Oregon Law’s Galen Program

Galen Endowment for the Advancement of Legal Writing

In 2013, the University of Oregon’s Legal Research and Writing Program received a substantial gift from alumnus Morris J. Galen and donors who wished to honor Mr. Galen. In October 2016, Mr. Galen announced another substantial pledge to the LRW program.  Michael Moffitt, then the dean of the law school, said the gift recognizes “the centrality of excellent legal writing to 21st century legal education.” 

The gift’s purpose is to enhance writing education for Oregon Law students.  Through the Galen Fund, we have provided additional writing courses, increased the emphasis on writing in doctrinal law courses, supported student writing on our law journals, and created awards to celebrate outstanding student writing.  Many of these achievements have come through the work of the annual Galen Scholar in Legal Writing. Another major innovation is the Galen Distinguished Guest in Legal Writing, which brings distinguished professors and practitioners to Oregon Law each year to work with students, faculty, and other groups on enhancing student writing.

Mr. Galen is a founding partner of the law firm Tonkon Torp LLP in Portland, Oregon.  He is a long-time supporter of the law school, and in 2015 he received the John E. Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award. Mr. Galen graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1950 and was elected to Order of the Coif.  While his practice at Tonkon Torp focuses on business law and taxation, his passion has long been legal writing.  He wrote a booklet for new associates on the importance of writing to law practice, and he has led workshops on the finer points of writing clearly and concisely. 

Oregon Law’s LRW Program is proud to expand Mr. Galen’s vision and increase its emphasis on legal writing in law school and in practice.