Wheeling attorney asks WVU students ‘What do you want to be?’

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — What do you want to be?  Attorney Ralph Baxter said that is the question all current college students will have to answer for themselves and no one else.

Ralph Baxter

“What kind of work?  What kind of career energizes them, makes them think that they would feel rewarded by doing it?  Then, go for that destination,” said Baxter.  “You can’t go someplace unless you decide where you’re going.”

Baxter was chairman and CEO of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliff, an international law firm based in San Francisco, from 1990 until March of this year 2013 and now holds those position in emeritus role.  He currently lives in Wheeling.

Baxter, who has been recognized as one of America’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers” by The National Law Journal, spoke at West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics in Morgantown Tuesday.

His presentation for students was part of the Distinguished Speaker Series and, throughout their future careers, Baxter said the business students will have to adopt a goal, believe in themselves and get outside of their comfort zones.

“I told them, at this stage of their lives, they need to look at the world believing that they can be anything they want to be and that that’s the mindset that will serve them best as they look forward, knowing that what we all would say we really want to be will be informed by our interests,” he said.

Baxter was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Earlier this year, Baxter had considered a possible run for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia, but opted to stay out of the race.  “My family and I have decided that this is not the right time for us to seek political office,” he said at that point.

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