Academic journal article Environmental Law

Billy Williamson: Professor as Pioneer

Academic journal article Environmental Law

Billy Williamson: Professor as Pioneer

Article excerpt

In the great tradition of his home state of Oregon, Bill Williamson is an environmental law pioneer. If not for him, you would not be reading this one hundred and eighth issue of Environmental Law. In his first year at our law school, Billy conceived of a specialty journal--the first in the country--that would focus exclusively on environmental law. Within a year, Environmental Law was born from our fledgling law school and began to examine what was then a fledgling field of law with Billy as its only faculty advisor for the first five years.

Billy's idea remains brilliant and has served well both our law school and the development of environmental law over the last three decades. He introduced environmental law to our curriculum before any casebook on the subject existed and before most law schools had even heard of it. Billy designed an environmental law course, and he helped students organize the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, which has worked to protect the environment for thirty years while providing our students with wonderful opportunities to participate in various facets of environmental legal practice.

It is our school's good fortune that Billy joined the faculty in 1969, after spending the early years of his law career at the local district attorney's office. Our good fortune is not limited to the introduction Billy gave us to environmental law--which has facilitated our rise from an unaccredited law school to the top quarter of law schools--but it extends to what he brought to the school as a person. …

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