Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

College of Law News

Oregon Commission For Women Honors Robin Morris Collin

Norma J. Paulus Professor of Law Robin Morris Collin, a nationwide leader in the area of sustainability and environmental justice, is one of four winners of the 2012 Oregon Women of Achievement Award from the Oregon Commission for Women. Past winners include former Oregon House Speaker and Portland Mayor Vera Katz; former U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley; and Columbia Sportswear founder Gert Boyle.

Morris Collin’s husband Robert W. Collin, an adjunct lecturer at the College of Law, nominated her for the award. He cited her leadership on the Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force, which won an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other honors she has received, including from the Oregon State Bar. Morris Collin was the first professor to teach sustainability at an American law school and lectures widely on the topic.

“While sustainability in the US is dominated by privileged white male leadership, sustainability in most of the world is the work of women,” Collin wrote in his nominating letter. “Professor Collin’s excellent work and leadership in sustainability at home and abroad restores women’s leadership voice to this growing contemporary dialogue.”

Added Secretary of State Kate Brown, who has worked with Morris Collin on the Oregon Sustainability Board: “She really puts her heart and soul into her work.”

Morris Collin said the award recognizes that sustainability, environmentalism and equity are women’s issues. “It’s about finding balance between our economic and business needs and our community’s health and values,” she said. “Women need to be part of the decision-making structure.”


Center for Dispute Resolution Wins Ninth Circuit Education Award

Willamette’s Center for Dispute Resolution has won the Ninth Circuit Alternative Dispute Resolution Education Award, which recognizes law schools that incorporate dispute resolution across their curricula. Willamette is the only Oregon law school to win the annual award, which was established in 2005.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke of Nevada, chair of the award committee, said the law school’s new LL.M. in Dispute Resolution and the school’s interdisciplinary approach to the subject persuaded the committee to give the award to Willamette.

“People assume that part of their litigation experience will have some component of alternative dispute resolution built into it,” Cooke said. “Schools that get that are schools we like to recognize.” Past recipients of the Ninth Circuit’s ADR Education Award include Stanford, Pepperdine, the University of Washington and University of California Hastings College of the Law.

CDR Director Richard Birke said the award represents nearly three decades of Willamette’s “consistent efforts to improve ADR education. This is a platform on which to build.” He said the center would continue efforts to bring the American model of dispute resolution overseas and to increase the knowledge of how neuroscience, psychology, spirituality and cross-cultural understanding intersect with dispute resolution.

Dean Peter Letsou noted that Willamette has been a leader in the field. The CDR, established in 1983, is one of the oldest in the country.

“We have outstanding teachers and scholars, a long history of experience and an outstanding set of programs and courses,” he said. “It’s a well-deserved award that recognizes the many successes of this program.”