Fall 2017 Public Law and Policy News

What's New in the Public Law and Policy Program?


The focus of the Oregon Law PLP Program is to expand opportunities for our students in public interest law, public sector work, and public policy. Last Fall, the PLP Program launched the Lunch with Leaders series for students. The PLP Program also began overseeing the Hans Linde Fellowship, previously housed in the Wayne Morse Center.

Lunch with Leaders seeks to connect policy and public interest leaders with UO law students. The first 20 students to sign up enjoy conversation in a small group setting with guests. In the fall, students spoke with a panel of WilmerHale attorneys with significant experience practicing before the U.S. Supreme Court. The panel from WilmerHale included Debo Adegbile, Daniel Winik, and Paul Wolfson. President Obama appointed Mr. Adegbile, an experienced civil rights litigator, to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2016. Mr. Winik previously served as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Mr. Wolfson has argued 21 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and he previously served in the Solicitor General’s Office. In the spring, former Portland Commissioner Steve Novick met with students.


The PLP Program also added the Hans Linde Fellowship to its portfolio. Established in 2012, the Hans Linde Fellowship funds student research issues at the intersection of law and public policy and that span multiple jurisdictions. Giselle Schmitz, the 2016-17 Hans Linde Fellow, explored the multi-jurisdictional issues related to migration caused by environmental changes with focused research about the Marshall Islands. She presented her research at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in March.   


PLP Fellow is Ready to Run for Office

Most first year law students find the academic load more than enough excitement. Despite the challenges of starting law school, Public Law and Policy Program Fellow Kimberly Koops-Wrabek also participated in a year-long program with Emerge Oregon. Read More.


OLSPIF - It Takes a Community to Build Beyond Dreams

Over two decades after its founding, OLSPIF has grown in sophistication and impact. The organization now holds an event that attracts well over 250 legal community members and provides a consistent source of funding for student stipends. Read More.


Graduating Fellows Move on to the Next Challenge

Each year, a handful of law students are selected to serve as PLP Fellows based on their academic records and demonstrated interest in public policy. In May, the PLP Program said goodbye to graduating Fellows, Elizabeth Bailey and Heather Marek. Read More.


Graduates Recognized for Public Service

Oregon Law awarded the Nicole Richardson Outstanding Public Service Award to graduating law students Elliott Samuels and Alina Stevenson. This annual award honors the memory of Oregon Law alum Nicole Richardson who tirelessly dedicated herself to public service and representation of vulnerable people. Read More.


LRAP Helps Recent Graduates With a Wide Range of Public Interest Careers

When student debt loads are high, public interest legal jobs do not always provide the salary recent graduates need. For over a decade, Oregon Law’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) has encouraged recent graduates to pursue public interest legal careers by assisting with student debt payments. 

A dozen Oregon alums are receiving financial assistance with student loan payments this year. Among these recipients are Killian Doherty, Kiara Fiegi, and Georgina Santos. Their work reflects the breadth of public interest work that Oregon Law’s LRAP seeks to support. Read More


Alumni Spotlight - Rachel Sowray (JD '09)

Rachel Sowray founded the non-profit Politisit in April 2017. This new non-profit reimburses childcare costs to caregivers participating in civic engagement meetings or activities.  Read More


Alumni Spotlight - Will Fisher (JD '09)

Will Fisher is running for Congress in Texas. He is one of four Democrats who have filed to run for Texas Congressional District 26, even though the general election is not until November 2018.  Read More


Alumni Spotlight - Anna Braun (JD '93)

Anna Braun works as the Legislative Director for Oregon State Senate President Peter Courtney. No stranger to Salem, Anna landed this key role after having worked in the legislative process for over a decade, serving as committee administrator for the Senate Commerce Committee, Counsel for the House and Senate Judiciary committees, and the Legislative Director for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). Read More


Alumni Spotlight - Richard Mott (JD '85)

Richard Mott serves as the Director for Environment at the Wallace Global Fund (WGF). In his position, Richard has the opportunity to oversee projects that combat climate change and support community rights to self-determination as they relate to the environment. He thinks much of the work strives to rebalance individuals’ power with those of corporations and governments. Read More