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James Randolph Farris III is a third year law student at Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, and anticipates a May 2014 graduation. Although James has several areas of interest including antitrust, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and civil litigation, he plans on practicing intellectual property and corporate law in Texas, Georgia, or the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He is actively enrolled in a Parole and Re-entry Clinic with eight other students at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. This is the first time the law school has offered this program. James is currently studying for the Patent Bar Exam in order to gain admission to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). After graduation, he plans to take the Texas Bar Exam and then waive into DC.
He was born and raised in Dallas, TX. James grew up as an only child. He stated, "My mother is an attorney who owns and operates her own law firm which specializes in criminal appeals. My father is a physician who works as a Consortium Administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)."
In 2006, James graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Saint Louis University, where he was the recipient of the Ernest A. Calloway Scholarship. While studying at Saint Louis University, he was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was championed the winner of the Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Competition.
James is currently a member of the Black Law Student Association, Intellectual Property Law Student Association, and a member of the Academics Committee for the Student Bar Association at LSU's Paul M. Hebert Law Center. In August 2013, he participated in the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). James' dissertation Hydraulic Fracking and Trade Secrets: Can they peacefully co-exist? will be featured in the 2014 issue of the Louisiana Energy Journal.
Prior to attending law school, he earned his M.B.A. in Finance from Texas Southern University while working as a legal assistant in the property tax litigation department for Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP. Since he has been in law school, James has interned as a legal assistant/case manager for a plaintiff's personal injury firm based in Houston, TX. After completion of his first year of law school, he earned a fellowship in Orlando with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he researched hydraulic fracturing and patent technology. James also researched trade secrets involving hydraulic fracturing. In the summer of 2013, he visited Georgetown University Law Center where he undertook courses in international law.
He is currently a member of the National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA) and is a law student member of the National Bar Association. He is also a Texas Certified Mediator and has been court appointed to mediate over a dozen cases for Harris County in Houston, Texas.
When the Saint Louis University alumnus isn't studying, James enjoys golf, basketball, watching sports, and traveling. His favorite book is W.E.B. DuBois' The Talented Tenth. James is a frequent visitor of Houston.
James' Academic Law Career and Future Aspirations
Why did James go into the law? "I believe a legal education is the most liberal form of education you can acquire. It teaches you how to both read and think critically. It provides people with the versatility to engage in a variety of different facets such as business, science, finance, and legislation."
He shared his aims and aspirations. "Eventually, I would like to become a Judge, preferably a Federal Judge."
When asked about his key accomplishments, James noted two things: "I am a 4th generation member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (1st African American collegiate fraternity): Virtually every prominent African American man that has shaped the U.S. has been a member, which includes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and Fredrick Douglass. Additionally, I am proud of achieving the Dean's list during my first year of law school. It gave me confidence going forward into my remaining law school career."
He discussed his key strengths and skills that he would like to use to advance his career goals. "I am a very thorough and meticulous person. I'd rather be proactive than wait for a problem to arise. I was a boy scout so 'I'm always prepared.' I am not a procrastinator."
Since law school can be hectic at times, James pointed out how he relieves stress. "I workout at the Gym."
Many readers are probably wondering how he handles new assignments. The third year law student shared his process: "I tackle them immediately, it excites me."
Where does James derive his confidence? "From my family."
Coping with Fear, Top Priority and Most Influential Traveling Experience
How does James deal with fear? "Fear of failure drives me to succeed."
What's his top priority outside of work? "To stay healthy and eventually get married and raise a family."
James has traveled to Spain, Portugal, England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Monte Carlo, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Does he have a most influential traveling experience? James said the city of Pompeii was one of his most influential traveling experiences. The city is an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the commune of Pompeii. In 79 A.D., Pompeii, Herculaneum, and several villas in the surrounding area, was devastated and buried under 13 to 20 feet of pumice and ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii has been a tourist destination for more than two hundred and fifty years. The city is one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions, appealing to approximately two and half million visitors each year. James also enjoyed Rome's Colosseum. "It was an eerie and breathtaking site."
Legal Role Models, Personal Philosophy, People You Want to Surround Yourself With and Favorite Quote
Does James have any legal role models? "My beloved aunt, Charlye Ola Farris. She was the first African American female licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. Moreover, she was also the first African American selected to occupy a bench as a judge since Reconstruction."
What is his personal philosophy? "Carpe Diem."
The future attorney talked about what he believes holds more truth in light of his personal philosophy. Was it fate or choice? "I believe that 'Luck is the residue of design.' People who have achieved success are people who have engineered/designed a platform to allow themselves to be the beneficiaries of their own work product."
What kind of situations and people is James attracted to? What kind of situations and people does the law student avoid? "I am attracted to progressive people and organizations." As for situations and people to avoid, he asserted, "I stay away from negative people and those who are complacent."
James' favorite quote is by Fredrick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there can be no progress."
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