Issues News at Willamette University College of Law

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There have been a number of new and exciting developments at the Willamette University College of Law this spring. The college’s signature strengths initiative, for instance, aims to develop students’ leadership skills. This is part of the university’s traditionally progressive approach to legal education. In addition, the school is announcing an agreement with the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Another new development in the law library is the appointment of Stephanie Davidson as the director of the law library. Davidson is a South Carolina native and alumnus. She brings her expertise in cybersecurity to the university.

A number of new faculty have also joined the college. Associate Professors Elizabeth Chambliss, Robin Morris Collin, and Etienne Toussaint have all been named to the American Law Institute. They will be leading environmental justice efforts in communities disproportionately impacted by pollution. These new additions to the law faculty join a group of law professors that have practiced together for more than 40 years.

Two more of the university’s faculty members received promotions to tenure in March. One is David Friedman, a law professor who will be supporting the Standard Life Insurance Company. Other promotions were awarded to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Dobbins and Professor Jaclyn Cherry.

On May 17, the school celebrated its graduates. During the celebration, three distinguished speakers shared their personal experiences. Attorneys and political leaders also spoke. Several alumni made history. Some of those alumni include I.S. Leevy Johnson ’68, who is the first African-American to attend the law school. Others are Gabriel Parton Lee JD’16, who planned to work in labor law after graduation. Besides the graduates, the school is also celebrating the opening of its new home.

The school also announced the launch of the Children’s Law Training Center. Located in Columbia, this center will be an innovative resource for helping protect children. It will provide immersive learning simulations and first-class training spaces.

In addition, the school is preparing to open the Veterans Legal Clinic on July 2. Attorneys will be on hand to assist veterans with legal matters and to support their transition back to civilian life.

As of the end of the academic year, the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs will represent more than 20 states and several countries. Moreover, the School of Law is encouraging incoming law students to take advantage of the resources available to them. For instance, students can participate in the Adopt a Teacher program. By joining the program, they will be supported by local teachers.

And speaking of resources, the law library is set to reopen on May 30. Among other improvements, the library will feature the new Lexis+(r) Fact & Issue Finder. The new tool will help users find legal information on individuals, documents, and dockets. Users can filter the search by statutes, complaints, publication status, and more.

Students also have opportunities to take advantage of a unique class that prepares them for a leadership role. The Lawyers & Leadership course focuses on how law graduates can make a difference in the world.