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Preston C. Greene: President, Black Law Students Association, Willamette University College of Law, Salem, OR [By Charisse Dengler] Preston C. Greene, a 3L at Willamette University College of Law, used to want to be a professional baseball player. However, after that dream fell through when he was about 12 years old, he turned his attention to the field of law. Ever since then, he has forged ahead toward the goal of becoming an attorney, inspired by the myriad possibilities that exist for attorneys, both in terms of practice areas and in terms of different viewpoints and ways of reaching conclusions.

“The study of law has and will continue to

to mention he is a brilliant attorney whose

“The main goal and purpose is to promote

be fun and interesting to me because of

trial practice seminar has been taught at

and support black law students,” he said.

the number of ways that an argument can

universities and firms throughout the nation.

“Minorities are underrepresented in the legal

be made [and] the many different areas of

A good mentor does not always tell you what

field. Thus, the association strives to actively

study of specialty,” Greene said. “However,

you want to hear, but the desire to assist and

support incoming black attorneys through

the best thing about the study of law is the

develop one’s skills is essential.”

mentorship and guidance.”

exchange of ideas and philosophies-this

Upon graduation, Greene has plans to

In addition to his role within the Black Law

interaction is what really drives me in the

work in real estate and development law.

Students Association, Greene is also Chair of

study of law. Individuals come from many

Somewhere down the road, he has grand

the Moot Court Board. This position requires

different backgrounds and upbringings and

aspirations to found a development company

him to run moot court competitions, and he

contribute their experiences.”

with some of his high school friends. The

said that even though the position has been

group has been planning this future endeavor

difficult at times because of the responsibility

“I feel you learn something best when

for awhile and taking the appropriate steps

it carries with it, the overall experience has

you have someone to debate and question

to get themselves closer to their dream.

been extremely rewarding.

exchange is fundamental to the study of law,

“Three friends and I from high school have

“I became Chair with the goal of establishing

and I thoroughly enjoy the experience. One

had our eyes on starting a development

a reputation within the Oregon legal

of my favorite experiences that I experience

company,” Greene said. “However, we all

community as a professional, well-respected

on a daily basis is the exchange of ideas with

felt that we should each have a skill set

organization,” he said. “I feel that through

others who have fundamentally different

and competence in an area of real estate

the many policies and changes that I and the

ideas and beliefs than me.”

development before we could successfully

executive board have undertaken, we have

operate a development company. As I [make]

paved the path for future generations of moot

During his three years in law school, Greene

my way [into the field of] real estate law,

court boards to strive and excel and to become

has had the opportunity to be informally

my two friends are working in commercial

a school respected nationally for its program.”

mentored by a professor he holds in high

real estate, zoning, and land planning,

esteem. Professor Leroy J. Tornquist, who

respectively. Thus, we are now waiting to

In addition to his responsibilities at school,

teaches courses in civil procedure, evidence,

become competent in our fields and for the

Greene works as a project assistant at the

negotiation, and trial advocacy, has been one

right opportunity to begin.”

Oregon Court of Appeals. In this position,

people. The arguments and debates, the

your ideas and thoughts,” he added. “This

of Greene’s biggest influences at Willamette.

which started out as an externship, he As President of the Black Law Students

is working on a legislative report and

“I have been most influenced by Professor

Association, Greene is responsible for

educational symposium entitled “Best

Tornquist at my law school,” Greene said.

promoting diversity at Willamette. This is a

Practices.”

“He has always been professional, courteous,

somewhat bigger challenge than one might

straightforward, and always has the time for

think, seeing as how there are currently no

“The ability to interact with some of the

a student and a word of encouragement-not

black 1L or 2L students at the law school.

brightest legal minds in Oregon on a project

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1. 800.973.1177

that can influence appellate court

position, he assists the legal department,

the area has been transformed into a new,

management and procedures throughout

researching and writing for a number of the

vibrant, and livable community.”

the nation was an opportunity I could

commission’s projects. Greene is especially

not pass up,” he said. “Thus, one year

excited about this job because it provides

into the project, I am looking forward to

him with direct, relevant experience that

accomplishing the goals of publishing an

will help him when he is ready to start his

academic paper, presenting the findings in

development business.

an educational symposium, and helping the people of Oregon by ensuring their courts

“The job is very exciting and offers the

are run in an effective and efficient manner.”

opportunity to be part of a major factor in the landscape of Portland,” he said.

As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough,

“[P]rojects such as the development of the

Greene is also a law clerk for the Portland

South Waterfront offer an opportunity to

Development Commission. In this

see your work in action on a daily basis, as

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ON THE NET Willamette University College of Law www.willamette.edu/law Willamette Moot Court Board www.willamette.edu/wucl/students/ organizations/mootcourt Portland Development Commission www.pdc.us


Preston C. Greene: President, Black Law Students Association