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Douglas Lee Ropel

Douglas Lee Ropel

Associate Attorney, Littler Mendelson, PC
B.A., Chapman University, Criminal Justice
J.D., McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
Year Graduated: 2014


Since 2000, Douglas has served in the U.S. Air Force in both active duty and reserves capacity as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician. "It has been an incredibly rewarding career and I love being able to throw on the uniform one weekend a month and work alongside America's finest."

For Douglas, obtaining a law degree and becoming a lawyer was the most logical way to build upon his military experiences and maximize his undergraduate degree. He is the type of person that questions institutions and has always been eager to advocate on behalf of others.

Additionally, he was looking for opportunities to utilize the GI Bill benefits that he had earned on active duty in the Air Force. In researching different law schools, he discovered that McGeorge participated in the Yellow Ribbon program, which essentially covers all law school tuition in conjunction with the GI Bill. He felt the existence of this program demonstrated McGeorge's commitment to veterans and it made his decision to enroll at McGeorge a "no-brainer."

To Douglas, McGeorge prepares its students for a career in many ways. "First, the curriculum is rigorous and there are a wealth of classes available so students can get a good legal foundation regardless of what field of law they ultimately decide to choose. Second, the multi-year legal writing classes introduce students to the various types of writing that are virtually universal in the legal world. Lastly, McGeorge is well connected and places students in a wide variety of internships, externships, and workshops where students put their skills to work and get the added benefit of great networking."

After graduating from McGeorge and passing the bar, he began working as an associate at a Sacramento firm specializing in litigation. After getting some experience in a wide variety of litigation contexts, he transitioned over to an international firm dedicated to labor and employment law.

As an attorney, Douglas enjoys assisting employers, with litigation matters relating to their employees. "Employment cases often involve allegations that can be very disruptive to the organization and detrimental to the employees targeted by the plaintiff in the case. I cannot overstate the satisfaction that comes with resolving a case in a way that minimizes the harmful impact of this type of litigation."

Douglas has advice for those law students who have come from a military background like him. "Simply continue to utilize the dedication and discipline that led you to success in the military. You will find these attributes will come in handy in school and are also highly valued by employers once you graduate." He also recommends joining the McGeorge Military Law Society for both the camaraderie and a continued connection to military life.

"McGeorge's veteran alums have maximized the extraordinary access the school's connection to the capital provides in shaping policy and politics. My veteran classmates have embarked on careers in water law with government agencies, gone into the JAG corps, and judicial clerkships. One of my veteran classmates was personally involved in crafting several laws, including the revenge-porn statute, and guiding those laws through the legislative process and into the code."

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Veterans: Is Law School Next?

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