WUCL Honors Pro Bono Award Winners

In early April, the College of Law hosted the Sixth Annual Pro Bono Honors Program awards reception to recognize those law students who volunteered their time to pro bono activities and community service projects. For the 2007–08 academic year, Willamette law students volunteered almost 2,000 hours to pro bono causes.

A highlight of the reception was the presentation of the Col. Rupert E. Park Jr. Pro Bono Student of the Year Award, which is given to the third-year student who made the greatest pro bono contribution during law school. The award is named for Col. “Rudy” Park Jr. LLB’47 of Oregon City, Ore. A former JAG Corps officer, Park established an active legal practice in Oregon and contributed a significant amount of time to pro bono activities.

The 2008 Col. Rupert E. Park Jr. Pro Bono Student of the Year Award was presented to Todd Huegli, who amassed an impressive 520 hours of pro bono activities while attending Willamette. Huegli worked at Metropolitan Public Defenders Inc. in Portland and served on the Willamette University Public Interest Law Project (WUPILP) board.

Also recognized during the awards reception were the members of each law class who volunteered the most pro bono hours during the academic year:

• Josh Weissman was named the top volunteer from the Class of 2008 for his work at the Oregon Supreme Court.

• Ruby Herriott, a member of the Class of 2009, volunteered her time to the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office and Willamette’s Street Law Program.

• Jonathan Strauhal contributed the most volunteer hours from the Class of 2010, working for Street Law, WUPILP, the ACS Civil Rights Film Services, and the Willamette MLK Programming Task Force.

“Most people come to law school because, deep down, they want to help people and they want to make a difference,” said Norma Freitas, assistant director of Career Services. “One of the best ways to experience that sense of helping is to volunteer. Our students have volunteered their time coaching youth sports; mediating neighbor disputes; representing low-income individuals in family law, health and social security benefits matters; and so much more.”