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Law student receives Oregon State Bar Labor and Employment stipend

by Jessica Rotter,

Willamette Law is pleased to recognize and celebrate Tristan Kelly ’24 (2L) as the College’s 2022 recipient of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) Labor & Employment Section Summer Student Stipend. He spent the summer as a law clerk at the Commons Law Center in the estate planning and probate department. 

Tristan Kelly
Tristan Kelly ’24

This is the second year the OSB Labor & Employment Section made gifts to each of Oregon’s three law schools to financially support students interested in pursuing labor and employment-related work over the summer. The goal of the stipend is to ensure that current law students interested in labor and employment law can take advantage of internships, many of which are otherwise unpaid.

Dennis Westlind, member of the Labor & Employment Law Stipend Committee and managing partner at Bullard Law, said the OSB Section sought to “create opportunities to give back to the community and to law students by encouraging their participation in non-profit, public, and other types of labor and employment law.” Westlind himself has for many years been involved in mentoring new lawyers, law students, and associates in the Labor & Employment law field.

The stipend program provides an opportunity for the recipients to have access to a mentoring lawyer as they navigate both the summer internships and decisions about their future legal careers. Participating in the Committee and mentoring the recipients is an opportunity to give back and support students who are currently in the position he once was, Westlind explained. 

For his part, Kelly said he chose to intern at the Commons Law Center to “help provide access to legal aid for Oregonians who historically have been unable to afford it.” Kelly expressed his appreciation for Westlind as his mentor, and Assistant Dean for Career Planning & Development Phylis Myles who encouraged him to apply. In reflecting on the experience, Kelly encouraged others to consider applying for the stipend and added, “if you are interested in access to justice, practical experience, and a supportive environment, then the Commons Law Center is the right fit.”  

The OSB Labor & Employment Section will continue to provide the summer stipend program to one recipient from each Oregon law school to help provide financial and mentorship support to law students considering labor and employment law. 

Application information for the stipend program can be found through Partner.

About Willamette University College of Law

Willamette University College of Law was the first law school to open in the Pacific Northwest. Building on deep historic roots, we focus with pride on educating the next generation of problem-solving lawyers and leaders. Our location in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and Supreme Court, cannot be matched in the region. Our thought-leading scholars advance and promote our shared responsibility to make a difference in society, placing justice, fairness, and equality at the heart of everything we do.

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