Joanna Perini-Abbott

Joanna Perini-Abbott

Professor of Practice and Director of the Center for Advocacy


Jo Perini-Abbott joined Lewis & Clark Law School as the Director of the Lewis & Clark Advocacy Center and Professor of Practice in January 2023. She previously was an adjunct professor teaching Evidence at Lewis & Clark.

Professor Perini-Abbott has been a practicing litigator since 2010. Her career has spanned public defense work, traditional civil litigation, and private criminal defense work. She has represented clients in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and regulatory investigations. Her civil work as an associate at Perkins Coie and a Principal at Angeli Law Group centered on representing clients in disputes involving trade secrets or other “soft” IP issues, the enforceability of non-compete agreements, and general employment litigation. In the Western District of Washington, one of her cases resulted in the District Court holding that Amazon’s standard non-compete agreement was “unreasonable as drafted.”

Her criminal representations as an Associate Federal Defender and at Angeli Law Group run the gamut from traditional gun and drug crimes to complex fraud and environmental cases. She represented clients at all stages of criminal cases, from pre-indictment through trial or plea negotiations, sentencing, and appeal. In all of her advocacy, she is passionate about finding and telling her client’s story, whether in negotiations, trial, sentencing hearings, or appeal.

Professor Perini-Abbott also served on the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners from 2017-2023. In that time she was part of the committee that drafted Oregon’s Essential Eligibility Requirements and chaired the Alternative to the Bar Exam Task Force and the Licensing Pathways Development Committee. She has been an advocate for licensure reform work in the legal field and often speaks throughout Oregon on the topic.

Professor Perini-Abbott clerked for the Hon. Joel M. Flaum on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions


Academic Credentials

  • JD, 2009, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • BA, 2004, Washington & Lee University

Latest Presentations

Presentations Related to Attorney Licensing

  • “Alternatives to the Licensure Exam” presented to Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) (July 2022)
  • “Redesigning How We License New Lawyers” panel member for the IAALS Redesigning Legal Speakers Series (July 2022)
  • “Oregon’s Alternatives to the Bar Exam Considerations and Next Steps” presented to California’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on the Bar Exam (October 2021, May 5, 2022); IAALS Law Firm Partners Meeting (April 5, 2022); and numerous Oregon Bar groups (August 2022-present)
  • “Alternatives to the Bar Exam” panel member for Oregon Women’s Lawyers Queen’s Bench CLE series (February 2022)

Presentations Related to Legal Practice

  • “Environmental Crimes – What to do in the First 30 Days.” co-presented with David Angeli to Oregon State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Section (October 2019)
  • “Internal Investigations, Tips from In-House Counsel for Outside Counsel.” Moderated panel for Women in White Collar Criminal Defense Oregon and Idaho Chapter (October 2019)
  • “Direct Examination, Tips from Trial.” co-presented with Jim Gidley to Perkins Coie lawyers (2014)