I was wearing rubberized gardening gloves, holding a bucket and a broom and staring down at a used hypodermic needle on the pavement. This was just some of the garbage apparently left behind by someone the night before. I was fifteen years old and working, cleaning the parking lot at my dad's law office. I felt helpless. I didn't get it then.
I worked hard. I impressed the partners. By the age of seventeen, my dad's partners had asked him if I would like to graduate to hauling boxes of closed files back and forth between the office and storage. I was ecstatic. It was my first promotion. I was still unaware of what I was a part of.
After some more hard work, the partners asked me to cover the phone at lunches and help out with typing when I wasn't hauling. Shortly thereafter, again, I was asked to do more. I was asked to write medical summaries and transcribe documents. Unfortunately, though, I still didn't get it.
I didn't see the bigger picture framed around me.
Then, I went off to college and studied journalism. I liked to write. I liked the English language. I liked telling other people's stories and the interaction it took to discover those stories.
I found what I wanted, a field that allowed me to help people who are up against seemingly insurmountable odds – the law. It had been right in front of me the whole time.”
My grandfather was a lawyer, my uncle is a lawyer, my father is a lawyer and the law stretches back into our ancestry deeper than I know. My name, Bradley James Thayer, is, in part, a homage to the great Harvard law professor and legal scholar James Bradley Thayer. Naturally then, one would assume I was born to practice law. I believed it, but I didn't buy into it. I resisted. I didn't understand.
I registered to take the law school admission test (LSAT) in 2008 because I thought I had to. I thought it was my predetermined destiny. I was immature. I didn't want it. I didn't show up. I regret that to some degree, but I am thankful as well.
I am thankful that I waited to take the LSAT until I truly understood what my motivations were behind taking it and ultimately going to law school.
After college, I worked a couple of different jobs including one at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for teenage boys. At the facility, I found that I wanted to end up working in a field that allowed me to help people who are up against seemingly insurmountable odds. I wasn't sure how I could make that happen, though. I moved to Spain in 2009 to teach English for two years.
Upon returning to the United States I worked at the law office again for the summer of 2010. I'd been entrusted again to be more involved. This time more so with the legal aspect. Now I was photographing accident scenes, talking to lay witnesses, writing letters to insurance companies, and interacting with clients. I was using my journalism degree to really extract our clients' stories and put them on paper. I was the megaphone that would allow their voices to be heard. These were good individuals who otherwise didn't really stand much of a chance pitted against massive insurance companies.
This time I got it. I saw the bigger picture: The law is a vehicle to help people. I was no longer the 15-year-old boy staring helplessly at a used syringe wondering how to make it go away without touching it. Over time, I'd worked my way indoors and I found a means by which people can combat circumstances that make them feel helpless.
I found what I wanted, a field that allowed me to help people who are up against seemingly insurmountable odds – the law. It had been right in front of me the whole time. Before, I was on the outside looking in and too immature to understand what was right in front of me.
Over the last three years, since this realization, I studied hard. Now, I have a law degree from Willamette University College of Law. I worked for a law firm in Salem while I earned my degree and I spent one summer as a judicial extern for a federal court magistrate at the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. I recently took the Washington State bar examination. I will get my results from the Washington State Bar in September and shortly thereafter begin studying for the Oregon bar examination in the evenings and on weekends as my newest adventure begins.
Now, I am a part of the Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS family again, and I am sincerely looking forward to doing all that I can to continue its strong tradition of helping people in the greater Vancouver and Portland area.