Heather J. Van Meter

Contributing Associate Professor
Specialty: Sustainability Management

Image of Heather J. Van Meter

Contact Information

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


Heather J. Van Meter is an adjunct professor teaching sustainability management.  Her interest in environmental issues began in high school and continues today - she is always thinking of ways to incorporate sustainability and social responsibility into the public and private sectors.  She also is a trial attorney for the Oregon Department of Justice. Previously, she was a partner at Williams Kastner in Portland, Oregon and also taught business and law courses at RMIT-Saigon and Lewis & Clark Law School.

She is a 4th generation Salem-area native, and thus naturally attended Willamette University, obtaining her J.D. and M.M. in 1998.  Prior to attending Willamette, she obtained a dual degree in history (high honors) and political science from the University of California, San Diego.  While working as a trial attorney in Portland, Van Meter pursued and completed a Master's Degree at University of Oxford in international human rights law.  Still not done, she has just completed her Ph.D. thesis in public international law at University of Birmingham (England).  Her thesis topic is on sustainability and public international institutions, with lessons from the mining industry.

Van Meter’s interest in business began early.  Three grandparents owned small businesses in the Salem area while she was growing up, and she spent many years working in various aspects of their businesses. She also worked for the Oregon Farm Bureau while attending Willamette, and still hopes to own a few acres and a flock of chickens one of these days.  


  • Dual B.A., University of California, San Diego (History and Political Science)
  • JD/MBA'98, Willamette University
  • M.S., Law, University of Oxford
  • Ph.D., Law, University of Birmingham

Selected Professional Activities

Marion County Bar Association, elected board member (2016-present), member (approx. 2013-present)

Oregon State Bar House of Delegates, elected member (approx. 2004-09, 2016-present)

Willamette Valley (Salem) Inns of Court, member (2015-present)

Oregon State Bar, New Lawyer Mentor Program, mentor (2015-16)

Willamette University College of Law mentor (2015-present)

Oregon Women Lawyers, co-president with Gwyn McAlpine (2009-10), board member (2005-10),

Judicial Workgroup chair/co-chair (approx. 2005-2015), member (approx. 1999-present)

Oregon Government Ethics Commission, appointed by Gov. Kulongoski and confirmed by Oregon State Senate (2009-10) (resignation due to move overseas)

Girl Scouts – Columbia River Council, board member (2007-08)

U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society, president (2003-04), board member (1999-2006), lifetime member

Owen Panner American Inns of Court, executive committee member (approx. 2005-09), member (1998-2010)

ACLU of Oregon and ACLU Foundation of Oregon, board member (approx. 2005-10), lawyers’ committee member (approx. 2004-10), cooperating attorney handling civil rights cases (approx. 1999-2008), lifetime member

Oregon State Bar Board of Bar Examiners, co-grader (Summer 2009)

Oregon Minority Lawyers Association, member (approx. 2008-10)

Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association, member (approx. 2009-10 (founding year))

Oregon Women Lawyers Dragonflies dragonboat team member (approx. 2004-09), co-captain (2005-07)

Oregon State Bar Pro Bono Committee, chair and executive committee member (approx. 2000-03)

St. Andrews Legal Clinic, night clinic pro bono volunteer (approx. 2001-04)

Campaign for Equal Justice, associates committee chair (approx. 2000-03)

Cascade AIDS Legal Clinic, pro bono volunteer (approx. 2000-02)

Dress for Success volunteer (approx. 2000-02), OWLS benefit fashion show emcee (2008-09)

Outside In (homeless youth organization), pro bono volunteer (approx. 1999-2000)

Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association, board member (approx. 1999-2001)

Multnomah Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Service to Bar Committee (1999-2000)

Bar Admissions:

Oregon (1998, by examination)

Washington (1999, by examination) (2015 voluntary resignation due to non-use)

Alaska (1999, by examination) (2010 voluntary resignation due to non-use)

U.S. District Courts for Oregon and Western Washington, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Selected Presentations

“Enforcing Human Rights Through the Private Sector,” University of Washington Business and Human Rights Workshop, co-presenter Brett Hartley, September 2016

“Stories from the Conference Room,” Willamette Valley Inns of Court group presentation with Hon. Sean Armstrong, November 2015

Public Law Conference, “Government Litigation in the Age of E-Discovery,” panel speaker, Oregon Department of Justice, October 2015

ABA Public Practice Panel, panel speaker, Willamette Law School, September 2015

Roberts High School Street Law Program, speaker, December 2014, September 2015, December 2015

Willamette Moot Court Board, “Trial Preparation,” speaker, September 2015

Environmental Struggles, Justice Struggles, Panel Presentation, Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Conference, June 2, 2015

Employment Law Training (training for ODOT Managers), speaker, October 2014

Pro Bono Litigation, FBA-Oregon chapter CLE, co-presenters Andrew Hallman and Jim Rice, October 2014

Road to the Bench, Oregon Women Lawyers, multiple presentations statewide 2006 to present, including Salem in September 2014 with Hon. Cheryl Pellegrini

Evidence Privileges, guest speaker, Prof. Tornquist’s Evidence (Willamette College of Law), June 2013

Governmental Immunities, Oregon DOJ presentation to DAS-Risk, co-presenter Drew Campbell, June 2013

Attorney Fee Petitions, Oregon DOJ CLE, May 2013

Complaint & Answer, Oregon DOJ CLE, co-presenter Stephanie Parent, April 2013

Conflict of Laws, Oregon State Bar multi-section CLE, “Oregon Trial Practice: Emerging Trends and Multi-Jurisdictional Disputes,” October 2012

Student Free Speech: Tinker to Present Day, Lewis & Clark Law School Federalist Society Debate, with Morgan Lewis attorney Allyson Ho, March 5, 2012

Health Care Reform Constitutionality, Lewis & Clark Law School Federalist Society Debate, with Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow, November 1, 2011

State Reporting under ICESCR, class presentation for Margaret Bedggood, University of Oxford Master’s in International Human Rights Law, ICESCR course, August 2011

Current Topics in Mass Torts Litigation, panel speaker, April 2010 OSB Products Liability Section CLE (co-presenters Tom Powers and Anne Talcott)

Breaking Barriers: How Far We Have Come, How Far We Have To Go, with keynote speaker Sarah Weddington, Oregon Women Lawyers 2009 Fall CLE (conference organizer and panel moderator)

Diversifying the Judiciary: Perspectives on Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Nominee, August 2009, sponsored by Mary Leonard Law Society (panel moderator, speakers Beth Allen and Judge Haselton)

Daubert Challenges in Recreational Products Cases, 2007 DRI Products Liability Conference

Food Allergies and Litigation, 2007 DRI Products Liability Conference

What’s New in Product Liability Law in Oregon, 2007 OSB Products Liability Section CLE

Product Warnings: I’m Warning You! – But is Anybody Listening?, March 2007 U.S. Law Network National Conference, Tucson, Arizona

Time Management and Effective Delegation, Fall 2007 Oregon Women Lawyers CLE, panel speaker with Katherine Weber, Meloney Crawford Chadwick


Selected Publications

The Difference a Decade Makes: Lifting Oregon’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage, Oregon Benchmarks, Winter 2015

Jerry Harris, Court Reporter Extraordinaire (U.S. District Court of Oregon’s first black court reporter), Oregon Benchmarks, Winter 2015

Profile: Noreen Kelly Saltveit McGraw, Oregon Benchmarks, Summer 2014

The Human Right to Water: Proposal For A Human Rights-Based Prioritization Approach, Willamette University College of Law Human Right to Water Symposium, Spring 2011 (co-authored with Brett Hartley), 19 Willamette Journal of International Law and Dispute Resolution 66 (2011)

Improving State Party Reporting on Use of Available Resources for ICESCR, master’s thesis, University of Oxford, April 2011, submitting for publication Summer 2016

Co-Presidents’ Messages, Oregon Women Lawyers Advance Sheet, 2009-10

Kulongoski Increases Diversity on Courts, Oregon Women Lawyers Advance Sheet, Winter 2010

Candidates for Judicial Openings in the District Court of Oregon, Oregon Benchmarks, Fall 2009

Toxic Plastics? Oregon State Bar Products Liability Section newsletter, Fall 2008

Medical Bill Write-Offs, OADC Journal, 2007

Judge Robert Belloni: Entranced by the Complexities of the Law, Oregon Benchmarks, 2007

Does FDA Regulation of Drug Labeling Preempt State Law Failure to Warn Claims? Oregon State Bar Products Liability Section newsletter, Spring 2007

Food Allergies Litigation, Oregon State Bar Products Liability Section newsletter, Summer 2007

The Historic Portland Archdiocese Bankruptcy, Oregon Benchmarks, 2007

It’s Critical to Create a Sense of Privacy in Health Care Settings, Portland Business Journal, 2007

Judicial Profile: Hon. Anna J. Brown, The Federal Lawyer, 2007

Judge Anna Brown: First Generation American Success, Oregon Benchmarks, 2006

Reinvigorating Federal Preemption for Prescription Drug Labeling, OADC Journal, 2006

Defending Negligent Referral Claims, DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Update, Fall 2005

Negligent Referral Claims: The Problem Is… OADC Journal, 2005

Judges Helen Frye, Owen Panner and James Redden: Three Oregon Judges and a 25th Anniversary, Oregon Benchmarks, 2005

Good Records Can Minimize Worker Claims, Portland Business Journal, 2005

Judicial Profile: Judge Owen Panner, The Federal Lawyer, 2004

President’s Messages, Oregon Benchmarks, 2003-04

Attorney Fees Lien Attaches to the Parties’ Litigation Rather Than to the Settlement Proceeds, OADC Journal – Recent Case Notes, 2003

Economic Loss Only Does Not Render the Product Unreasonably Dangerous, OADC Journal – Recent Case Notes, 2003

Barrie Herbold’s Path: Peter Pan to Learned Hand, Oregon Benchmarks, 2003

Judge Owen Panner: From Whizbang to the Bench, Oregon Benchmarks, 2003

Federal Service by E-Mail, OADC Journal – Recent Case Notes, 2002

Qualified, Not Absolute, Privilege for Statements Made to Police, OADC Journal – Recent Case Notes, 2002

Oral History Notes: Hon. Alfred T. Goodwin, Oregon Benchmarks, 2001

How Explicit Do You Need to Be? Commercial Law Journal, Winter 2000

NSMIA and Oregon’s Securities Registration Laws, Willamette Law Review, Winter 1998

Irrigation Districts Manual, co-author, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation, Summer 1998

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.

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