November 27, 2023

Jessie Barrington ’13 Appointed as New Executive Director of WRLC

Professor Jessie Barrington takes the helm as the new Executive Director of the Western Resources Legal Center, succeeding Professor Caroline Lobdell after her impactful 15-year tenure.

The Western Resources Legal Center (WRLC) has welcomed Professor Jessie Barrington ’13 as its incoming Executive Director.

Professor Barrington brings a wealth of experience to the role as she is an expert in Federal Indian Law, Natural Resources Law, Civil and Criminal Litigation, and Public Policy. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, and she has taught numerous courses at Lewis & Clark, including Federal Indian Law and Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) Moot Court.

Professor Barrington’s versatile career spans private practice and significant roles in the public sector. Her background includes positions as an Assistant United States Attorney and Financial Litigation Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office; an Associate Attorney at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker; and an attorney at the United States Department of the Interior (DOI), where she held numerous roles including as Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. At DOI, Professor Barrington worked on environmental compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Wilderness Act, the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). There, she also worked on real property acquisitions, privacy law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and complex issues related to leasing, permitting, and taxation.

WRLC, a distinguished legal practicum, offers students unique opportunities to engage in legal representation of natural resource users. As the nation’s sole program specializing in this form of advocacy, WRLC has flourished under Professor Caroline Lobdell’s 16-year leadership. The Western Resources Legal Center is a legal practicum which provides students with the opportunity to gain legal experience in representing natural resource users. “This transition offers an exciting opportunity for WRLC,” said Dustin Van Liew, WRLC Board Chair. “We are incredibly grateful to Caroline for her many years of service to the program and look forward to continuing WRLC’s mission with Jessie at the helm.”