The law firm of Kell, Alterman, and Runstein, L.L.P., recently announced that the firm has hired former state representative Julie Parrish as an associate attorney to help expand the firm’s practice expertise in the areas of Health, Government, Elections, Civil Rights, and Constitutional law, as well as business litigation and transactions.
Parrish, a former four-term Oregon lawmaker, recently graduated from Willamette University College of Law and was admitted to the Oregon Bar on October 5th, 2023. In addition to her Juris Doctorate degree, Parrish earned area of legal concentration certificates in Health Law and Government Law, and was awarded the Roy Lockenour Award for Professional Responsibility.
“We are excited to welcome Julie into the firm,” stated Tom Rask, the firm’s managing partner. “For nearly 100 years, Kell, Alterman and Runstein has retained some of the brightest minds in the legal profession to serve the legal needs of our clients. We’ve been able to serve people across areas like business and corporate law, commercial and personal litigation, family law, and tax and estate planning. Bringing in Julie’s passion for government accountability, fixing our health care system, and fair elections will allow us to expand the firm’s ability to help people when they come to us with problems and concerns.”
Rask further explained that Parrish’s deep understanding of the legislative process, her ability to get legislation passed, and her knowledge of how state agencies work bring a unique skill set to help clients when their legal needs are rooted in statutory or regulatory matters.
Though Parrish had always wanted to go to law school, it wasn’t until after serving in the legislature and after the passing of one of her mentors, the late Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, a trial attorney, that she found the right time to pursue a lifelong goal.
“When Dennis Richardson died, I realized we’d lost a really great legal mind who believed that the law was a social equalizer, someone who understood the law should work fairly for everyone,” Parrish said. “I recognized that though I had passed really important legislation during my time in Salem, some of the biggest challenges I couldn’t get resolved in the legislature – like improving our public education system – could be accomplished in a court room. And after writing laws for eight years, it made sense to go practice law.”
As Parrish works to build legal practice areas with Kell, Alterman, and Runstein, she will continue to provide policy support to Senator Cedric Hayden (R-Fall Creek) and be involved in ballot measure work and political consulting, including working for measures to let voters vote on freeway tolls (Initiative Petition 4) and helping bring down the high cost of property taxes for seniors.
“As this new opportunity unfolds, I’m grateful that I can still keep a foot in both the legislative and political arenas to support good candidates and ideas to help make Oregon a better place while working to build a law practice that extends those efforts into a courtroom,” said Parrish. “The ability to practice law is a new tool in the toolbox, and I’m excited to get started using it to make a difference in my community.”