After nearly 11 years of working at Texas Woman’s University, Legal Services Advisor Jerry Parr will be retiring.
Before working at TWU, Parr worked as a lawyer and noticed that the university did not have a Student Legal Services program, and decided to send a letter to former TWU President Ann Stuart in hopes of creating the program. Parr offered to work as the university’s legal service advisor as a way to make sure the program would not be a big budget item. By doing this, students had access to legal services, and in turn, Parr helped establish the position after talking with Student Life Vice President Dr. Monica Mendez-Grant.
“Dr. Grant and I had a series of meetings and told me when we first met that they were already looking into the possibility of adding this service,” Parr said. “So it was fortuitous that I had sent the letter and she took the input from me and got the position established, and I started as the first student legal service advisor.”
Parr received his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas when it was still known as North Texas State University.
“I’ve known and admired TWU for a long period of time,” Parr said. “One of the things that has really impressed me about TWU is the friendliness on the campus, the family atmosphere on the campus, the fact that faculty, staff and students all seem to get along so well and are interested in the success of each other.”
According to Parr, when he started his job as Legal Advisor at TWU, it was a big transition for him. During his first year, he had to ask people which conference room he would be working from while his files were being secured in the Student Life office.
“My first year was a little hectic, but I could tell even the first year that this was going to work out well,” Parr said.
According to Parr, he would describe working as the Legal Service Advisor at TWU as a great experience due to the students being receptive. When he gives them legal advice, he sees that they are being responsive and appreciative of the advice and information that he gives them.
“[My legal advice] will allow them to either try to fix the problems themselves or to hire an attorney,” Parr said. “In other words, make their decisions informatively because they’ve gotten the advice here without having to pay an attorney a lot of money to explain things to them.”
Before leaving TWU, Parr has one last message to the past students that he has worked with.
“With all the turnover, I’m not sure that students are going to remember me very long because these students who are here now we’re gonna move on to bigger and better things,” Parr said. “But I hope they remember me as a kind and thoughtful person who gave them good advice and was there to help them with their legal problems.”
Clarise Tujardon can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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