Launching our Land Use Lawyering Ladder and two new Friends!

On any given day, we protect people and the place we call home in land use planning and decisions in three ways: outreach and education (like our Land Use Leadership Initiative or our affiliates), legislative advocacy (stay tuned for a 2023 legislative preview), and litigation or enforcement of our land use laws. 

While we view litigation as a tool of last resort, it’s an activity that is core and critical to protecting our people and planet. To make sure we do this effectively, we recruit and support our talented and committed attorneys. It’s not often we write about the administrative improvements we make for our team, so we’re shining a light on one of these improvements now: our Land Use Lawyering Ladder. 

The Land Use Lawyering Ladder achieves multiple goals to make sure we’re taking care of our attorneys and encouraging the land use attorneys of tomorrow to take up the cause. The ladder:

  • Clarifies roles and responsibilities;
  • Clarifies career promotion opportunities, including salary ranges along with additional authority and responsibility; 
  • Supports the professional development of land use lawyers; and  
  • Establishes objective performance standards for each position. 

As we launch this ladder, we are also excited to announce a promotion and welcome two new attorneys: Blair Batson and Devin Kesner. 

Blair rejoins 1000 Friends as a Staff Attorney, exclusively focused on enforcement of land use protections for natural and working lands. Devin joins as a full-time Associate Staff Attorney, assisting on key land use issues like proposed urban growth boundary expansions and swaps and road extensions onto our farms and forests. Andrew Mulkey, our current Working Lands Staff Attorney, is promoted to Senior Staff Attorney. In this new role, Andrew will work closely with our Deputy Director Mary Kyle McCurdy to manage the organization’s approach to litigation, the legal docket, and legal staff. Visit our website to read more about the team.

We are able to rebuild our legal team thanks to generous Oregonians, many of our affiliate groups, and a private family foundation based in the Willamette Valley. Thank you for this continued support so we can offer these legal services free of charge to Oregonians in need.