March 06, 2019

OSB Diversity Section and First Year Law Students Celebrate Judges

First-year law students helped the Diversity Section of the Oregon State Bar honor seven judges -- five of them affiliated with the law school in some way -- for bringing diversity to the bench.

The Diversity Section of the Oregon State Bar (OSB;D-Sec) recently honored newly appointed Oregon judges who bring diversity to the bench. Of the seven judges honored, five are closely connected to the Lewis & Clark Law School. Introducing and presenting the certificates to the honorees were first year law students Jessica Gutierrez, John Harlan, Demetrius Johnson, and Amanda Haines.

OSB honored Judge Rafael Caso (Polk County Circuit Court), Judge Raymond Dean Crutchley JD ’99 (Deschutes County Circuit Court), Judge Mustafa Kasubhai (magistrate judge, U.S. District Court), Judge Andrew Lavin JD ’03 (Multnomah County Circuit Court), Justice Adrienne Nelson (Oregon Supreme Court), Judge Melvin Oden-Orr (Multnomah County Circuit Court) and Judge Jolie Russo BA ’80 JD ’88 (magistrate judge, U.S. District Court).

The following is a brief background on five of the seven honored judges with law school affiliations:

Law alumnus Judge Raymond Dean Crutchley ’99 was appointed by Governor Brown in 2018, making him the first black judge in eastern Oregon. He was born and raised in Jamaica and immigrated to New York at age 11. He joined the military during college, and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992.

Judge Andrew Lavin ’03, a former appellate attorney in charge of criminal appeals at the Oregon Department of Justice, was appointed by Governor Brown in 2018. He previously worked as a Deputy District Attorney in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, from 2003 to 2010. He mentors young lawyers through programs at the Oregon State Bar and at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Justice Adrienne Nelson is an honorary graduate of the law school, frequent guest speaker and mentor to students. In 2018 she was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court and the first African American to sit on the state’s highest court.

Judge Melvin Oden-Orr is married to LCLS alumna Donna Oden-Orr ’96. Judge Oden-Orr was appointed by Governor Brown to the Multnomah County Circuit Court in 2018, and he is the founding chair of OSB D-Sec. The Judge also serves as a mentor to law students, including Amanda Haines, who presented him with his certificate.

Judge Jolie Russo BA ’80 JD ’88 was appointed as Eugene’s first female magistrate judge in 2016, after serving as a staff attorney and then senior staff attorney for the District of Oregon for 28 years. Since 2004, she had also been an adjunct faculty member for both the University of Oregon School of Law and Lewis & Clark Law School. She served for 10 years as a chairwoman on the Citizen Review Board Panel for the Oregon Supreme Court.

The CLE before the event was co-sponsored by the OSB Diversity Section, Oregon Women Lawyers, and the Lewis & Clark Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society for an event celebrating diversity on the Oregon bench.