Discovery with Raquel A. Salas

The Wyoming attorney doesn’t need coffee to feel refreshed—just travel, laughter and ABBA

Published in 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers — September 2016

My nickname is … Rocky.

When I was a newbie lawyer I … wanted to be a judge.

The lawyer I most admire is … Andrea Bernard [of Warner Norcross & Judd].

My pre-trial routine is … meditation.

When I started, I wish I knew … how difficult it was to balance personal life with work and client needs. I honestly can’t recall a vacation without work.

My career high point (so far) has been … successfully representing a business owner who was placed in removal proceedings for a cocaine conviction that was over 13 years ago.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a travel planner and travel writer.

When I win a case, I celebrate with … pizza and a good sleep!

The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … Sonia Sotomayor. Her background, story and road to the Supreme Court fascinate me.

The SCOTUS decision I’d overturn is … Citizens United.

A different practice area that intrigues me is … insurance defense. I believe there is so much abuse of the process by certain plaintiffs in certain industries. Sadly, there is an expectation that if there is insurance involved, the insurance will pay, regardless of liability.

I can’t believe more people haven’t read … In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

I can do a pretty good impersonation of … Meryl Steep in Mamma Mia!

My fictional hero is … Iron Man. I am a big fan of Marvel and am always fascinated by smart, witty, brilliant people. Tony Stark has a myriad of flaws as well—arrogance, overconfidence, etc.—but the combination makes his character irresistible.

My real life hero is … Barack Obama.

On weekends I … train to hike Mount Kilimanjaro. I just came back from Peru after hiking the infamous Inca Trail for four long, long days. It’s part of a five-person expedition from Grand Rapids, including a fellow attorney from Rhoades McKee. 

My most bizarre talent is … I can work all night and I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks.

The most fascinating person I ever met is … Patch Adams. I met him in Puerto Rico for a presentation. I was fascinated about his efforts to bring humor to life situations. 

The craziest thing I witnessed in a courtroom is … when a defendant did an opening statement.

The movie line I quote most often is … “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” from Forrest Gump.

The three people I’d invite to dinner are … Pope Francis, Ellen DeGeneres and J.K. Rowling.

I wish I had invented … Facebook.

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