Remembering Professor Ed Harri

by Willamette Law,

Willamette law is saddened to announce the passing of one of its most beloved professors. Ed Harri, Professor of Law, passed away suddenly on Sunday night of a probable heart attack. 

Professor Ed Harri headshot

After graduating with his J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 1973, Ed Harri clerked for the Oregon Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. In 1977 Ed served as Deputy District Attorney in Linn County and established his own private practice in 1980. Ed returned to Willamette in 1986 as a Professor of Law, teaching legal writing and research. His teaching was deeply appreciated, earning him the Teacher of the Year award (chosen by Law students) in 1998 and 2014, and the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University in 2007. 

Beyond the classroom, Ed’s commitments to his students and colleagues were lived out in his service as Associate Dean in the College of Law from 1994-96, and as Assistant Dean in Student Affairs from 1997-2011. He was, for many years, the advisor for the Student Bar Association and for the Moot Court Board. At the College of Law, he taught Legal Research and Writing, Advanced Legal Research, and Professional Responsibility. He also served as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, advised both Moot Court and the Student Bar Association, chaired the University’s Standards of Conduct Committee, and was the law faculty representative for the Willamette University Alumni Board of Directors.

“It is hard to overstate his positive impact on his students over the last 34 years. I can tell you from personal experience that alumni from the last few decades speak of Ed and the influence he had on their careers with the same reverence that previous generations spoke of John Paulus. As rigorous as Ed was about students and their writing skills, he was even more generous with his time outside of class, available at all hours, it seemed, seven days a week. To those of us who worked with him he was always gracious and kind, a great friend with a quiet sense of humor who was always in a good mood. We are all shocked and saddened by his death” said Curtis Bridgeman, Dean of the College of Law. 

Ed is survived by three children and his wife, Pat. Arrangements for Professor Harri's service are for a viewing at Virgil T. Golden Mortuary (605 Commercial Street, Salem) on Thursday, March 5, from 1:00 - 5:00 PM and a funeral service on Friday, March 6, at 3:00 PM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church (1770 Baxter Road SE, Salem). Individuals wishing to send a memorial are asked to submit donations in Ed's name to Liberty House in Salem (   

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