Second-year law student, Leslie Neu has been named recipient of the 2020-21 Hans Linde Fellowship at the School of Law.
The fellowship was established in 2012 in honor of the late Justice Hans Linde who began teaching at Oregon Law in 1954 as an associate professor. His tenure spanned more than 18 years and he taught federal constitutional law, legislative and administrative law, and torts.
After his tenure at the law school, Linde served on the Oregon Supreme Court for 13 years. His time on the bench changed the nature of state constitutional law in Oregon and his legacy reflects his commitment to human rights and civil liberties through law.
Each year the fellowship provides a stipend to a second-or third-year law student who is actively interested in analyzing issues at the intersection of law and public policy.
Jennifer Geller says that this year’s application process was a competitive process, and Neu submitted excellent application materials with a focus on timely legal scholarship related to wildfire management.
“Leslie has a strong background combining public policy and the environment, as well as experience on the ground as a wildland firefighter,” Geller said. “She is also the first awardee since the passing of Linde this fall, so we are happy to know that her work will continue Justice Linde’s legacy.”
Neu began her land management career studying and practicing sustainable forestry at the University of Montana and for the Montana Department of Natural Resources as a student forester. After graduation, she worked as a wildland firefighter for several federal agencies including the US Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management.
Neu says that she came to Oregon Law to study natural resource and environmental law and to use her experiences from the field to inform a career in forest and fire management and policy. She plans to leave her “mark” just as Justice Linde did.
"Hans Linde's original thinking left a lasting mark on the state and national judiciary, and his legal legacy lives through this fellowship,” Neu said. “I will honor his innovative spirit through my research of wildland fire law and policy and follow his inspiring example throughout my legal education and career."
As the Hans Linde Fellow, Neu will investigate innovative ways to use the law to promote science-based policies and practices for fire management in the Pacific Northwest. Her legal and policy proposals will focus on the reintroduction of fire on the landscape as a means to restore and promote healthy ecosystems while reducing wildfire risk for communities living adjacent to wildlands.