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I never wanted to be a lawyer.

My professional aspiration was to be a scholar and teacher. So, soon after I was graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988, I enrolled in a graduate program in political philosophy at the University of Chicago. For my master’s degree, I studied international politics and for my doctorate, ancient Greek philosophy. I was blessed, as I was finishing my dissertation, to be awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in the government department of Dartmouth College.

Life interrupted. While still in Chicago my wife gave birth to Gabriel, our second son. Unlike our first son’s birth, Gabriel’s delivery nearly killed my wife and son. Both survived, but, due to a placental abruption, Gabriel was asphyxiated, an oxygen deprivation resulting in severe cerebral palsy.

We didn’t fully understand the scope of his disability when our small family moved into a manufactured home in Hanover. What became clear, though, was that my continued pursuit, at that time, of a professorship would inflict a huge cost on Gabriel. He needed stability; a young academic must move yearly, until a tenure-track opening emerged. We decided that I should pursue a law degree in Charlottesville, Virginia, a very family-friend community. So friendly was it that we welcomed another boy into our lives.

Studying the law turned out to be a wise move: I was awarded a year-long clerkship with an exceedingly prominent federal appeals-court judge in Texas and settled thereafter into a position as an associate attorney at white-shoe firm in Boston. After spending three years learning the trade, opportunities to teach opened up. For the next decade I taught the law to students at George Mason University and the University of Florida and philosophy to undergraduates at St. John’s University.

Even as I traveled up and down the eastern seaboard for work, my family remained in southern New Hampshire, where the schools and institutions of our town (Hollis) and state provided excellent support not only for Gabriel, but for his brothers, too. The Boy Scouts made it possible for Gabriel to do such unlikely things as go hiking; the schools supported his interest in basketball; and organizations like the New England Healing Sports Association helped him learn to ski. Scattered on this page are a few snapshots of Gabriel and me at play.

Randall B Clark Attorney  with sonBut all good things must end. A tenure-track teaching position never materialized and Gabriel grew so large that I was needed at home, every day, to dress and tend him. So I stopped traveling and opened up a solo legal practice.

Being a county lawyer has had benefits, some anticipated, some not. The predicted: Until Gabriel’s death in 2023, I was able to be with him, a lot. I have had time to develop my skills as a poultry breeder, orchardist, and carpenter. And I have also been able to spend more time serving on Hollis’ agricultural commission, where we have worked to revive and protect our beautiful town’s farmland.

The unexpected: my moral maturation. Dealing with other people’s problems, day in, day out, has taught me to be more patient. I need to strive to meet my clients where they are. Because most are in great distress, they are incredibly anxious. I have been forced, thereby, to learn how to communicate complex ideas to and work closely with people who are not at their best.

I have also developed a deep gratitude for my blessed life. For a least a decade after Gabriel’s birth, I was a whiner. God hated me and my family, I said, to anybody who would listen. I now see, with great clarity, that few things are as they first appear, more particularly, that God’s providence can be found wherever I cast a second glance.

Randall B Clark Family

Bar Admissions

  • New Hampshire

  • Massachusetts

  • All federal courts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts


  • J.D., University of Virginia, School of Law, 2002

  • Ph.D. , University of Chicago, Division of Social Sciences, 1998

  • M.A. , University of Chicago, Division of Social Sciences, 1992

  • B.A. , University of Virginia, College of Arts and Sciences, 1988