Willamette Law announces new faculty members

Willamette Law is thrilled to announce five new faculty members who will join Willamette Law beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year. This new cohort of faculty marks the largest in recent Willamette Law history. Each faculty member will play an integral role in both strengthening the College’s scholarly identity while building out its experiential learning course offerings.

Both the Appointments Committee and the entire Willamette Law community were instrumental in hiring this exceptional cohort. “These five new faculty members are impressive both in their scholarship and experiences but also in the energy and vision they bring to their new positions. I look forward to seeing the significant impact they will have at Willamette and getting to work with each of them,” says Willamette Law Dean Brian Gallini. “I owe tremendous thanks to the work of our Appointments Committee alongside the support of our broader community. I am grateful for their dedication and efforts in hiring our new faculty colleagues.”

Chinonso Anozie

Professor Anozie joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law following his time as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. With a passion for teaching and helping students to realize their full potential, Anozie looks forward to beginning his time at Willamette and meeting his students.

“I look forward to working with students and collaborating with the faculty at Willamette to train the next generation of lawyers,” he says.

He began his career as an associate in a law firm’s corporate division in Nigeria while also advising domestic and foreign government agencies on energy, trade, and environmental law issues as a foreign legal consultant. He obtained an LL.M from the University of Oklahoma and an SJD from SMU Dedman School of Law.

Anozie will teach Property Law as well as upper-level courses covering topics such as Environmental Law, Energy/Climate Law, and Global Environmental Justice. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of energy, natural resources law, and environmental law. Specifically, he addresses the impact of energy and environmental laws, regulations, and policies on energy development in various jurisdictions – focusing on Black and Brown communities – and the extraterritorial impact of U.S. energy policies on the global south and how countries react to such policies.

Antonio Olguín Torres 

Professor Olguín Torres joins the Willamette Law faculty from the University of Guanajuato for the 2023-24 academic year as a Visiting Assistant Assistant Professor of Law. . Olguín Torres received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Guanajuato, his master of arts in social science from Southern Oregon University, a master of arts in constitutional law from the University of Barcelona, and his PhD in law from the University of Colima.

He is a member of the National System of Researchers Level 1 of the National Council of Science and technology and is the author and editor of several books as well as book chapters and articles on public international law, constitutional law, and international environmental law. Olguín Torres was also, previously,  an aide in the State of Guanajuato Governor’s Office and received the Federal Department of Education’s Recognition as Most Desirable Professor’s Profile.

Olguín Torres looks forward to coming to Willamette Law, “it is a history of love, I think. I have been to Willamette Law before, I know the campus, professors, and academics. And of course, I know the wonderful people who live there,” he says. He will teach courses on the law of Mexico, comparative constitutional law and international environmental law.

Emily Poor

Professor Poor joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law following her time as Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She knew she wanted to be a lawyer after completing college, but it took her a while to discover which area of law she was interested in. Poor clerked for a trial judge in Minnesota state court, was a staff attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and was the staff attorney at the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland before finding her way to academia. Most recently, she completed a clinical teaching fellowship with the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Civil Advocacy Clinic, in which certified student attorneys represent low-income clients in civil matters related to experiencing poverty. For Poor, this was a great way to transition from direct public interest litigation work to academia.

Beginning in the fall, Poor will teach Evidence, Criminal Law, and Gender and the Law. “I’m very excited to be teaching evidence in the fall. As a former trial attorney and clinician in a civil litigation clinic, I love the practical aspects of evidence law and helping students navigate the courtroom and figure out how to successfully introduce or oppose testimony and exhibits,” Poor says. She is looking forward to helping students discover how the criminal legal system operates within other social systems and structures, and how it disproportionately impacts particular individuals and communities.

Poor has enjoyed teaching because it affords her the opportunity to both teach a new generation of lawyers about the issues she saw in practice and also to utilize her scholarship to more deeply and freely consider what can be done as a whole profession to further justice. In terms of scholarship, Poor focuses on the intersections between the criminal legal system and civil legal remedies and processes. Her first paper is forthcoming in the N.Y.U Review of Law and Social Change and she is currently developing two related threads of research that have emerged from her first project.

She is looking forward to joining the Willamette Law faculty and getting to work with students. “I love that Willamette Law is so influential in the Oregon legal community, and I’m excited to teach students who really want to learn and join a thriving professional network. I am also excited to get to live and teach in Oregon,” she says.

Poor received her bachelor’s degree from American University and her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Sarah Purce

Professor Purce joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and was inspired to pursue a law career helping immigrant communities attain better access to justice after working with a number of undocumented students during her time teaching ESL and GED classes in rural Washington State with AmeriCorps. After graduating with her JD from American University Washington College of Law, she worked as a contract attorney for immigration firms in Washington state before focusing on public interest work. She worked as a staff attorney in the immigration program for Catholic Charities of Oregon and later became their rural program coordinating, lead attorney, and finally assistant director of the program. Most recently, she has been leading the immigration section of a limited scope defense clinic at Portland Community College which provides services for low-income immigrant clients facing deportation.

In her role at Willamette Law, Purce will join Professor Beth Zilberman in the Immigration Clinic where she will help to build out the clinic’s offerings for students and the community. Additionally, she will be teaching courses ranging in topic from Immigration Law to Rural Practice.

As Purce looks ahead to joining the Willamette Law faculty, she shares “I remember my clinic experience during law school as perhaps the most formative aspect of my time there. I am enthusiastic about helping students learn the practical skills that lawyers use every day and, hopefully, inspiring a love of immigration law and a commitment to this population of clients.”

Purce has had the opportunity to work with Willamette Law students in the past through internships, externships, and alternative spring break programs and shares that they have “all been bright inquisitive future lawyers.” As such, she looks forward to working with the students starting in the fall.

Jillian Schroeder-Fenlon 

Professor Schroeder-Fenlon joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and spent the first six years of her career in large law firms focused on finance and real estate transactions. After discovering a love for mentoring and teaching, she transitioned into teaching legal writing to LLM students at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. She also taught first and second year law students at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law. Most recently, Schroeder-Fenlon has been the Associate Director of the Business Transactions Clinic at NYU Law School where she has taught and supervised second and third year law students.

As she looks ahead to beginning her time at Willamette Law, Schroeder-Fenlon shares “I am drawn to courses with experiential components that allow students to learn and practice the skills they need as junior attorneys. I like these courses because I get to work closely with students and provide them with detailed feedback — I find it rewarding to watch students develop their critical thinking skills.” She will be teaching Lawyering, Business Organizations, and Contract Drafting courses.

After receiving both her undergraduate degree and JD degree from Georgetown University, Schroeder-Fenlon is looking forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest where she grew up.

“I’m particularly excited to join Willamette Law because of its innovative approach to legal education and strong business law program, both of which are a great fit for my experience and interests,” she says.