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Reception Honors Outstanding Mentors

Last April, the College of Law held a reception to honor the many hardworking attorneys and judges who volunteer their time as mentors to Willamette’s law students. The popular Mentor Program is administered by the college’s office of Career Services, which hosted the annual awards reception at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art on the Willamette campus. A highlight of the event was the announcement of the Mentor of the Year Award, which is named in honor of the late Justice Edward H. Howell, an enthusiastic mentor to Willamette law students for many years. The 2005-2006 Mentor of the Year Award was presented to Michael Dundy, who provided unsurpassed guidance and support to his students.

Also receiving special recognition was Dennis McCaffrey, who was honored for his longstanding and steadfast dedication to the program. McCaffrey has actively participated in the Mentor Program for more than 10 years and has long been recognized as an outstanding mentor.

Mentor of the Year Michael Dundy with secondyear law students Sara Denniston and John Young

The College of Law’s Mentor Program enables students, early in their legal careers, to forge an individual relationship with experienced legal practitioners who provide valuable insight and advice on the practice of law. For more information about becoming an attorney mentor, contact Debi Mosman in Career Services at

A Look Back... at the Mentor Program When I began law school in 1990, the school’s mentoring program was already in place. However, it was exclusive to female students, who were mentored only by women attorneys. A number of my male counterparts in the school complained about being excluded from the program, so I approached administrators at the College of Law and members of the Marion County Bar Association and Oregon Women Lawyers to determine their willingness to support a mentoring program for all law students. My suggestion was met with much enthusiasm. Within a few months, the Mentor Program was expanded to include all interested law students and both male and female volunteer mentors. In my own request for a mentor, I indicated that I would like “judicial perspective.” I was blessed with being assigned to Justice Edward H. Howell who, among his many positions on the bench, had served on the Oregon Supreme Court for 10 years. Justice Howell was very enthusiastic about mentoring and requested additional students to mentor. During the time he worked with me, Justice Howell also mentored four other Willamette law students, including my husband, Paul. Throughout the years, Justice Howell provided one-on-one guidance to countless other law students on how best to begin their legal careers. To honor Justice Howell’s great commitment to the Mentor Program and his students, the law school created the Justice Edward H. Howell Award for Mentoring Excellence in 1992. Justice Howell was the first recipient of the award. To my knowledge, no other law mentor at Willamette has matched his efforts in mentoring five students at one time. Sadly, Justice Howell died of liver cancer in the spring of 1994. He is remembered fondly by countless members of Oregon’s legal community. — Patricia Heatherman Patricia Heatherman JD’93 is a partner in Merrill O’Sullivan LLP in Bend, Ore.

6 | Willamette Lawyer

Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2006 • Vol. VI, No. 2  

In a Class by Themselves - New Law Faculty at Willamette: Paul A. Diller and W. Warren H. Binford (center), who joined the law faculty in 20...

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