From the Multnomah Lawyer: Ian Baldwin: YLS Member Spotlight

Ian Baldwin is a senior associate at Wood Smith Henning & Berman and is a valued member of the YLS Pro Bono Committee. For those who know Ian, his commitment to public service through the Pro Bono Committee is not surprising given his background working with underprivileged populations.

Ian is a native of Eugene, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2010 with a political science degree, he spent a year volunteering with AmeriCorps, a national service organization with the goal of addressing critical community needs and fostering civic engagement. With AmeriCorps, Ian worked as a career counselor and tutor for underserved students at a high school in the Seattle area. Many of his students were recent immigrants to the United States, who spoke very little English. Ian dove into the program, assisting students with everything from writing a resume to learning literature and calculus. Today, he describes his experience working with his students as “challenging,” and “eye opening,” but most importantly, “rewarding.”

When deciding where to go to law school, public service was, once again, an important factor for Ian. He chose to attend law school at George Mason University in Virginia because of its close proximity to Washington, DC. While in law school, he worked as a public defender in a juvenile detention center where he represented clients accused of crimes within the facility. He eventually transitioned into helping defend adult felony cases. During his third year, Ian returned home to Eugene and studied as a visiting student at the University of Oregon School of Law, where he volunteered with the Lane County Legal Aid & Advocacy Center defending low-income clients in landlord tenant disputes and debt collection actions.

After graduating from law school, Ian clerked for Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey. He was drawn to the position because of its opportunity to work with public defenders and observe criminal trials firsthand. While clerking, however, Ian discovered a strong interest in complex civil litigation. This led him to a position with a civil defense firm in Portland, and then to Wood Smith Henning & Berman where he maintains an active construction, personal injury, and business litigation practice.

Even with a busy practice, Ian continues to give back. This year, he is leading the Pro Bono Committee’s Wills for Heroes program. The program provides essential legal documents such as wills and advance directives for first responders through a series of free legal clinics. The committee will be hosting three of these clinics this year. Ian also runs his firm’s annual food drive for low-income families.

Although Ian focuses on serving others, his contributions to the YLS and the community are hard to overlook.

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