Anna Reutin is a first-generation law student, Japanese American, daughter of immigrant parents, and this year’s Minoru Yasui Fellow. She earned her BA in Political Science and East Asian Studies from McGill University and her MA in Political Science from Waseda University. Reutin experienced a diverse array of learning settings that contributed to her growth and success as a law student.
As a student attending Waseda University for her masters, she felt humbled and honored to share a learning environment with an extremely diverse range of individuals – both professors and students. Waseda prides itself as the most international university in Japan. Every day she had the opportunity to interact with individuals with a wide variety of cultural, ethnic, religious, and academic backgrounds. This pushed her to find common ground and discuss issues with people with different perspective. While pursuing her masters in Tokyo, she experienced working in a legal office that specialized in US-Japan immigration affairs
“I feel like an important goal of mine is to contribute to that same type of learning here at UO Law. We all offer a unique perspective based on our life experiences that shape who we are and how we think. At UO, I truly believe that we are moving in a direction that allows us to celebrate our differences and use them as an opportunity to learn from one another. I think the legal profession is about representing all types of people, as every person deserves legal rights and protection. By offering opportunities such as this fellowship, Oregon Law is showing a commitment to making that happen.”
Reutin also points out how she’s never felt like an academic institution has been so hands-on in its commitment to her success until she came to Oregon Law. She highlights that administration, faculty, and even other students are willing to be accessible and it shows in the culture of the school.
The fellowship is an opportunity to develop educational and outreach activities and events inspired by Yasui’s legacy that can enrich the Oregon Law community. After earning both an undergraduate and law degree from University of Oregon, Minoru Yasui challenged laws that directly impacted and targeted Japanese Americans or Japanese immigrants during World Warr II. He continued to fight for civil rights throughout his career.
Reutin’s hope for the future is that the fellowship program continues to inspire and motivate students to pursue their passions and to approach issues of civil rights, racial justice, and representation head-on. Fellowship programs open doors for many students, provide them with opportunities to gain leadership skills, and contribute to the law school community.
“I sincerely hope that students and community members see the legacy of Minoru Yasui, an influential and important alumnus, and rise to honor his legacy by continuing the fight for equality for all individuals in their own unique way, both at the school and the community at large.”