An Advocate for Education
Ronald J. Knox JD’81 wanted to change the way educational systems provide access to diverse groups in the United States and hoped to do that through a career in education. However, he soon realized that the opportunity to bring about change in the educational system would be much broader as a lawyer than as an educational administrator.
“In addition to affecting educational services to students, I could work with labor, employment, business and public policy issues in an effort to bring improvements to the system as a whole,” said Knox, who regularly writes and speaks on employment issues and is active in a number of professional and community organizations.
After earning his law degree from Willamette, Knox worked on educational issues at Paulus and Callaghan, a firm representing a number of school districts in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Throughout his career, he has continued his involvement in education. “With the skills I acquired at Willamette, I have had the opportunity to advise school superintendents, college presidents and local administrators on a wide variety of educational issues,” he said. “I like to think I have helped shape the way students are taught and institutions are run.”
Knox also worked with the National Labor Relations Board, where he narrowed his practice to focus on labor and employment law. Today, as attorney and partner in Garvey, Schubert & Barer in Seattle, he addresses civil rights, discrimination, immigration and sexual harassment issues in the workplace. He credits Willamette with providing the flexibility and support he needed to pursue his particular interests.
“At Willamette, I was guided by experienced, enthusiastic professors who were interested in furthering the highest ideals of the profession,” he said. “They challenged students to use the law as a tool in furthering the causes of justice, fairness and equality.”
Ronald J. Knox JD’81
“At Willamette, I was guided by experienced, enthusiastic professors who were interested in furthering the highest ideals of the profession.”