City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris Swears in Son, Rutger Parris, to California State Bar
Last night’s Lancaster City Council Meeting was a memorable one, as Mayor R. Rex Parris conducted the swearing in of his son, Rutger Parris, into the California State Bar. Rutger, age 30, received notification last month that he had passed the California Bar Exam in July of this year and is now able to practice law throughout the State. Mayor Parris expressed his extreme pride and honor in being able to affirm Rutger’s Attorney Oath publicly – before the community in which they were both raised, currently reside, and continue to serve, both professionally and philanthropically.
“My heart is filled with tremendous joy, as I swear in and welcome my son, Rutger, into the distinguished role of being an officer of the court,” said Mayor Parris. “I am so proud of his hard work and all he has accomplished to reach this point in his life. Our family is excited and eager to watch this young man develop his career and demonstrate the care and commitment necessary to becoming a reputable attorney and contribution to his community.”
Rutger Parris graduated from Lancaster’s Desert Christian High School in 2006. He received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2011. In 2016, Rutger earned his law degree from the Pepperdine School of Law, which is home to the Parris Institute for Professional Formation.
In 2014, Mayor Parris and his wife Carrol gifted $1 million dollars of their private funds to the Pepperdine School of Law toward the establishment of the Parris Institute for Professional Formation. The mission of the Parris Institute is to prepare students for a rapidly changing legal environment and challenge them to emerge as leaders in the professional world. Dedicated to engaging first-year law students, the Parris Institute provides continual mentoring throughout the students' law school careers, incorporating a focus on health, personal goals, and ethics.
In addition, through the annual Parris Awards, students are incentivized to perform at the highest level, grow as students, and graduate "practice-ready." Celebrated each Spring, the Parris Awards honor those who exhibit the highest order of the pillars of professionalism. Awards presented include:
- Excellence in Professionalism
- Excellence in Service
- Excellence in Peacemaking
- Excellence in Courage
- Excellence in Leadership
- Excellence in Character
- The Pepperdine Award
“Carrol and I know how imperative it is to reinforce these pillars in young people, especially those who are expecting to spend their careers in law, where representing others can sometimes challenge one’s ethical foundation,” said Mayor Parris. “We raised our children and work to instill in our grandchildren a strong sense of service, paired with responsible leadership. Everything we have achieved as a family has relied on the same principles we celebrate through the Parris Institute. Our successes directly reflect how powerful these key elements are in shaping the future of an individual, an organization, and even a city. My son’s achievement is proof that we are doing something right, and that our Institute will help other law students obtain their goals with a solid blueprint for navigating their careers and lives.”
Mayor Parris, who is one of Southern California’s most successful attorneys, as well as founder of the Lancaster-based PARRIS Law Firm, has the authority to swear in any new attorney to the California Bar per the State Bar of California Government Code 40603. As such, upon learning of Rutger’s exam results, he immediately chose to administer the oath requirement to his son in the public forum of the Lancaster City Council Meeting.
“This is not at all about me as a lawyer or a mayor,” Mayor Parris explained. “This is about me being a proud papa… and wanting to share this esteemed father/son moment with my community. What I want for Rutger is the same as what I would want for any child – to be successful in life, and to bring great joy and honor to their family and their community.”