Professional Journey: Becoming a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
Smucker’s roots hold fast in the Midwest where he grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, the oldest of four brothers. He moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1973 to attend Reed College. Following graduation from Reed, Smucker worked as a trial assistant at the Metropolitan Public Defender’s office. The legal atmosphere was contagious and in 1978, he enrolled at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene.
Smucker worked a variety of jobs to help pay his way through law school. One year, he commuted to Portland in his 1966 TR4 to wait tables at the Old Spaghetti Factory. The next year, he earned a clerkship at the distinguished Portland law firm of Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue.
In his third year of law school, he was selected to serve on the editorial board of the Oregon Law Review.
In 1981, Smucker finished law school and passed the entrance exam for the Oregon State Bar, immediately accepting work as a trial attorney for Dunn Carney. As a young lawyer, he was involved in the representation of insurance companies, defending lawsuits, and gaining valuable experience and knowledge about insurance companies and the methods by which insurance companies approach lawsuits.
Smucker took a heart and soul detour away from his legal career in 1984 to join the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps Attorney Portland
He spent two years in rural Paraguay working as a beekeeper. He served as the village high school track coach and participated in a worldwide Polio inoculation campaign, traveling to remote villages by horseback to give babies vaccinations. To read more about his Peace Corps service, click here.