Traveling many miles to attend, Oregon lawyers and Willamette law students had strong showings at the 2015 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (NAPALSA) annual convention in New Orleans. Willamette sent five representatives, tying the attendance record set at the 2014 event.
Several law students were elected to leadership roles for NAPABA and NAPALSA. Melissa Cohen JD ’18 was elected Pacific Northwest regional director, making her the fourth Willamette law student consecutively to hold this position. Previous regional directors for the Pacific Northwest include Tucker Kraght JD ’15, Samrach Sar JD ’16 and Alexis Shimada JD ’17. This is the longest running tenure of a regional director position by any one institution since the NAPALSA regions were organized.
In a historic election, Shimada was elected as the next NAPALSA president. Her victory not only makes her the first national president from Willamette, but also the first national president from the state of Oregon in NAPALSA’s history.
Willamette’s APALSA chapter is known for its steadfast dedication to diversity, inclusion, fairness, equality and the pursuit of equal access to justice and equal representation in the legal profession. Its members achieve incredible successes while continuing to encourage the next generation of leaders to answer the call to action and stand up in support of justice and equality, both on a national stage and right here in Oregon, as student leaders in our local community.
In 2014, Derek Nelson JD ’15 and Kraght were the first competitors from the state of Oregon in the regional and national rounds of the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition. Three Willamette Law Students were also elected to the NAPALSA’s 2014 board: Sar as treasurer, Daniel Noeun JD ’16 as public relations director, and Shimada as Pacific Northwest regional director. Sar was also honored as the National Asian Pacific American Law Student of the Year.
-Submitted by Tucker R. Kraght JD '15