Oregon Law Set to Receive Nearly $1 Million in Funding for Criminal Defense Clinics

Professor Laurie Hauber and Oregon Senator Floyd Prozanski

Thanks to champion and supporter Senator Floyd Prozanski, state senator from Eugene and Springfield, the University of Oregon School of Law is set to receive nearly $1 million in direct funding to help address Oregon’s acute public defender crisis, which is one of Oregon's most pressing issues throughout the state. 

In effort to increase the pipeline and retention of public defenders in the State of Oregon, the State Legislature approved $951,236 for Oregon Law to establish a new criminal defense clinic in partnership with Multnomah Defenders, Inc. and significantly expand the law school’s existing clinic with Lane County Public Defender Services. 

Through these clinics University of Oregon School of Law will provide court certified law students with intensive training and supervision to effectively represent defendants in court on misdemeanor cases. 

“We are very excited for our students to have this opportunity to gain courtroom experience in public defense, so they graduate ready to handle a misdemeanor caseload of their own,” said Professor Laurie Hauber, Director of Experiential Education and Assistant Clinical Professor of Law.  “These clinics are an important way Oregon Law can help address recruitment and retention challenges among our public defense offices in our state. Students not only graduate courtroom ready, their clinical training also gives them the confidence needed to handle the early stress that drives public defenders from the field. “

The state legislature also approved appropriations to Willamette University College of Law and Lewis and Clark Law School. Together, all three Oregon law schools expect to train a combined total of sixty law students each year to provide public defense services for more than 300 defendants.