Etcetera - 05/26/11


In a moment reminiscent of just a year ago, Walla Wallans Aaron and Katy Burgess found themselves back at Willamette University College of Law in Salem for a second graduation in as many years.

The couple's son, Jesse Lee Burgess, received his doctor of jurisprudence cum laude from Willamette in commencement ceremonies May 15.

"Yes, it's almost a deja vu moment," the proud parents emailed. That's because son John Burgess earned his law degree from Willamette in 2010.

While at WU, Jesse was executive editor of Willamette Law Review, articles editor of the Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution and vice president of the Student Bar Association.

His article on the right to food security under customary international law will be published this summer in the Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution.

During the summer of his second year he completed a course in Chinese Law with honors at the East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai, China. During his second and third years he was a law clerk in the business transactions section of the Oregon Department of Justice in Salem.

Also during his third year, Jesse was research assistant for Symeon Symionides, dean of Willamette Law School and a world authority on conflicts law, the Burgesses said. Jesse volunteered for the Street Law Program, the Willamette Civil Liberties Union and the International Human Rights Clinic.

He is currently preparing to take the California State Bar exam in July, then plans to practice asylum law at his uncle John M.A. Burgess's Dharma Law office in San Francisco. Jesse and brother John, who passed the bar on his first try a year ago and is currently working for a Salem law firm, hope to practice together soon at the Dharma Law office

Jesse graduated in 1998 from Walla Walla High School and in 2002 from Whitman College where he majored in Asian studies and minored in Japanese. He received a certificate in construction management from the University of Washington in 2007.

Jesse and John are the grandsons of Bob and Phyllis Pulfer and David Burgess, all of Walla Walla, and the late Esje Burgess.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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