The Human Side of the Law
When searching for a law school, Angel G. Lopez JD’78 made a conscious decision to move away from the crowds, smog and potential earthquakes of his native Los Angeles. He chose Willamette University College of Law because it was a small school in a mid-size community close to many outdoor activities. He has never regretted his decision.
“The education I got at Willamette made me very flexible in terms of a legal career,” he said. “When I got out of school, I knew the law. I was ready for just about anything the world could throw at me. Once I figured out what I wanted to do, I could set my sights on being the best in my field. Litigation and arguing in court is what turns me on, so I specialized in criminal defense.
“The summer of my second year, I clerked with a solo practitioner,” he continued. “That experience made law a three-dimensional reality instead of a two-dimensional process. It showed me the human aspect of the law — which is what I really love about it. The law is about leaving clients in a better situation than the one I found them in, about having a positive influence on their lives.”
The College of Law had another benefit for Lopez: He met his wife and law partner, Wendy Squires JD’79, in class at Willamette. The two worked together at the Community Law Office and later formed their own Portland-based practice, Squires & Lopez PC. Today, they have five associates working in their office.
Throughout the years, Lopez has retained close ties to the College of Law and Oregon’s legal community. He served on the Law Board of Visitors for five years and is past president of the Oregon State Bar. Obviously, leaving Los Angeles had its rewards.
Angel G. Lopez JD’78
“The education I got at Willamette made me very flexible in terms of a legal career. When I got out of school, I was ready for just about anything the world could throw at me.”