Judge Adrienne Nelson

Judge Adrienne Nelson

CLEO 1989

Judge Adrienne Nelson was appointed to the bench in 2006, making her the second African American female judge in the state of Oregon. Prior to her judicial appointment, she worked as a public defender with Multnomah Defenders, Inc., an associate with the Bennett, Hartman, Morris and Kaplan, LLP law firm and as the Senior Attorney/Coordinator of the Portland State University Student Legal and Mediation Services.

Over the years, Judge Nelson has been very active in the legal community and the greater Portland community. Currently, she sits on the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Public Education Advisory Commission, is an Oregon State Bar (OSB) delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, chairs the Lewis and Clark Law School Judge Roosevelt Robinson Scholarship Committee and is a member of the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court.

Judge Nelson is a frequent speaker on a number of topics including diversity and professional development. In 2003, Judge Nelson received the Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLs) Judge Mercedes Diez award for promotion of minorities in the legal profession and in the legal community. On October 1, 2011, Lewis and Clark Law School named her a distinguished honorary graduate for her mentoring and diversity activities at the school. On May 21, 2012, Judge Nelson was named a White Rose honoree by the Oregon Chapter of the March of Dimes for community service.

Judge Nelson currently sits on the Reed College Board of Trustees, the Self Enhancement Board of Directors and the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Advisory Board. On October 2, 2014, she was honored by Portland State University’s Center for Women’s Leadership.