My name is Sam Pope and here is my story…
After 15 months at Rizk Law, I know this work is the best way for me to use my skills to help those who need it most. My path to becoming a law clerk, and soon to be an attorney, was not a typical one, but in everything I have done, I always fought for the helpless and the downtrodden.
Fighting for the Underdogs
My first taste of helping others was in high school volunteering at the local animal shelter. I would always take the biggest, craziest, meanest looking dogs out—the ones that nobody wanted to walk. I can’t really say it was fun, many of them weren’t obedient, especially not at first. But it wasn’t about me. Every dog deserves to stretch their legs and run around, even the big mean ones.
Someone to Listen
In college, I studied philosophy, chemistry, and biochemistry, and I focused my final year of study on brain disorders. I volunteered with a hospice organization where I would visit a family once or twice a week for a few hours and sit with patients until they died. Sometimes I would stay with the same family for months. Other times they passed much sooner. Of course, it was upsetting, but it was incredibly fulfilling to get to know these people, their family, and their story, and really help them in their final days. I remember all of them, but the loss that hit me hardest was a 52-year-old man that had a brain-tumor. His two daughters were only a few years older than me.
After college, I took some time to work and figure out which path was right for me. I was torn between my strengths (writing and the humanities) and my passion (helping those that needed it most). I knew I wouldn’t be a good nurse or doctor, and as much as I loved chemistry, I didn’t want to spend my life in a lab. For two years I worked at a nonprofit helping people with learning disabilities, which was very fulfilling, but I soon learned that my future career had to involve writing in some way or another.
A Choice is Made
My English professors had suggested I go into journalism, but I knew that wasn’t right for me. I shadowed various professions and started observing a local courthouse (anyone can sit in and go watch). I realized that this was the kind of advocacy that I wanted to do—the perfect balance between writing, advocacy, and research while still getting to make a difference in people’s lives. I asked a local criminal defense attorney to write me a letter of recommendation and came to Portland where I just finished my second year of law school at Lewis & Clark.
One Last Year
This last year of law school is going to be tough—not because I don’t enjoy it, I truly do, but because I am ready to get into the courtroom! In the meantime, I will continue to work with this amazing team we have here to help our attorneys get you the best resolution possible! I am Sam Pope a Law Clerk at Rizklaw.