Associate Professor of Law
BA, 1994, Sarah Lawrence College; M. Sc. in Public Policy, 1995, London School of Economics; JD, magna cum laude, 2002, Lewis & Clark Law School
Professor Sarah Adams-Schoen (pronounced “Shane”) believes the road to mastery in the law is a long and difficult one, but well worth the effort. And, with an emphasis on the effort required to move from novice to master, she cautions students not to be lulled by her kindness—telling them “the kindest thing I can do for you is hold you to high standards, because that’s what you’re capable of and that’s what you signed up for.”
Reflecting a deep commitment to student success, Professor Adams-Schoen works to increase the quality of legal education by continually building on her own skills as an educator; researching, publishing and presenting on effective law teaching methods at regional and national conferences; incorporating quizzes, assessments and other exercises that allow her to assess her students’ and her own performance throughout the semester; and utilizing collaborative learning and other techniques to increase student understanding and retention. She also supports student wellbeing and engagement by meeting with students frequently outside the classroom, mentoring students, advising student organizations, and helping students find venues to publish their written work.
Professor Adams-Schoen brings to her teaching a love of the theory and practice of law, grounded in more than a decade of law practice experience. After receiving a Master’s in Public Policy at the London School of Economics, Professor Adams-Schoen worked as a senior policy analyst for Portland, Oregon’s Metro Regional Government, where she continued to work while earning her J.D. Upon graduation, she worked as a civil and regulatory litigator at a large West Coast firm, gaining environmental, energy, regulatory, and administrative law experience, and managing the firm’s pro bono night clinic. She then transitioned to one of Oregon’s top criminal defense firms, where she handled complex environmental and other state and federal white collar cases. She is also the past chair of OGALLA: The LGBT Bar Association of Oregon. Building on these experiences, she integrates theory and practical skills exercises into all her courses.
She also remains active in state and national bars and engaged in service to the profession, in part to leverage resources and opportunities for law students. She is currently an associate editor of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD. She also participates in the Environmental Law Collaborative (ELC), a group of environmental law scholars who meet semi-annually to address pressing environmental concerns. She is admitted to the Oregon State Bar and the Federal Bar for the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and is a member of the American Bar Association. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Land Use Committee of the State and Local Government Law Section and as the Section’s liaison to the ABA’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Professor Adams-Schoen’s research currently focuses on environmental sustainability and learning theory, respectively. In her scholarship, she strives to integrate a rigorous examination of legal and policy issues with a practical approach that empowers students, academics, lawyers, and government officials to act. Her approach to publishing and presenting includes traditional law review articles and book chapters, and less traditional essays, blog posts and CLEs that help raise the visibility of the law school and contribute to the practicing bar. Recognizing her accomplishments in this area, the faculty of her prior law school awarded her the school’s annual award for excellence in scholarship in 2015.
Before joining the Bowen faculty, Professor Adams-Schoen was on the faculty of Touro Law in Central Islip, New York, where she taught Property, Land Use, Environmental Law, and Environmental Crimes. Prior to joining the Touro faculty, she was a Visiting Professor of Legal Analysis and Writing at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where she also taught Federal White Collar Criminal Law.