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Accomplishing Dreams in the Pacific Northwest

by Jessica Rotter,

Madeline Hueske

Madeline Hueske JD’24 had a quintessential Pacific Northwest upbringing in Bend, Oregon. Spending her time hiking, skiing, and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, Hueske’s love for the region runs deep. When it came time to decide on her undergraduate university, and later law school, it was an obvious discussion to continue living in the area that is such an important part of her identity.

After earning undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University, Hueske spent two years working in the school’s undergraduate admissions office. She enjoyed meeting with new students and helping to guide them through their higher education journey. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she turned her attention to pursuing a lifelong dream of attending law school.

Both of her parents went to law school, and following in their footsteps always seemed like a logical step. It helped that her innate skills and intellectual curiosity set her up for success as a law student and future lawyer. 

“I grew up with people telling me I would make a great lawyer. The analytical and logical skills needed to be a lawyer always came naturally to me, and with the example of my parents, I knew I would have what it takes to thrive and enjoy law school,” Hueske shares.

In looking at law schools, it made sense to continue to live and study in the region that has always been such an integral part of Hueske’s identity. Between receiving a generous scholarship and hearing about the positive experience of her mother, Jodie Hueske JD’91, attending 鶹Ƶɰ汾 Law was an easy decision.

Entering her 1L year, even with the skills to excel, it was an adjustment to learn how to balance the demands of school alongside family, friends, and self-care.

“I buried myself in schoolwork the first year. I became very rigid about the amount of studying I was doing and I overworked myself,” Hueske says, “though I was seeing results and getting good grades, so it made me double down on how much work I was doing—it almost became a competition with myself.”

Eventually, Hueske was able to find balance, giving proper attention to all aspects of her life. From that point on, she has thrived in the environment, building relationships with faculty, finding mentors, and getting to know her peers, all while honing her skills as a problem solver.

“I am a problem solver by nature,” says Hueske. “I enjoy approaching a problem and knowing I have the tools to analyze and solve it in a logical way.”

Her first-year Lawyering class, taught by Professor Kelly Gamble, has stuck out as one of the most rewarding courses. “Professor Gamble makes you work hard, but it makes you a better law student and gives you the skills you need to succeed,” Hueske says. The course had such an impact that she went on to be Gamble’s teaching assistant her 2L year in an effort to give other students the same experience she had.

Gamble shares that Hueske is a “talented legal researcher, thinker, and writer. She's thoughtful and thorough. I know I can rely on her work. She was a great sounding board for me and advisor for the 1Ls in my class.”

Beyond the classroom, Hueske seized opportunities to apply her knowledge to real-world legal experiences. In the summer after her first year, she served as a judicial extern in Portland, Oregon for Judge Marco Hernández, where she gained valuable insight into the judicial process. The externship piqued her interest in the role of the court, and watching a judge’s impact not just on individuals, but also on the whole community, was a formative experience. After this experience, Hueske set a goal for herself to clerk for a federal judge after graduating from law school.  

Last summer, Hueske worked as a summer associate at Stoel Rives in Portland, Oregon. The environment was competitive but fun. The firm had high expectations, but receiving positive feedback, learning about law firm operations, and developing relationships with other summer associates and attorneys was validating for her.

Alongside these experiences, Hueske's role as Editor-in-Chief of the 鶹Ƶɰ汾 Law Review provided invaluable hands-on skills that have greatly enhanced her legal education. Acting as a microcosm of the professional world, this position offered her profound insights into the essential interpersonal skills necessary to effectively manage people and collaborate within a team. While law school typically focuses on theoretical concepts, the Law Review provided practical lessons in time management and community engagement. Navigating the multifaceted responsibilities of the role was a pivotal and rewarding aspect of her law school journey, one that she reflects on with immense pride.

Making dreams a reality

Hueske is excited to embark on the next chapter of her legal career, accomplishing two long-held dreams—working in civil litigation and clerking for a federal judge. Following a rewarding experience at Stoel Rives as a summer associate, she will begin working in the labor and employment group after graduating. Early into law school, Hueske settled on wanting to work in civil litigation. The opportunity to work at Stoel Rives will allow her to do just that, and to continue working in an environment that she thrives in and enjoys. 

After one year at Stoel Rives, Hueske has accepted a position as a clerk for a federal judge beginning August 2025—the culmination of her hard work and determination. The journey to get the clerkship started back in her 1L summer, and the path has not been smooth. Applying to over 100 positions, and navigating the intricate and arduous process for over a year, she is proud that, despite setbacks,  she was always able to continue forward toward her goal.

“I am so glad for the experience because it made me stronger and more resilient, and it felt so good when the position I wanted most panned out,” she shares.

In fact, she was in disbelief when the judge finally called offering her the position. Now feeling a sense of accomplishment, joy, and relief, Hueske is looking forward to clerking for Judge David Estudillo in the Western District of Washington. It is an added benefit that she will get to be part of the development of the law in the region she plans to practice in and loves so much.   

After her year-long clerkship, Hueske plans to return to Stoel Rives in the fall of 2026 to continue working in civil litigation. 

With post-graduate plans in place and as law school nears an end, she looks back with gratitude for the connections she has developed with faculty members and the skills and confidence she has gained as a result. “To have faculty who are willing to talk through questions I have, give advice, and know they truly care is something I wouldn’t have had at another law school,” she says. The faculty, in her experience, are not just good lawyers, but first and foremost, great teachers. A small and dedicated faculty environment has helped to encourage her and give her the skills and confidence she needs to take the next step in her career.

Gamble shares, “It has been fun to watch her grow from a brand-new law student into the kind of lawyer I would want in my own firm.”

Hueske’s journey through law school is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence and a steadfast pursuit of her dreams. 

About 鶹Ƶɰ汾 College of Law

鶹Ƶɰ汾 College of Law was the first law school to open in the Pacific Northwest. Building on deep historic roots, we focus with pride on educating the next generation of problem-solving lawyers and leaders. Our location in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and Supreme Court, cannot be matched in the region. Our thought-leading scholars advance and promote our shared responsibility to make a difference in society, placing justice, fairness, and equality at the heart of everything we do.

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