Pro Bono & Community Service Records are Made to be Broken
June 21, 2011
During the 2009-2010 school year, Lewis & Clark Law School set a school record with the most student pro bono and community service hours ever reported leading to Lewis & Clark, for the first time ever, beating out University of Oregon and receiving the Oregon State Bar’s Pro Bono Challenge Award for Law Schools. Records are exciting, but it is even more exciting to break them. With the 2010-2011 school year, Lewis & Clark Law Students have outdone all previous years reporting 16,243 hours of pro bono and community service, that is an increase of more than a third over the previously record setting 2009-2010 numbers.
On April 14, 2011, Lewis & Clark recognized students who completed 30 or more hours of volunteer time over the previous year at the annual Pro Bono and Community Service Honors Lunch. Long time pro bono role model and co-founder of Tonkon Torp, Don Marmaduke delivered remarks. Mr. Marmaduke spoke of his work from winning a 1965 trial to integrate the Neshoba County Courthouse in Mississippi to his recent work fighting restrictions on legal aid funding. Through his speech, Mr. Marmaduke reminded students that no matter what path they take after law school, they have the skills to slay dragons and fight for justice through their pro bono work.
The awards recognize students in two categories, law-related pro bono work, and general volunteer community service work. Just under a quarter of enrolled students reported doing at least one hour of volunteer work during the 2010-2011 school year. While attending Lewis & Clark, 35% of the graduating class of 2011 received at least one Pro Bono or Community Service Award.
Logan Perkins spent the summer of 2010 after her first year of law school in Maine working with Pine Tree Legal Assistance on a PILP stipend. Through Pine Tree, Logan worked on eviction, Social Security Benefits, and employment discrimination cases, but she did not receive pro bono credit for these hours because of her stipend. Remarkably, Logan found time in addition to her full time work, to volunteer with Maine National Lawyers Guild attorneys to protect the rights of individuals protesting large-scale wind power development.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum of views regarding large-scale wind power development, everyone can agree that all people deserve to have their civil rights and their criminal procedural rights protected. What Logan did in her free time was work to protect those rights. Logan gained experience working with clients as she calmed defendants, raised bail, and helped secure the release form jail of arrested protesters. She worked with NLG lawyers on defense strategy, and performed the essential research to decide which defenses to pursue. So essential has Logan’s work been to the cases that attorneys expect to seek special permission from the court for her to sit at counsel table when trials are set.
Like all students doing pro bono work, Logan is strengthening the community and the legal system through her pro bono efforts while applying what she has learned in law school. Through this volunteer work, Logan is building the skills to unlock what her pro bono supervising attorney called her “potential to be an excellent attorney.”
2010-2011 Pro Bono Honors Award Recipients
Ann Marie Rubin
Jeffrey Van Name
Amy Van Saun
June Yong Lee