February 03, 2022

Professor Oleske Elected to the American Law Institute

He joins the iconic and preeminent organization.

Professor James M. Oleske, Jr., Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, has been elected a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. Election to the ALI is one of the highest honors available to members of the legal profession.

The ALI drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law which in turn influence courts and legislatures, as well as legal scholarship and education. Elected membership is limited to approximately 3,000 eminent judges, lawyers, and law professors around the world and is based on professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law.

“The election of new members is an important part of keeping the ALI fresh and strong. The collective wisdom of our diverse membership leads to the development of clear, knowable, practical, and generally applicable rules and doctrines in our publications, which have been trusted in the legal community for nearly 100 years,” said ALI President David F. Levi.

With his nomination and election to the ALI, Oleske joins fellow Lewis & Clark Law Professors Jack Bogdanski, Bob Klonoff, Bill Funk, Lydia Pallas Loren, John Parry and Law Professor and Dean Jennifer Johnson.

Oleske teaches in the areas of Law and Religion, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Administrative Law, and Torts. He joined Lewis & Clark in 2011, after serving as Chief of Staff of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs during the first two years of the Obama Administration. In that role, Professor Oleske worked on a number of landmark bills, including the 2009 Recovery Act and the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Earlier in his career, Professor Oleske served as an appellate attorney at the National Labor Relations Board, where he argued 11 cases in the federal courts of appeals. He also served as chief of staff of the Oregon Senate Majority Office; a counsel in the Office of U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle; a visiting lecturer at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; and an associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt. He began his career as a law clerk to then-Third Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

Professor Oleske was the recipient of the inaugural Huffman Scholarship Award in 2020 and the Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014. His research focuses on the intersection of religious liberty and other constitutional values, and he was a Fulbright Scholar based at Cardiff University’s Centre for Law and Religion in 2019.