A Busy Year for Clinics

Clinic achievements: Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC), Crime Victim Litigation Clinic (CVLC), Earthrise, Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment (GLA), Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), Green Energy Institute (GEI), Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC), and Farm Animal Protection Project—Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS).

Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC)

The Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC) and Portland State University (PSU) published a report on the parole release process in Oregon, recommending a series of reforms. Clemency and Parole Projects secured the release of over 20 people from prison; the Youth Legal Clinic served more than 100 incarcerated youth throughout the state; and the SB 819 Project had cases in eight different Oregon counties, partnering with county district attorneys’ offices to reduce individuals’ sentences due to excessive sentences or collateral consequences.

Crime Victim Litigation Clinic (CVLC)

This year the Crime Victim Litigation Clinic worked on cases and public policy in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas, as well as federal cases. They grappled with issues including: the scope of privacy protections under Florida law; the right to an interpreter; victims’ rights and roles in restorative justice; victim access to information; and restitution. Students (the spring CVLC group is pictured above) were able to collaborate with and learn from victim lawyers from across the country as they honed their research and writing skills.


The 2022–23 school year was the clinic’s largest class to date. 28 students helped Earthrise score several successes. They secured a preliminary injunction to protect the critically endangered Maui dolphin (only 54 left in the world) from unsafe fishing practices; they initiated several lawsuits to stop logging projects in cases that are at the intersection of protecting public lands, managing fire risk, and curbing climate change; they filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of Alaska’s massive Willow Project; and they submitted extensive comments to protect southern sea otters.

Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment (GLA)

The Global Law Alliance (GLA) continues to address the transnational elements of wildlife crime, delivering legal training to combat wildlife trafficking with partners in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Benin, Ghana, Malawi, and Peru, as well as neighboring countries. One of GLA’s publications was cited in a ground breaking case establishing that Rights of Nature applied to individual wild animals, an important next step for wild animal protection in legal systems. GLA also attended the triennial meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), joining at least 14 alums who are working to protect wildlife. (Pictured above at CITES are Professor Erica Lyman ’06 and Vanessa Gischkow Garbini LLM ’22.)

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC)

The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic doubled its size this year with additional grant funding. Retired Oregon Tax Court Judge Henry Breithaupt joined the tax clinic as a pro bono attorney and has become an invaluable member of the team. One striking example of the clinic’s impact: student interns obtained approximately $7,500 for an immigrant taxpayer after resolving numerous administrative hiccups related to an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number renewal.

Green Energy Institute (GEI)

In addition to the Green Energy Institute’s traditional climate policy research and development work, GEI is deeply engaged in several critical dockets at the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) driving equitable state decarbonization efforts. The Institute is also participating in implementing HB 2021 (100% Clean Energy for All), which requires Oregon’s investor-owned electric utilities to provide emissions-free electricity by 2040. GEI is also celebrating success in persuading OPUC to rein in subsidization of natural gas system expansion.

Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC)

Twenty-six students participated in the SBLC this year, serving approximately 52 low income Oregon entrepreneurs and providing over 2,704 hours of pro bono or low cost legal transactional work. Students handled many legal issues for clients including entity selection and formation, trademark feasibility registration research and registration, patent registration research, registration and office action response, contract drafting and research into areas of law such as the corporate practice of medicine. In return, students gain valuable experience by working with and serving clients directly and providing legal solutions to support their business. (Pictured above Professor Susan Felstiner ’88 JD ’94 with client Elizabeth Yolanda Dalton and her patent for SWings.)

Farm Animal Protection Project— Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS)

The newly launched Farm Animal Protection Project was a resounding success. In this innovative model, students create an individual project in the field of farmed animal protection law working under Professor Russ Mead’s supervision. In this first year, students: created five new nonprofits; testified before the Oregon State Senate on a bill banning new factory farms; published articles on farmed animal protection; and produced a constitutional amendment to create fundamental rights for animals within the Finnish Constitution (currently pending before the Finnish Parliament).