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Advocate Magazine

Hello From the Dean

  • Nina Johnson

At Lewis & Clark Law School, we are in the business of possibility. We nurture, we teach, and we encourage our students so they may surpass their limits, fulfill their dreams, and contribute to a better world. In the next pages, you’ll find stories that illustrate how possibility has flowered into brilliant reality.

This issue of The Advocate is itself a manifestation of our constant pursuit of excellence. I hope you will enjoy the magazine’s new look, which is intended to be more inviting, more welcoming, and more engaging to alumni, students, and the Oregon legal community.

Our cover story focuses on a trip I took to China this past spring with former dean Steve Kanter. There, we met with Lewis  &  Clark Law School alumni who were once part of our China program. During this first reunion in China, we were reminded again and again of the impact our school has made on the personal and professional lives of these graduates. They have become outstanding lawyers and leaders who bring China and the United States closer together in business, government, and cultural endeavors.

At home, the stories “Taking a New Look at Oregon’s Death Penalty” and “The Rise of Big Immigration Law” are examples of how our practical skills programs empower students. When students address real-world conflicts, they become better prepared to assume their post-graduate roles as lawyers who can make an indelible impact on our society. These stories represent just two of the many ongoing law school projects that are literally shaping attitudes, policy, and laws for the nation.

Nurturing students from their initial interest in a legal education to their first job is a mission we take seriously. Soon our beautiful Gantenbein building—designed in the late 1960s by renowned architect Paul Thiry—will become a welcoming center that houses beginning-to-end support for our students and alumni. Come back to campus and visit the Fishbowl! It will be the new home of Admissions and Career Services.

Each year brings new hellos and goodbyes at Lewis  &  Clark. This fall, we welcomed a terrific 1L class. In May, we said goodbye to our outstanding graduates. I am very pleased to announce that the Class of 2017 rocked the July Oregon State Bar exam with a first-time pass rate of nearly 86 percent! We also said goodbye to five members of our faculty who have given a combined 170 years of service to our school: Toni Berres-Paul, Larry Brown, Bill Funk, Bernie Vail, and Daryl Wilson. We will miss them dearly!

I want to thank our alumni and friends for their support during this past year. We appreciate your time and effort in mentoring our students and aiding in their job searches; your continued willingness to lend your expertise to our law school community; and, of course, your generous financial support. Lewis  &  Clark is indeed a very special law school and I am honored each day to be able to work with our talented and dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who are committed to our important educational mission. Participating in this journey from possibility to reality is a remarkable gift.

Warmest regards,

Jennifer Johnson
Dean and Erksine Wood Sr. Professor of Law

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