative Fellow for Senator Ron Wyden in Washington, D.C. Lucy primarily focused on K-12 education issues, including helping to write floor speeches and policy research memos. Lucy helped draft Senator Wyden’s proposal to expand Oregon’s Vote By Mail system nationwide and led amendment tracking on an appropriations bill. Lucy also helped Senator Wyden deliver pizzas to the House Democrats in support of gun safety legislation during the unprecedented sit-in by Democrats.

During Lucy’s junior year of high school, she began her journalism career by keeping a blog while an exchange student in Copenhagen, Denmark. While earning BAs in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Oregon, Lucy’s work was featured on the National Public Radio member stations in Eugene and Portland, as well as in the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Register Guard. Lucy covered the state legislature for the Eugene Weekly in 2015 and is very interested in how law, policy, politics and journalism overlap. She is particularly interested in K-12 education policy.

More about the Fellows Program

Fellows are selected for both academic achievement and demonstrated interest in public policy.  Fellows engage in research about current policy issues and in conversations with policy leaders. 

In 2015-16, PLP Fellows focused their research on current policy issues related to education.  They also had the opportunity to engage in a small group setting with policy leaders such as Senator Floyd Prozanski, former Oregon Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden, and former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of the Interior David Hayes. 

At they end of the year, they presented their research to education policy leaders at a Fellows Education Roundtable, which included Senator Mark Haas’ Chief of Staff Dominique Rossi, former 4J Superintendent George Russell, Lane Community College President Mary Spilde, and Oregon Chief Education Office Policy and Research Director Peter Tromba.

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