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Inside L&C Law

Victor Hugo Mercado

January 06, 2012

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My background:

I took a very long and scenic route to arrive at law school. I graduated from UCLA Film School having studied screenwriting as an undergrad. After that I returned to Nevada and did the starving artist thing for several years. While doing that I worked as a pipe fitter for a water infrastructure construction company, then an executive recruiter, and as a project manager for a small advertising agency in Reno, Nv doing web development and also public service documentaries that have aired in nine states and Mexico. I left my advertising job to work for the senior U.S. Senator from Nevada in his state office. It gave me the opportunity to work with the public, regulatory agencies and see how politics works. It inspired me to pursue a law degree and continue to be involved in public service and policy.

What do I do outside of law school:

I try to run fairly regularly. Me and some friends have done the 178 Mile Reno-Tahoe Odyssey for 4 years now and we’ll do it again next year. Running during school, along with biking, helps me release stress. And speaking of stress release, I’m a huge fan of trying out all the different breweries in the area. There is such a huge selection of quality beer in Portland it can be overwhelming. And lastly I try to stay creative. It can be difficult to get out to the movies as much as I would like, but I do like to draw, write and catch movies when I can.
Favorite class at L&C so far:

My favorite class so far has probably been legal elements as an introduction to law. Professor Jones was a fantastic professor and he made the whole course very engaging. Also while the pace of the class seemed a little slow at the time I came to greatly appreciate all that we learned once I got into the semester.

Why law school:
 In my time working in the community I met many attorneys that used their legal education to transition from the legal profession into other areas including politics, media and broadcast management, and work in higher education. I looked at several graduate programs including an MBA and found that few degrees offered the versatility that a J.D. did. Not only that, but with my interest in returning to politics and public service the education is a natural fit.

Why L&C:

I chose Lewis & Clark because of the schools strong public service and public interest programs. As a person who wants to go back into public service that was very important to me. Also when looking at the different regions of the country and the cities that I could live in I knew that Portland has a fantastic quality of life. I have not been disappointed.

My top 5 in Portland:
1) The people: People in Portland are disarmingly nice. Every experience I have, from my neighbors, to shopping, to meeting people in school. Its been quite refreshing.
2) The food and beer. John’s Market in Multnomah Village is a tiny store with over 1000 different beers. It left quite an impression on me. In addition to that the variety of food that is available is pretty astonishing. All you have to do is go downtown and look at all the different food carts to understand.
3) How active everyone is. Even on the rainiest day I see people jogging and commuting to work on their bikes. Its hard to not feel like a slacker if you don’t get off your butt occasionally and break a sweat.
4) The river and the bridges. I love to ride my bike across the bridges downtown and just stop to reflect on the river running through the city.
5) Local film and media events. I love the variety of movies offered by the Northwest Film Center and just the incredible variety available to watch throughout the city. I’m a huge film lover and there are few cities as wonderful as Portland for experiencing film.

And one other thing I’d like to share:

One of my favorite aspects of campus is the library. Its easy to romanticize the big stoic stone architecture of many older schools. And I must admit at first glance I dismissed the more modern architecture of the law library. However, after the first time I spent several hours in the library studying I realized that the gravitas of stone walls and classic architecture simply can’t match the beauty of the gorgeous trees in Tyron State Park that you can view in the library with its floor to ceiling windows. It provides a serenity that is hard to match.