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Jennifer Mikel

  • Jennifer Mikel
    Jennifer Mikel
    Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Brief Background: Most recently before law school I co-founded a tattoo removal business. I created a pro bono program through The UnTattoo Parlor that works with women and young girls who have been branded with tattoos by sex traffickers to remove any unwanted ink. Our youngest patient was 8 years old when she was branded with a pimp’s name. These women are some of the strongest, bravest women I have met. Prior to founding The UnTattoo Parlor, I taught yoga for four years at studios in Portland and Lake Oswego. I also established the first program in Lake Oswego to introduce yoga as part of the regular physical education curriculum at the junior high school level.

1. Outside of Law School. I love spending time with my three boys and being involved in all their activities. They keep me sane and give me perspective. And, they remind me when I need to take a break from studying. I try to stay involved in the local yoga community. I have practiced with a pretty consistent group of women for over the past ten years who have supported, loved, laughed and cried with each other along the way.

2. Favorite Class Well, since I have only taken 3 so far, I don’t want to leave anyone out! Maybe its a testament to the law program at Lewis and Clark, but each class and every professor I have had so far – Contracts with Professor Amy Bushaw, Civil Procedure with Professor Bob Klonoff, and Lawyering with Professor Judith Miller, have all been uniquely profound and inspiring, each in their own ways.

3. Why Law School? I want to study law for the opportunity to make a positive difference. When I was around 10 or 11 I watched a criminal trial. I was impressed by the energy in the courtroom and the skill of the attorneys. I was also struck by how our justice system did not seem fair. There appeared to be a large discrepancy between those who could afford to hire engaged advocates or pay their way through lengthy litigation and those who could not. I determined that I would someday become a voice who would speak for those who might otherwise remain silent. After finishing my degrees in political science and pre-law I went to work in the design consulting and business development worlds. Over the years I witnessed a similar pattern in regards to civil legal issues: those with the deepest pockets often win. While I am incredibly grateful to live in a democracy where we have freedom of choice, there are many ways we can continue working towards a more equitable justice system. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this process and to pursue this passion supported by the inspiring intellectual community of the Lewis and Clark.

4. Why Lewis & Clark? I chose Lewis and Clark because of its excellent academic program but also because of its reputation for creating a strong, supportive community. Prior to choosing Lewis and Clark I met with a variety of current and former students and even some alumni. The takeaway was that Lewis and Clark is a law school that wants to see its students succeed and will go out of its way to give us the tools to be not only good lawyers but the best versions of ourselves. I also chose Lewis and Clark because it has a solid reputation in the Portland community where I plan to practice law.

5. Advice on choosing a law school: Consider the community of faculty and students you will be joining and the impact this will have not only on your success as a student, but on your enjoyment of law school overall. You should ask yourself: Is the community supportive or competitive? Is there a shared sense of purpose? Do you feel the environment of the law school will inspire you to be engaged and happy? Are there opportunities to participate in the community outside of the law school? And, is the law school in a place where you will feel good about spending A LOT of your free time?

6. Hardest thing about adjusting to law school: The hardest thing about adjusting to law school has been the copious amounts of reading! But also as a perfectionist, learning how to give myself a break and to be okay with not getting the answers right all the time (still practicing this one….).

7. My Top Ten List: 
-Best place on campus: the library. Boley v. Woodhall is a toss up depending on time of day…
-Best trail run: Tryon Creek State Park – so lucky this in right in our backyard!
-Best yoga: Yo-Yo Yogi downtown and Twist Yoga in Lake Oswego
-Best downtown bar: the River Pig Saloon
-Best coffee/chai: Barista, any location
-Best day trip: A tie between Short Sands Beach/Mt. Hood Meadows
-Best wood fired pizza: Ken’s Artisan Pizza
-Best Mexican (really meaning margaritas…): Por Que No
-Best local music festival: PICKATHON
-Best local spot for a movie with food + drinks: Lake Theater, Lake Oswego

8. Final Comments:  Attending law school is part of a lifelong dream. Every time I experience the beauty of the Lewis and Clark campus I feel so lucky to be a part of this community and to have the opportunity to follow this path.

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