Celebrating 50 Years of Professor Newell

Law alumni braved rain, thunder, and lightning to express gratitude for one of their beloved professors, Doug Newell.

“50 Years of Doug!” celebrated Edmund O. Belsheim Professor of Law Doug Newell’s 50+ years of teaching at Lewis & Clark Law School. Alumni from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s, and ’20s paid homage to a professor who inspired them and gave them the confidence to become successful attorneys.

A slideshow played throughout the event, with photos of Professor Newell through the years and quotes from alumni describing his extraordinary impact on their lives.

During the program, Matt Bergman ’89 noted that “Professor Newell’s first-year contracts class was epic and seared who we are and who we became as lawyers… it taught us to think like lawyers.”

Mark Tratos ’79 continued to extol Newell’s teaching impact, remembering some of the class cold calls. “At the end of Professor Newell’s interrogation of the class, he asked, ‘Deal or no deal? Was there commitment? Was there consideration?’” Dean Johnson spoke of Newell’s start at the law school in 1971, when Professor Billy Williamson recommended his Harvard Law colleague, Doug, to teach at the newly accredited Portland school. She also acknowledged the many scholarships and professorships that alums have endowed over the years in Newell’s name and announced a $100,000 matching challenge by Dan Harmon ’85 to fund the most recent Newell 1L Scholarship. She thanked Dan Harmon and the many alums who contributed to the fund that evening.

Professor Newell spoke last, offering some reflections of his own. He recalled how he was hired “as an afterthought when some guy they hired had flaked out” and the faculty sought someone who could teach the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). “One of the best things out of my Harvard training was that I could read the UCC, so I fit the category just fine,” he said. He ended his remarks with, “I love the school, I’ve loved my time here. It didn’t seem like a real job, it just seemed like a lot of fun.”