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Business Law at Oregon


Our business law professors are highly experienced in the real world. They not only talk the talk, they’ve walked the walk. Combine their experience with their talent for teaching and you have a top-flight faculty from whom students can really learn what they need to know.

In addition to our core faculty, Business Law welcomes distinguished visitors and lecturers from all over the country and the world. Practicing attorneys, judges, and other industry professionals teach many of our specialized courses.

bjerreCarl Bjerre

Carl Bjerre came to Oregon Law after practicing transactional finance law for six years at the New York City head office of the multinational law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP. Through a number of nationwide professional organizations and editorial boards, Professor Bjerre participates in shaping the law of commerce nationwide and internationally, from everyday dealings through multi-million dollar transactions. “I enjoy showing students the common sense that underlies the law’s technicalities,” says Bjerre.

andreacbAndrea Coles-Bjerre

Andrea Coles-Bjerre came to Oregon Law with six years' experience in negotiating and litigating high-stakes Chapter 11 cases for banks, other creditors, and distressed companies at New York City's Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. "Sometimes the Bankruptcy Code determines people's rights in the courtroom, but equally important, it gives leverage to lawyers in their negotiations in the conference room," Coles-Bjerre observes. In addition to teaching two bankruptcy courses and directing Oregon Law's business law program, Professor Coles-Bjerre supervises several bankruptcy externships and coaches the law school's Duberstein Moot Court teams. She is a recipient of the Orlando J. Hollis Teaching Award.

bdohrnBeatrice Dohrn

Beatrice Dohrn is Director of Oregon Law’s Nonprofit Clinic, which trains the next generation of nonprofit leaders while providing assistance to today’s groups. Dohrn rose through the ranks to become a manager at The Legal Aid Society in New York City and then became Legal Director at Lambda Legal. Throughout, she has agitated and advocated for investment in skilled management for the nonprofit sector. “The idea that dedication to an organization’s mission substitutes for trained management and governance is outdated. If anything the issues confronted by nonprofits are made more difficult by the fact that they are led by highly dedicated people who are motivated by deeply held personal principles.”

fakhriMichael Fakhri

Before becoming an academic, Michael Fakhri practiced in the International Business and Trade Law Group at one of Canada’s most eminent business law firms. “International law is important for all types of businesses including small and medium enterprises,” states Fakhri. "There’s a global angle to any growing business today.

frostElizabeth Frost

Elizabeth Frost began teaching at Oregon Law after practicing in the commercial real estate group at Sidley Austin LLP in Los Angeles and Chicago. At Sidley Austin, Professor Frost worked on a variety of real estate matters, from billion-dollar loans to low-income home purchases. "Real estate touches just about every major transaction, from M&A to commercial loans to estate planning. Litigators need to be familiar with real estate law, too. Real estate is typically the largest single asset that a person owns, so disputes happen all the time," says Professor Frost. In addition to teaching Legal Research and Writing and other related courses at Oregon, Professor Frost teaches Real Estate Transactions and courses focusing on transactional drafting.

sgarySusan Gary

Susan Gary practiced at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago and DeBandt, van Hecke & Lagae in Brussels. She is an expert in, among other areas, the law of Nonprofit Organizations and Estate Planning. She is the faculty supervisor of the Law School’s Nonprofit Clinic, and a contributing editor of the Nonprofit Law Prof Blog. Professor Gary is recognized nationwide as an accomplished scholar and law reformer.

Rob_IlligRob Illig

Rob Illig is an expert in the business aspects of sports law, as well as in corporate law more generally, including the venture capital funding of start-up companies. “My turf is the intersection between deals – including sports deals – and business law,” he says. Illig brings irreplaceable real-world experience to his teaching, harvested from seven years of practice in at Nixon Peabody’s New York and London offices. At Oregon, Illig has pioneered a highly effective “lab” model of teaching business law, in which practicing lawyers help students acquire hands-on experience of law’s effects on the practicalities of deal-making.

maneshMohsen Manesh

Mohsen Manesh joined Oregon Law from the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine, an international law firm with roots in the Pacific Northwest. In practice, Manesh represented a range of business clients, from small, venture-backed tech start-ups to large, publicly traded corporations, in various transactional matters. Leveraging his experiences in practice into the classroom, Manesh takes a pragmatic approach with his students. “Ultimately, in business practice, clients value efficiency and judgment. You must create value for your clients. That is what I try to do for my students, and I hope they learn that along with the statutes and doctrines that we cover.”

mann-e1345142841327Roberta Mann

Roberta Mann came to Oregon Law after ten years of Washington experience, both on the Hill with the Joint Committee on Taxation and down the street at the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. She straddles the business and environmental law worlds with a focus on sustainability through tax policy. “Tax, it’s not just another three letter word ending in ‘x’. Tax is everywhere and in everything. And much more fun that you imagined,” says Mann. Mann coaches the Tax Moot Court team and revels in getting students excited about tax.

kmoyerKatherine Moyer

Katherine Moyer has been a practicing business lawyer since 1990 and brings that experience to bear in teaching the clinic. "Participants in our clinic arrive at the beginning of the semester sounding like law students, and they leave sounding a lot like practicing lawyers. It's exciting and gratifying to play a role in that transformation." Katherine came to the law school having practiced at large law firms (including Stoel Rives LLP in Portland) before moving to Eugene and ultimately co-founding Endeavor Law Group. At Endeavor, she works primarily with startup companies in the technology sector. She works on a range of commercial transactions with those companies and has a particular focus on securities law work, representing companies engaged in raising investment capital in rounds ranging from investment by family and friends to venture capital deals.

priestEric Priest

Eric Priest came to Oregon Law from Beijing, China, where he was running a copyright licensing start-up company founded at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His interest in copyright law stems from his years as a professional songwriter and music producer and his work as an associate at the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. "There has never been a more exiting time to to study copyright," he says, "as the law and creative industries adapt to the rapid evolution of information technology."

jwrJennifer Reynolds

Before law school, Jennifer Reynolds worked for seven years in information technology and higher education. "When I got to law school, I was fascinated by the design challenges that human conflict presents," she says. Today, Reynolds's research and teaching seek to apply principles of system analysis and design in legal and alternative dispute resolution, from civil procedure to workplace conflict management. "Many students don't realize that business and government are two of the most enthusiastic proponents of alternative dispute resolution," she points out. "Lawyers who can advise business clients on developing better institutional capabilities for dispute management are valuable." Reynolds has received both the Orlando J. Hollis Teaching Award and the University of Oregon Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching.

nshurtzNancy Shurtz

Nancy Shurtz is the law school’s senior tax expert. She caught “tax fever” when she was a first-year law student and has never recovered. She came to Oregon Law after teaching at the Wharton School’s Department of Legal Studies. Professor Shurtz takes well deserved pride in working individually with students who share her enthusiasm for tax law and helps them to craft their studies in ways that position them well for careers as tax law specialists.

ltippettLiz Tippett

Elizabeth Tippett joined the faculty from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she advised technology companies ranging from start-ups to publicly traded companies. "Understanding the specific business needs of your client is just as important as knowing the law" Professor Tippett notes. "With a start-up, your advice is all about crafting a solution that is workable given their limited resources. With a public company, you're dealing with sophisticated in-house counsel who want to understand the legal risks associated with specific options." Professor Tippett teaches employment law and negotiation, and supervises the small claims mediation clinic. She also teaches a class on alternative dispute resolution, focusing on advising clients about their process options throughout litigation.

mindywMindy Wittkop

Mindy Wittkop has practiced business law in Eugene, Oregon for 15 years. She has experience with both business litigation and a broad-range of legal transactions. “I enjoy both helping students work with real clients for the first time and helping clients get much-needed legal advice. The practical skills of working with clients and in the court system are an important part of today’s legal education.” Professor Wittkop also supervises Oregon Law’s judicial externship program. She is past-president of the Lane County Bar Association and is active with local legal associations. When not at Oregon Law, she practices construction and business law as general counsel for a local business.

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