Two Willamette Law students named Shepherd Scholars, positively impact LGBTQ legal issues

by Patrick Riedling,

  • Third-Year Law Student Bailey Moody
    Third-year law student Bailey Moody talked about Asian female political leaders during a panel discussion at Student Scholarship Recognition Day in 2014.

Third-year Willamette University College of Law students Bailey Moody and Jessica Cavallero each received a 2016 Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship for $6,500 for their commitment to improving the quality of life for minorities.

Administered by The Equity Foundation, Oregon’s only grant-making institution whose purpose is to fund organizations that advance equality for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, the prestigious Shepherd Scholars program awarded Moody and Cavallero at an Oregon Gay and Lesbian Legal Association (OGALLA) dinner event this past spring that was sponsored by the Portland office of Perkins Coie.

“These are the largest scholarships we’ve given out to date,” said Susie Shepherd, daughter of Bill and Ann Shepherd and member of the Shepherd Scholarship awards committee. According to Shepherd, the scholarship program has a list of ground-breaking lawyers and legislators who continue to make an impact on the LGBTQ community.  “We awarded the first scholarship in 1995 to a Willamette Law student, Beth A. Allen JD’96, who has worked tirelessly on LGBTQ issues over the years and is now a respected Multnomah County Circuit judge.”

Judge Allen was appointed to the Multnomah County Circuit Court (Fourth Judicial District) in January 2013, where she hears cases involving dissolution, custody, parenting time, support enforcement, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency and dependency, termination of parental rights and probate and other protective proceedings in the court's unified Family Law Department.

In private practice, Judge Allen developed one of the first firms in the nation that focused on serving the LGBTQ community in the areas of family law, estate planning and employment. She was a frequent speaker on LGBTQ matters, particularly concerning same-sex marriage, in the Northwest and nationally. Judge Allen has also taught the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Seminar at Lewis & Clark Law School for the past eight years.

“Previous Shepherd scholars from Willamette Law have also gone on to make an impact on the lives of those in the LGBTQ community,” said Shepherd. “I’m very proud that the program fosters the desire to make a positive impact to the community over the life of a scholar’s career. Mom and Dad’s memory continues to inspire others to make a difference.”  

Cavallero is currently the only openly LGBTQ member in the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Misdemeanor Division, where she works diligently to advise colleagues serving transgender or gender-binary defendants in court on proper pronoun usage.

Moody works closely with LGBTQ refugees, undocumented immigrants and criminal defendants as “they are among the least politically powerful groups of people in the nation,” she said.

“Willamette Law's involvement in forwarding human rights over the years carries on with Moody and Cavallero,” said Daniel Santos, dean of students at Willamette Law. “The issues may change over time, but the commitment to advocate for those who need legal help runs strong in our students. Our students hold the university’s motto close: Non nobis solum nati sumus – not unto ourselves alone are we born.”

About the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund

The Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund was the brainchild of the late Jeff Rose, Mr. Portland Leather 1993 and Susie Shepherd, International Ms. Leather 1989. As Rose prepared to step down from his title year in February 1994, he was determined to bequeath to the community a perpetual gift honoring the couple who had so deeply inspired him as a young gay activist, Bill and Ann Shepherd.

Bill and Ann Shepherd began a legacy of justice in 1972. In 1976, Bill founded the Portland Town Council Legal Resource Committee, forerunner of the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association (OGALLA). That same year, Ann was appointed to a two-year term on then Gov. Straub’s Task Force on Sexual Preference. In 1977, with Chuck and Rita Knapp, they co-founded Parents of Gays, which later affiliated with the international organization Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, PFLAG.

Until his death in 1995, Bill provided low-cost legal counsel to same-sex couples who wanted to ensure their partners optimal decision making and inheritance rights. Ann “mothered” countless gays and lesbians rejected by their families and churches and worked with confused parents to heal the wounds caused by misinformation and judgmental attitudes. Ann and Bill fought every anti-gay ballot measure and candidate that crossed their path, and in 1985, the Shepherds received the first of many prestigious awards from the community, the Lucille Hart Award from the Right-to-Privacy PAC.

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.