Congratulations to Alina Stircu 2024 Public Service Stipend Recipient

1 – tell us a little about yourself

My name is Alina Stircu and I am a 1L at Lewis & Clark Law School with an interest in a variety of legal areas, including tax law. I was raised in an immigrant community in Portland and am bilingual. In college, I studied German and Philosophy which allowed me to briefly live across the street from a castle in the Baden-Württemberg region. Prior to law school I worked as an interpreter in legal, medical, and educational settings.

In my free time I am an avid world traveler; I also find pleasure in playing poker and improving my snowboarding and golf skills. Giving back to my community is very important to me and for this reason I also volunteer on a couple of boards related to healthcare and interpreting in the state of Oregon.

2 – plans for the summer

This summer I will be externing at the Oregon Tax Court. As the first in my family to not only graduate from college, but attend law school, I never thought I would be fit for a judicial externship. I waited until the last minute to apply to the Oregon Tax Court because I wasn’t sure I would get it. But I applied and I within a few days I received an offer!

The reason I chose to extern at the Oregon Tax Court is because I understand how intimidating taxes can be for many people, especially immigrants and limited English proficiency speakers, and because one of my favorite parts of law school has been legal writing. There is nothing that compares to the feeling of going through the process of researching, engaging in high-level analysis, revising, and completing a work that culminates in a competent written work. I also enjoy challenging myself on the path of mastery, and hope that this summer will demystify taxes–something I plan to use to help others as an attorney. What I am most looking forward to is the statutory interpretation, going to the state archives and researching amongst the troves of legislative history materials, and actually producing written work.

This summer will not only help me develop as a legal thinker, but will give me insight on the adjudication of tax issues alongside a better understanding of taxes overall. Through my role as Vice President for the Lewis & Clark Law School Tax Law Society, I’ve come to know the Oregon tax law community as one that is full of brilliant thinkers who are passionate about the work they do. This summer will be as rewarding as challenging, and I am very excited to be embraced by this community.

3 – how the stipend will help prepare me achieve my goals

Being a first-generation student is an intimidating experience, but especially when you come from a low-income background. For me, I have always been anxious about school because of the loans and high cost. One of the caveats of law school is that often students engage in unpaid legal work as means of gaining invaluable skills. In my situation, the stipend provides tremendous relief because I know that I will be financially secure while externing. Not only this, but the stipend provides validation of the hard work I’ve done up to this point and connects me with mentors within the Oregon tax law community. I am extremely grateful to have been selected as the recipient of the the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Public Interest Stipend!