Helping others during difficult times made easier through loan assistance program

nine alumni recipients

Left to Right (Top): Hannah Bollin, Timothy Conbere, Kiara Fiegi, and Noah Glusman; Left to Right (Bottom): Rory Isbell, Luke Kuzava, Sarah Montrone, Zach Newman, and Elise Williard

Nine alumni are named awardees of the Oregon Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Student debt - which has become a growing issue over the years - is a barrier to students who want to work with people and programs that are underserved. The School of Law’s program enables new graduates to pursue public interest legal positions by alleviating some of the stress of student debt. 

This year awards ranged $2,700-$3,500. Alumni must apply within five years of graduation and are eligible for up to three years of assistance.

2020 LRAP Recipients

Hannah Bollin, JD ‘18
Lane County District Attorney, 2nd year recipient
During law school, Hannah worked with the Oregon Department of Justice doing child advocacy work and in the prosecution clinic with the Lane County District Attorney’s office. After graduating, she became a Deputy District Attorney working for the Coos County District Attorney. In her role, she prosecutes misdemeanors and lower level felonies, with a special interest in prosecuting DUIIs. Hannah is especially passionate about protecting children from crime, and she hopes to use her role as Deputy District Attorney to work as an advocate for child victims in the future. 

Timothy Conbere, JD/CRES ‘19
Chief of Staff to State Senator Mark Hass, 1st year recipient
Timothy is currently Chief of Staff to State Senator Mark Hass. Before law school, Timothy served in a pro bono legal aid office through AmeriCorps and worked at a community dispute resolution center. During law school, he interned with Governor Kate Brown’s General Counsel and clerked for the Oregon Department of Justice’s Labor and Employment section. He also received a concurrent master’s degree in Conflict and Dispute Resolution and wrote a thesis on Twitter and conflict resolution. The LRAP program has allowed him to do policy work in the state legislature by diminishing the stress of student loans.

Kiara Fiegi, JD ‘15
Jefferson County Public Defender, 3rd year recipient
Kiara is a trial attorney with the Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office in Birmingham, Alabama. Kiara provides legal representation to individuals charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses that cannot afford representation. She was a Gideon’s Promise Fellow in the Law School Partnership Project and now serves as a Gideon's Promise mentor. As a mentor and former fellow, she endeavors to fulfill the Gideon’s Promise mission of transforming the criminal justice system by building a movement of public defenders who provide equal justice for marginalized communities.

Noah Glusman, JD ’16, ME ’08, BA ‘06
University of Oregon Legal Studies Program, 2nd year recipient
Noah studied political science and geography at the University of Oregon before earning his master’s degree in education from the UO College of Education. Noah taught high school social studies for five years before returning to the University of Oregon to earn his JD. Noah currently works for Oregon Law as the Legal Studies Program Manager. In this role, Noah coordinates the Academic Residential Community for Social Activism, oversees the Legal Studies Minor, and advises students who are interested in pursuing a law degree.

Rory Isbell, JD/MCRP ‘16
Central Oregon LandWatch, 3rd year recipient
After studying geography and environmental conflict at the University of Arizona, Rory came to Oregon and earned his JD from the UO School of Law.  Rory also earned his master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) from the UO School of Planning, Public Policy and Management.  As a student, Rory clerked for two environmental organizations and a local government. In his current role with Central Oregon LandWatch, Rory advocates for the public interest in environmental issues throughout Central Oregon. Rory's focus is in enforcing Oregon's statewide land use planning law, which protects rural natural resources and ensures compact, sustainable urban development.

Luke Kuzava, JD ’17, BA ‘09
Access the Law, 1st year recipient
Before law school, Luke worked as a residential counselor for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses. During law school, he participated in the school’s Civil Clinic with the Oregon Law Center (Lane County’s legal aid organization) and also worked as an extern for Daniel Yohalem, a civil rights and impact litigation attorney in New Mexico. After graduating, he spent a year clerking for the Honorable Ilisa Rooke-Ley at the Lane County Circuit Court. In August 2018, he began his current position as a staff attorney for Access the Law, a nonprofit law firm serving modest means clients.

Sarah Montrone, JD ‘17
Oregon Law Center, 3rd year recipient
Sarah works as a staff attorney focusing on farmworker services in Oregon Law Center's (OLC) Ontario office. This office serves clients in a rural area where access to justice can be particularly limited. At OLC, Sara focuses on helping farmworkers with a variety of legal issues including employment, housing, and public benefits. Sara is enjoying her work and the LRAP program has made it easier for her to commit to a career in legal aid.  She notes that some of her clients’ claims may not be large, but the outcomes can have a big impact for each client and their families.

Zach Newman, JD ‘18
Southern Oregon Public Defender, 2nd year recipient
Zach has reached his goal of working as a public defender and now handles misdemeanor and low-level felony cases in his work at Southern Oregon Public Defender in Medford, Oregon. In this position, Zach can assist members of his local community through some of the most difficult times of their lives. The LRAP program has allowed Zach to pursue his goal of being a public defender and to continue the fight for the underdog with some relief from the stress imposed by student loans.

Elise Williard, JD ‘19
Conasauga Judicial Circuit, 1st year recipient
Elise is an Assistant Public Defender in the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, Georgia. During law school, Elise was an extern with the office where she tried her first case and represented clients in superior, magistrate, and probate court. Within the first few months of being an attorney, Elise won her first felony trial. As an Assistant Public Defender, Elise handles both felony and misdemeanor cases, and she writes appeals as well. Additionally, she coaches a local high school mock trial team. Elise plans to work for indigent clients and give back as much as possible to her community.

By Jennifer Geller, School of Law Public Law and Policy Program