Rick Grisel ’14

Attorney-Advisor, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Agriculture

My longstanding vision has been to support and advance some of our most fundamental shared values in the public interest, including natural resource enhancement and aiding society’s most vulnerable. I am fortunate to work on behalf of clients whose programs directly touch large swaths of the public everyday in frequently profound, life-changing ways, like USDA’s rural development and school meals, SNAP, and WIC programs.

The connection between one’s vision and work isn’t always obvious or immediate. As such, I encourage students and practitioners alike to embrace the “everyday”—what one may deem minutiae (client calls, tracking caselaw, transactional reviews, etc.) is all significant, comprising the bedrock client service component that helps empower success in vital missions. And I recommend remaining genuinely open to the fullest variety of career options—you may be surprised at the environments and ways in which you can pursue your values and goals in a deeply meaningful practice. When client service and social benefit goals align, something very special can happen.

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