Willamette student receives Shepherd Legal Scholarship

Third-year law student Lauren Robertson was recognized by the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Legal Association at a dinner last week for her work on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Robertson received $5,500 from the Bill & Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is named for Bill and Ann Shepherd, who in the 1970s co-founded what eventually became the Portland chapter of the International Federation of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – commonly known as PFLAG. The scholarship helped Robertson pay her tuition to Willamette.

Susie Shepherd, Bill and Ann Shepherd’s daughter and the head of the scholarship committee, said Robertson’s work on behalf of victims of domestic violence was impressive, as well as her efforts to teach self-defense techniques to girls 13 and older though the WomanStrength program of the Portland Police Bureau. Robertson also served as a representative for the Queer Caucus, a group of community agencies from the Portland metro area that address the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in situations of domestic violence.

“We were so impressed by the work and the level of commitment she’s sustained year after year,” Susie Shepherd said. “She is articulate, she is focused, she’s got so much going on.  The world is going to be a better place for the work she’s already done.”

Robertson hopes to work as a prosecutor after graduation. She said she was humbled to receive the scholarship and added, “It’s something that will hold me accountable for working for our community in the future.”