As an avid fly fisherman, I’ve traveled the Pacific Northwest and Montana in the pursuit of trout and steelhead. My lab, Harper, and daughter Madison normally accompany me now and we may be the craziest trio out on the river! Most of my outdoor adventures revolve around hiking a fly rod to remote streams or gliding my drift boat into the river to float.
On a professional note, in Montana, I worked for The University of Montana as a student advisor while I worked on my Master’s degree. After graduation I went to Montana’s state Capitol, Helena, and worked for the Montana Department of Justice. There, I worked on federal grant research and writing and administering subsequent research and data enhancement projects.
I came to Lewis and Clark Law School to engage in a rigorous and renowned legal education while still being able to enjoy the great outdoors. The match has been great for me because I can study the law while getting the chance to get outside and explore Oregon. On campus, I’m involved in the Business Law Society as the Vice President, the Student Bar Association on the Alumni Association Committee, and the admissions outreach program.
When I’m out there casting, the only thing that matters is that two feet of water where my fly floats and the upcoming strike. It allows me to hone a skill while relaxing and focusing on a single task. Law school pulls you in every direction and fly fishing brings me back to the basics! I have a young daughter who I take hiking and care for as my wife works the night shift at a local hospital and sleeps during the day. Teaching her and experiencing the world through her eyes has been absolutely astonishing and we do everything together. You can find me in local parks, hiking trails, and down town Lake Oswego chasing after a happy toddler!
My favorite class was Torts. Professor Jim Oleske is excellent and makes the law accessible while masterfully using the Socratic Method for an efficient class. He’s entertaining as well so it made the longer class fly by! Plus, the subject matter has interesting cases that allow you to absorb the law much easier because you can place yourself into the real stories of the people impacted by personal injury and liability.
Why law school?
I was sitting in a cubicle working for the State of Montana and I realized I wanted more out of my career. State government work is noble work, but I wanted to be challenged every day and to be an active problem solver with the ability to execute on my instincts quickly.
Why Lewis & Clark?
I chose to attend Lewis and Clark because its location and great Environmental Law program.
Advice to admitted students?
Go to the school that feels like home and where you want to practice law. Law school is challenging, fun, discouraging, inspiring, and enlightening. Every week brings new work and it builds until the crescendo abruptly ends with your last final. You’ll want to be in an area that you can enjoy outside of school so that you can return to your studies refreshed and revitalized to tackle all the daily tasks!
If you are thinking about going to law school and you know what you want to do after, do it. It is a phenomenal life-changing experience and the education changes the way you see the world. Everything is dictated by the law and you’ll start seeing it everywhere you go. The skills you develop will make you a skilled critical thinker and problem solver, which are valuable attributes for any field.
Hardest thing about adjusting to law school
It was hard going back into a classroom after working for seven years. I am a hands-on learner and law school really is a lecture style learning experience. You only apply the law in a few classes where the professors provide hypotheticals as part of your learning. Outside of that, you do not do that until it’s time for finals at the semester!