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Patrick Baker: President of the Student Bar Association at Appalachian School of Law, Grundy, VA [By Rebecca Unzicker] A published author, avid fly-fisherman, and full-time third-year law student, Patrick Baker says fly fishing and law school are similar in that both pursuits require meticulous preparation and a certain amount of repetition. A fly-fisherman repeats the same activity until hooking and landing the fish. Every week law students repeat the same activities until they do well on exams and eventually pass the bar exam. “There is, however, one huge difference,” Baker

here at ASL. I have really enjoyed serving the

said. “Law school is not relaxing, and while

students and the institution as a senator and

fly-fishing has put years onto my life, law school

as a president,” Baker said.

has shaved off any type of balance in the black.” After teaching high school for six years, Patrick’s fascination for history and economics led him to pursue a J.D. degree. With many ties to the state of Virginia, Baker decided on the Appalachian School of Law (ASL) due to the offer of a full scholarship and the small school’s sense of community. With only 350 students, the community is very tight-knit and the faculty remains accessible. Additionally, the school’s strong internship program allowing students to intern at government offices throughout the country was a strong selling point. After completing his first year at Appalachian, Baker interned for The Honorable Elizabeth A. McClanahan, Court of Appeals of Virginia, developing a valuable relationship with McClanahan as his mentor. “I had an unbelievable experience,” Baker said of the internship. “I would highly recommend that every law student spend a summer while in law school interning.” “While still in my legal infancy, I already see the importance and benefits of having a mentor/mentee relationship. Judge McClanahan has been able to provide me insight, advice, and a sounding board for my concerns and questions.” Currently serving as President of the Student Bar Association (SBA), Baker believes involvement in student associations is an additional component of the education process. “Being a part of the SBA has been a very educational as well as a humbling experience PAGE 

“The benefits are huge,” he added. “The practice of law is premised on our ability to solve problems. As a student organization leader, you encounter problems on a regular basis. Thus, it forces you to put to work the skills you have learned in law school and better prepares you for the practice of law.” Baker is not all work and no play. In fact, he enjoys outdoor sports to a degree that has

Baker is also fond of football, having been the youngest head football coach in Kentucky High School Football History. When he was hired as head coach in 1998, he was 22 years and three months of age.

earned him the reputation of being somewhat

Planning a future as a litigator, Baker

of an expert in many of them. First published

will work in the fields of employment law,

during his first year in law school, Baker

worker’s compensation, and property law

has written articles on duck hunting, grouse

issues after graduation. A member of the

hunting, and a review of shotguns, among other

Energy and Mineral Association in Kentucky,

topics, articles he refers to as “part fact, part

he is also interested in the field of energy law.

fiction, largely embellished.” Baker’s seventh article will be published this summer, and he has several projects in the planning stages. Q. What do you do for fun? A. I am an avid fly-fisherman, bird hunter, and I have also been published (i.e., I like to write) numerous times in the Virginia Sportsman Magazine ( Q. What CD is in your CD player right now? A. I don’t own a CD player, I bought my 2001 Jeep Cherokee off Ebay and it only had a tape player. So for the most part I listen to the radio.

“Energy law transcends every type of law, whatever you’re doing,” Baker said. “It’s pretty exciting.” Citing his father as his role model, Baker said his father taught him the value of integrity, honesty, fairness, and hard work. “He instilled those qualities in me, and they have served me well,” Baker said. “In a world of hypocrites, he is a breath of fresh air.” ON THE NET Appalachian School of Law

Q. What is the last magazine you read? A. Ducks Unlimited

Q. What is your favorite TV show? A. The Office.

Q. Who is your role model? A. Ronald G. Baker (my father).

Student Bar Association

The Court of Appeals of Virginia

Patrick Baker: President of the Student Bar Association at Appalachian School of Law, Grundy, VA