Skip to main content

Discovery with Paul Southwick

The litigator talks Judge Darleen Ortega, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and which politician he can imitate

Published in 2016 Oregon Super Lawyers magazine

If you were in my office, you’d … see a photo of me on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … I was home-schooled. 

When I was a newbie lawyer I … wore another associate’s suit to an unexpected hearing because I didn’t have one in the office. 

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … creativity.

My career high point has been … representing transgender students in discrimination cases. 

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a speech and debate coach. 

I almost quit the law because … I didn’t fit into a corporate environment. 

The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … Sonia Sotomayor, because she overcame barriers of gender, ethnicity and economic status to become the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The SCOTUS decision I’d overturn is … Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014).

The last TV show I binge-watched was … House of Cards.

My favorite Twitter feed is … @chrisgeidner, legal editor of BuzzFeed.

I can’t believe more people haven’t read … Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The toll that racism takes on black bodies is more intimate and profound than what we see from a 30-second YouTube video.  

I can do a pretty good impersonation of … Francis Underwood.

My fictional hero is … not Francis Underwood. 

My real life hero is … Judge Darleen Ortega. She speaks truth to power and inspires the powerless with the truth. 

On weekends I …  go hiking, camping, snowshoeing. 

My favorite hike is … Jefferson Park via Park Ridge (Mount Jefferson).

My most bizarre talent is … backflips. I was a gymnast as a child. 

The talent I wish I had is … singing. 

The craziest thing I witnessed in a courtroom is … someone singing from the witness stand. 

My earliest memory is … waiting to see my little sister for the first time. 

The three people I’d invite to dinner are … Cheryl Strayed, Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Franco.

Nothing cheers me up like … a meatball Parmigiano hero at Bunk Bar. 

My guilty pleasure is … dipping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a glass of cold milk.

Other Featured Articles

'The Legacy We Leave'

IP attorney Julia Markley on Portland creativity and the two affinity Bars she helped found Featuring Julia E. Markley

No Summit is Guaranteed

Joseph Chairez’s pro bono work has helped immigrants, at-risk kids and Sherpas Featuring Joseph L. Chairez

A Desire to Serve

Brian Newby has worked in the governor’s office, spent three decades at his law firm, and retired from the Air Force with two stars

View More Articles Featuring Lawyers »

Page Generated: 0.12157201766968 sec