In This Issue
Celebrating our Progress
By: Mariann Hyland
This spring we invite you to join us in celebrating the implementation of the bar’s Diversity Action Plan. We worked hard to create the plan in 2013, and in 2014 we began implementing strategies to achieve our goals. For a complete report of our progress to date, please read: Celebrating Year One: 2014 Diversity Action Implementation Report.
In our Member Spotlight Josh Ross shares his thoughts regarding our Diversity Action Plan implementation highlights, his pro bono service, and why we need a diverse and inclusive bench and bar. Josh is a member of the OSB Board of Governors (BOG) and serves as a liaison on the bar’s Diversity Advisory Council along with BOG public member Audrey Matsumonji. We welcome your comments and feedback as we move forward with implementing the bar’s Diversity Action Plan in 2015. As we celebrate our success this spring, which is a time of renewal and growth, we reaffirm our commitment to continually advancing the needle.
Other newsletter features include recommended reading from the bar’s Executive Director, Sylvia Stevens: The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore; Diversity & Inclusion Department Program updates; and Specialty Bar news.
Enjoy the season!
By: Mariann Hyland
Josh Ross, a member of the OSB Board of Governors (BOG), shares his thoughts regarding the bar’s 2014 Diversity Action Plan implementation highlights, his pro bono service, and why we need a diverse and inclusive bench and bar. Josh serves as a BOG liaison on the bar’s Diversity Advisory Council along with BOG public member Audrey Matsumonji. Click the picture below to watch the video interview.
Joshua Ross is a litigator whose practice focuses on complex business litigation, consumer and securities fraud, class actions, trust litigation, professional negligence, and real estate and contract disputes. Licensed in Oregon and Washington, Josh represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as in court mandated and private arbitration. Josh has served as an arbitrator for Multnomah County Circuit Court since 2011, has volunteered with Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence Project since 2007, and is currently serving a four-year term on the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors. Prior to joining Stoll Berne, Josh clerked for Hon. Rick Haselton at the Oregon Court of Appeals.
D&I Program Updates
By: Benjamin James
Summer Employment Programs
In March we awarded 16 Clerkship Stipends to Oregon law students who intend to practice law in Oregon. Many of the recipients have already accepted positions with employers including Creighton & Rose, Multnomah Defenders Inc, Oregon Department of Justice, Mercy Corp, PSU Legal Services and the Washington County D.A.
Six Oregon law students were awarded Public Honors Fellowships for the summer of 2015. Public Honors Fellows must work during the summer for a non-profit or government employer in Oregon. The students receive $5,000 grant and cannot work into the school year. Some of the employers who hired OSB Public Honors Fellows are: US District Court, Oregon Law Center, St. Andrews Legal Clinic and the Marion County Public Defender’s office.
New this year is the Rural Opportunity Fellowship and the Access to Justice Fellowship. The Rural Opportunity Fellowship was awarded to a law student who intends to practice law in Oregon after graduation, who will help the D&I Department advance its mission, and was willing to accept a summer clerk position in rural Oregon. In general, “rural Oregon” is considered as being anywhere along the Oregon coast, anywhere east of the Cascade Mountains, or anywhere south of Roseburg. The Access to Justice Fellowship was awarded to a law student, who intends to practice law in Oregon, and who can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; who has experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who has a demonstrated commitment to increasing access to justice; or who has personally experienced discrimination or oppression. The recipient of this award must work for a non-profit or governmental entity in Oregon over the summer and is awarded a $5,000 grant.
Opportunities for Law in Oregon (OLIO)
OLIO is the Oregon State Bar’s recruitment and retention program for law students who can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; who have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who have a demonstrated interest in increasing access to justice; or who have personally experienced discrimination or oppression.
Planning and fundraising for the 2015-16 OLIO year has begun. The 2015 OLIO Orientation Incoming 1L Application Student Interest Form is available on our website and is due June 19.
OLIO is funded by donations and we are grateful to our committed community supporters. To donate to OLIO, via PayPal, visit our website or click the icon below.
We are pleased to announce another new D&I program this year, the LSAT Scholarship to six law school applicants attending college in the state of Oregon, or with significant ties to the state of Oregon, who can assist D&I with advancing its mission. We awarded six scholarships for LSAT preparation courses. One of these scholarships is being funded in part by the Oregon State Lottery and will go to an undergraduate student from a public Oregon university.
We received 16 applications for our D&I scholarships ($2,000 per scholarship) for entering and current Oregon law school students who intend to practice in Oregon. We plan to award 10 scholarships by the end of April.
The D&I Department is also pleased to offer 6 Bar Exam Grants for the July exam. Applications can be found on our website and are due April 15.
By: Sylvia Stevens
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
Two boys named Wes Moore lived within blocks of each other on the mean streets of Baltimore in the 1980’s. Both were fatherless and poor, but one grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, combat veteran army officer, White House Fellow, and successful business man. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for murder. This is the story of two young men and the impact of their different choices at the crossroads of their lives.
In 2002, the Baltimore Sun published a story about a local boy who had been named a Rhodes Scholar. It also published a story about another Wes Moore who, with three accomplices, killed a police officer in the course of a botched robbery. The author read that story about the young man who shared his name and became curious about how two boys who shared such similar childhoods could have such different lives. The Rhodes Scholar Wes wrote to the prisoner Wes, and asked: “Who are you? Where did it go wrong for you? How did this happen?” What followed was a friendship of sorts, based on lengthy correspondence and personal visits. The author Wes learned about the similarities of their lives, and that both had wanted something better for themselves; he also learned how their decisions at various junctures took their lives down such different paths. In a telling moment, the author Wes asked the other Wes, “So do you think that we’re products of our environment?” The other Wes responded, “You know, I think we’re products of our expectations.”
Told in alternating narratives that describe heart-wrenching losses and moments of redemption in each of their lives, The Other Wes Moore is the story of a generation of young men trying to find their way in a hostile world.
Sylvia E. Stevens is the Executive Director of the Oregon State Bar. She joined the OSB staff in 1992. She served as Deputy General Counsel for 14 years and General Counsel for four years before her appointment as Executive Director in 2010. Prior to joining the bar, Ms. Stevens was a partner in a Portland, Oregon law firm where she had a varied civil practice that included commercial and family law. A long-time volunteer in professional organizations, Ms. Stevens served on the OSB Board of Governors before joining the bar staff and was OSB Vice-President in 1991-1992. She has served as president of the Multnomah Bar Association, Oregon’s largest voluntary bar, and was a founding board member of the Multnomah Bar Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting civic education about the rule of law and the legal system. Ms. Stevens has been a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection and has served two terms on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. She is currently serving on the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility’s Policy Implementation Committee.
Specialty Bar Association News
Click the links below for updates with Oregon Specialty Bars.