First Year Law Student Robert Parker Will Practice Law in the Portland, Oregon Area
by Amie Peterson
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Robert Parker is a first year law student at the Lewis & Clark College of Law and anticipates a May 2017 graduation. Although he has several areas of interest, Robert is inclined to be a general practitioner with a particular interest in soft IP and constitutional law.
Robert grew up in an area that was on the edge of town when he was small and downtown by the time he left for college. He was an only child until his parents took in the son of a Polish immigrant friend, who quickly became his brother. He is now the proud father of a young daughter. He is grateful for his parents who have inspired him to succeed in life and hopes to do the same for his daughter.
Robert received his B.A. in English with a Linguistics emphasis from Boise State University in 2002.He graduated cum laude and was a member of the International Students Association and AmeriCorps Migrant Education Program.
Robert currently a member of the Intellectual Property Students Organization, the American Constitutional Society, and the Secular Legal Society. He is also volunteering for Oregon Trial Advocacy College and Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Clinic.
He has also volunteered with the AFS Intercultural Exchange as a mentor to exchange student and support for volunteers, AmeriCorps as a tutor for migrant students, New Moon Productions as an advisor for a children's theater program, Hands On Portland doing manual work for nonprofits, CFI Portland as chairman of events.
When asked about his hobbies and personal interests, he said, "I love writing and I'm a huge fan of music and songwriting. I've also spent many years in theatre and hope I'll have the chance again someday."
Robert's Academic Law Career and Future Aspirations
Why did Robert go into the law? "I have a great appreciation for people with a sense of conviction and justice, but I am turned off by disingenuousness and hidden agendas. I am attracted to the no-nonsense approach to justice in law."
He discussed his aims and aspirations. "I am of the belief that the legal profession is going to shift from lawyers in big offices just handling case law to more of an advisor or consultant career, being more involved in other aspects of their clients' lives and work. I hope to be at the forefront of that shift."
Robert also discussed his key strengths and skills that he would like to use to advance his career goals. "I am quick on my feet and I have always had an ability to look at things in their totality, not just from my personal perspective. That has always made it difficult for me to be an "activist" or "political" because I am always inclined to sympathize with both sides."
What are his key accomplishments? "For as early as I am in the law school experience, I am proud of how well I have been able to get my name out. Portland is a small legal community and it's important for lawyers to be a part of it. I also love writing and I have managed to find time to continue writing. I have self-published a couple of novels under the name R. Bonwell Parker."
Family Matters, Travel, and Legal Role Models
What is his top priority outside of work?
"Outside of work my top priority is to spend time with my family. I am a parent, which means I have the added challenge of balancing a legal career with being part of a young family. I have found that finding a happy medium is key to happiness"
Does he have legal role models? Robert acknowledged:
"I have a great deal of respect for the Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Kagan. Both are unafraid to give a hard look at the law and aren't afraid of making changes, but they never do so out of personal interest and will often even rule against their own beliefs if they feel that's what justice demands."
What are Robert's most influential traveling experiences?
"My most influential travel experience was as an exchange student to Russia, and in fact it's the subjects of one of my books. Within the United States, I made it a goal of mine to hit 40 states by my 30th birthday… I made it to 38, and was amazed by what an amazing amount of diversity one can find without ever leaving our borders."
Robert's favorite quote is by Steve Martin:"It's easy to be great. What's hard is being consistently good."
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