Theresa Wright JD’81 receives Multnomah Bar Association Pro Bono Award

by Patrick Riedling,

  • Terry Wright
    Willamette University College of Law's Director of Externships Theresa (“Terry”) Wright JD’81.

The Multnomah Bar Association (MBA) announced that Willamette University College of Law’s Theresa (“Terry”) Wright JD’81 and two other honorees, Mark Peterson and Richard Slottee, will receive the 2016 Pro Bono Award of Merit. The awards will be presented at MBA’s Annual Dinner on May 19, 2016, at 5 p.m. at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Parkway.

The Pro Bono Award of Merit is presented each year to a lawyer (or lawyers) who has set an example for the legal community in his/her dedication to providing pro bono services to those clients who are unable to afford them.

“The three honorees exemplify the highest values of professionalism and service to vulnerable populations, both through their work mentoring and teaching students, and the many off-hours they have put into pro bono representations over the years,” said Maya Crawford, the statewide pro bono coordinator for Legal Services of Oregon.

Wright was stunned when notified about the award. “Most of my legal career has been focused on access to justice,” she said. “I can't imagine it not being a part of my legal life in one way or another.”

Wright graduated from Willamette Law in 1981 and taught in the school’s clinical law program throughout the late 80s.  She then moved to Lewis & Clark College School of Law where she spent the next 25 years as a popular and highly respected clinical law professor. Wright has been a leader in the Pacific Northwest’s clinical community for decades. 

Increasing access to justice is second nature to Wright. “I've never done any of the work I've chosen to do (and which has made for an incredibly rich and rewarding career) for the honor.  I've done it because I believe in it and it’s the right thing to do,” she said.  

About the Multnomah County Bar Association

The Multnomah County Bar Association is a forum for lawyers to gather together for collegiality, to improve the justice system, to provide law-related community service and to access services and benefits that strengthen professionalism, satisfaction and success. The association has more than 4,100 members including lawyers from the Portland metropolitan area, administrative professionals, and judges from the local, state and federal courts.

About Willamette University College of Law

Opened in 1883, Willamette University College of Law is the first law school in the Pacific Northwest. The college has a long tradition at the forefront of legal education and is committed to the advancement of knowledge through excellent teaching, scholarship, mentoring and experience. Leading faculty, thriving externship and clinical law programs, ample practical skills courses, and a proactive career placement office prepare Willamette law students for today's legal job market. According to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association, Willamette ranks first in the Pacific Northwest for job placement for full-time, long-term, JD-preferred/JD-required jobs for the class of 2014 and first in Oregon for the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Located across the street from the state capitol complex and the Oregon Supreme Court in downtown Salem, the college specializes in law and government, law and business, and dispute resolution.