Nina Oishi

I learned so much from all my creative, cool, quirky classmates. Watching them and their careers have shown me that there’s so many ways to be successful and make a great life for yourself after college.

Nina Oishi BA '18



Degree and Class Year

BA ’18

Current City

New York, New York


International Affairs


Chinese Studies and French Studies


Lewis & Clark Orchestra, Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB), French Club, International Affairs Symposium, Hawai`i Club, College Outdoors

Overseas study


Job Title, Organization

Legal Fellow and Attorney in the Special Litigation Unit, New York Legal Assistance Group

Continuing Studies

JD, Yale Law School

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Outdoorsy, Close-knit, Exploratory

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The size and vibe of the school. It’s small enough to get a personalized academic experience, and because you’re not competing for space in all the student organizations and extracurriculars, you can really spend your four years exploring what interests you. And the beauty of the campus is unbeatable!

What have you been doing since graduation?

Right after graduation, I spent a year working at a national health policy and advocacy group in Boston. I spent three years at Yale Law School and graduated with my degree in May 2022. Since then, I’ve been doing a year-long legal fellowship at the New York Legal Assistance Group, a nonprofit legal organization. I’m in their Special Litigation Unit, where I help to bring impactful litigation, including class actions, with the goal of addressing economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. And after this year, I’ll be clerking–working for a judge–on a federal court of appeals.

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for law school?

I wouldn’t have gotten into Yale Law School without the individualized attention from L&C’s small classes and dedicated professors. I felt like my professors, especially in the Chinese and International Affairs departments, really knew me, cared about me, and ensured I got the opportunities to excel. They gave me the advice to go to law school, invited me to co-author papers about international law, and to translate works of scholarship—basically an early introduction to all the benefits of a great law school, but earlier in my career and at a smaller scale.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

I learned so much from all my creative, cool, quirky classmates. Watching them and their careers have shown me that there’s so many ways to be successful and make a great life for yourself after college. I have friends from L&C who are lawyers, academics, artists, start-up founders, outdoor adventurers, creators, and writers. I never would have met them if L&C hadn’t brought us together.

Why did you major in International Affairs?

I loved the interdisciplinary focus of the IA major: it allows you to study history, economics, political science, language, sociology. The major gave me such great tools for engaging with the complex social issues I deal with every day in my work in the legal and policy fields.

If applicable, why did you minor in Chinese Studies and French Studies?

L&C has an amazing language department (I learned so much from Keith Dede and Liu Meiru in Chinese Studies and Isabelle DeMarte in French Studies)! The professors made language so fun and engaging, and I got to study abroad in both Beijing and Senegal to finish up my minors. If I could, I’d go back and take those classes all over again.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I love that there’s a community of L&C alums across the country. I spent one law school summer in the Bay Area with so many of my college friends, and I also regularly see folks who are in New York City.

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

Elizabeth Bennett’s International Political Economy course and Kyle Lascurette’s Theories of International Affairs courses, for me, represent the best that the IA department has to offer. They were as challenging, engaging, interesting, and eye-opening as any course I took in law school. I still can’t believe I go to take such incredible classes as an undergrad!

Where did you find your community on campus?

My best friends from L&C are still my freshman year Copeland quad roomies (and everyone I met through them)!