Third-year Willamette JD/MBA student Andy Blevins nominated a fellow student for the Student Leadership Award given by the National LGBT Bar Association. That student didn’t win, but Blevins was named the first runner-up.
Unbeknownst to him, Blevins’ supervisors and another student had nominated him for the award, as well. Law students from around the United States can win.
“I don’t view the work that I am lucky enough to do with the regard that the selection committee did,” Blevins said. “To hear I was even in the running for something that I nominated my own heroes for was humbling, validating and encouraging.”
According to the website for the National LGBT Bar Association, “The [Student Leadership Award] recognizes a law student who has demonstrated leadership within their school and in the surrounding community, especially in the area of LGBT equality.” Blevins, who is currently first vice president of the Student Bar Association at Willamette Law, spends much of his time advocating for those in the LGBTQ and military communities.
Before coming to law school, he served in the Navy as a cryptologic technician from 2007 until 2011, with a stint as the scheduling and advance associate for First Lady Michelle Obama immediately following. He has also been city commissioner and vice chair for Human Rights and Relations for the City of Salem, advisor-at-large of the Military Family Advisory Network, and vice chair and operations director of the Military Partners and Families Coalition, among other positions.
At Willamette, Blevins has been vice president of the student group OUTLaw and helped form the law school’s Veterans Club. Outside of school, Blevins works as the legal and policy manager for OutServe-SLDN, formerly known as the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. He served in the Navy as a cryptologic technician from 2007 until 2011. Following his graduation from the JD/MBA program in December 2018, he plans to continue working for the organization, which provides legal assistance for the U.S. military LGBT community.
“I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that focuses its mission on providing pro bono, quality legal and advocative services for a unique cross-section of communities I am deeply passionate about — the LGBTQ and military/veteran communities,” Blevins said.
Although he was runner-up, Blevins was acknowledged at an awards luncheon in San Francisco August 3.
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 and mentorship. 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, 2014, and 2015. Located across the street from the state capitol complex and the Oregon Supreme Court, the college specializes in law and government, law and business, and dispute resolution.