Graduation profile 2011: Naomi Rowden

Naomi Rowden of Woodinville, Wash., will receive a law degree and a master’s degree in conflict and dispute resolution when she graduates from the University of Oregon. She was originally from Mesa, Ariz., and moved to the Seattle area when she was 10. “So many people come to UO Law from different backgrounds and experiences, and contribute to a great learning community here,” she says.

Extracurricular/leadership activities: President, Native American Law Student Association;longhouse guru for Land Air Water’s PIELC; member of the National Lawyers Guild; member of the Women’s Law Forum; two years as a Native Environmental Sovereignty Project Fellow for the ENR program.

I chose to attend the University of Oregon because … I was interested in pursuing environmental law and was impressed with UO’s Environmental and Natural Resources law program. The friendly, supportive atmosphere when I visited was also important to my decision.

My most rewarding experience or proudest accomplishment at the UO was … Being involved with the Native American Law Student Association introduced me to a whole new field of law as well as wonderful people and culture. It takes a lot of work and time to be involved in the student groups, but the opportunity to meet practitioners in the field, work with other like-minded students, and interact with the faculty and staff on another level is worth it.

My greatest inspiration at the UO came from … my fellow students. Everyone works so hard and participates in so many extracurricular activities – it is impressive to see!

The UO moment I will treasure most was … being a part of the Indigenous Peoples’ Reception each year that takes place in conjunction with the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC). It is an amazing event with great community, a lot of fun and a reminder of the importance of keeping a balanced life during law school.

My education at the UO has changed the course of my life because … the law degree represents a significant level of academic, professional and personal achievement that demonstrates hard work and dedication. Having the law degree come from UO is valuable because it indicates my knowledge and skill in legal research and writing, environmental law and commitment to public service.

I plan to use my UO degree to … I am currently a finalist in the Presidential Management Fellows Program with the federal government, and have the opportunity to spend two years working on policy issues at the national level.