WUCL Celebrates Outstanding Attorney Mentors

In early April, dedicated attorney mentors from across Oregon gathered at the College of Law for the school’s 2009 Attorney Mentor Program awards reception. The annual event, hosted by the office of Career Services, honors those attorneys and judges who volunteer their time as mentors to Willamette’s law students.

Jeffrey L. Dover JD’04 received the 2008–09 Justice Edward H. Howell Mentor of the Year Award, which recognizes a member of the legal community for providing outstanding guidance and support to a Willamette law student. The award is named for the late Justice Howell, who enthusiastically mentored Willamette law students throughout his judicial career.

An assistant attorney general in the General Counsel Business Activities Division of the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ), Dover was nominated by three Willamette law students. Second-year students LaReé Felton and Jennifer Paul both nominated Dover for the second year in a row. They were joined by Dover’s new first-year mentee, Chris Lybeck. “The most important things Jeff has provided has been his honest perspective and insights on real-life practice,” Felton said in her nomination letter. “Since he is a rather recent graduate from Willamette, we can talk about common experiences. He has always been there for me, despite having work, a family and two other mentees. He is really an awesome guy.”

Tom Elden, a longtime mentor and supporter of Willamette’s Attorney Mentor Program, received special recognition for his unwavering dedication to WUCL students. Elden typically mentors two or three new ILs each year, in addition to those 2Ls and 3Ls he continues to advise. “He is very active in the lives of his mentees, as well as with the Willamette law community as a whole,” second-year student Megan Banks wrote in her nomination letter for Elden.

In addition to Dover and Elden, several other WUCL mentors were honored during the awards reception:
• Mary Doughtery, judicial clerk at the Oregon Tax Court, was nominated by Ilsa Lundren.
• Rachel Kittle JD’08, from the Law Office of Gordon Dick, and Concetta Schwesinger JD’88, from the Oregon DOJ, were nominated by Rebecca Russell.
• Darleen Ortega, Oregon Appeals Court judge, was nominated by mentees Terrence Green and Chris Ramirez.
• Liani Reeves JD’01, assistant attorney general in the Trial Division of the DOJ, was nominated by Emi Torres and Soohyun Park.
• Kate Cooper Richardson JD’00, who works in the governor’s office, was nominated by her student mentee.
• Daniel Santos JD’86, from the governor’s office, was nominated by Zachary Brugman.
• Paul Smith JD’95, of the Appellate Division of the DOJ, was nominated by Tristan Burnett.
• Susan Tripp, Marion County Circuit Court judge, was nominated by Rena Jimenez-Blount.
• Amy Vandenbroucke, OHSU associate legal counsel, was nominated by Kellen Hade.
• Jefry Van Valkenburgh JD’85, in the General Counsel Government Services Division of the DOJ, was nominated by Tim O’Donnell.

The College of Law’s Attorney Mentor Program enables students to develop a close, personal relationship with experienced legal practitioners who provide invaluable insights and advice on the practice of law. For more information about becoming an attorney mentor, please contact Career Services at or register online at for the 2009–10 Attorney Mentor Program, which begins in September.