Oregon State Bar recognizes Robin Morris Collin for sustainability work

The Oregon State Bar Association's Sustainable Futures Section has honored Professor Robin Morris Collin with its first-ever Sustainable Leadership Award for her work in the field of environmental justice.

Morris Collin, who was the first law professor to teach sustainability at an American law school, heads Willamette's Certificate Program in Sustainability Law. She has lectured and written widely on the subject of environmental justice, which holds that sustainability is a moral act. In her acceptance speech earlier this month, she talked about the need to recognize the physical harm humans have done to the environment and the obligation to restore what has been damaged.

"This is recognition from my peers and I am deeply grateful for it," Morris Collin said of her award. "To be valued is one of the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have."

Jim Kennedy, who chairs the Bar's Sustainable Futures Section, called Morris Collin a "tireless advocate" for environmental justice and how it intersects with sustainability. She says that past discrimination must be acknowledged before discussions about sustainability can take place.

"She made a very good point a few years ago," Kennedy said, "that the law school curriculum should treat sustainability as a value system, and she's attempting to do that."

Other award recipients were Max Miller of Tonkon Torp LLP. AterWynne LLP received the Bar's first Sustainable Law Office leadership award.

The Oregon State Bar Association created the Sustainable Futures section in 2008. The section encourages law firms to incorporate sustainable practices into law firm operations, educates lawyers about issues surrounding sustainability and determines what laws can protect the environmental rights and interests of future generations.