The Oregon Law Minoru Yasui Justice Award honors an Oregon Law graduate, faculty member, or friend of the School of Law whose commitment to advancing the cause of justice on behalf of underrepresented communities brings honor to the school. The award is named in honor of Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and Oregon Law alumnus, Minoru Yasui.
The 2019 Oregon Law Minoru Yasui Justice Award will be presented at the Alumni Awards Dinner on September 13, 2019.
2018: Jon Patterson '13
Jonathan Patterson is the Staff Attorney at Compassion & Choices, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to improving care and expanding choice at the end of life. He provides consultation for a wide variety of legal matters, including the issues of unwanted medical treatment, medical aid in dying, and end of life decision-making. He is a frequent national speaker on available end-of-life options and empowering consumers to make healthcare decisions in line with their values.
A Wichita, Kan. native, Jon completed his undergraduate studies in political science and psychology at Hawai’i Pacific University in Honolulu, where he worked as an educator and youth and developmental disability counselor before moving to the Pacific Northwest to attend the University of Oregon School of Law. He is very active in the Oregon legal community, currently serving as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and Immediate Past-Chair of the Oregon State Bar Diversity Section. Jon is also the past-president of the Oregon chapter of the National Bar Association, Oregon’s membership organization for African-American attorneys, judges, law students, and supporters. He is a past recipient of the Oregon New Lawyers Division Advancing Diversity Award.
2017: Peggy Nagae
Peggy Nagae helped found the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and is serving as its president. As lead attorney for Minoru Yasui, she successfully overturned his conviction and championed his nomination for the Presidential Medal of Honor. In 2017, Peggy won the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession Spirit of Excellence Award and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon Voices of Change award.
In 2016, Oregon Law honored Mr. Yasui with the Jaqua E. Distinguished Alumnus Award.