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Tackling Tough Issues

LaRue Robinson

By James Vescovi

Winter 2009

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LaRue Robinson ’09 always wanted to play professional football. However, as he approached his freshman year at Cornell, he says, “I realized there wasn’t much of a market for 160-pound NFL players.” Instead, he joined another group that demands dedication and discipline: ROTC. His decision was motivated by family tradition—his father, uncle, and grandfather all were in the military—as well as by the events of 9/11. 

“I also wanted to serve because, unlike in past eras, so few people with elite educations serve in the military today,” he adds. “This does a disservice to our country.”

Before graduating in 2006 with a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations, Robinson spent August of the previous year at the U.S. Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center in Alexandria, Virginia, where he witnessed how fallen soldiers are prepped for their funerals.

“It was a difficult experience,” he says. “But it was good to see first-hand the extent to which the Army takes care of its own and their families.”

After graduation this May, Robinson will be an associate at Mayer Brown in Chicago for a year before serving four years of mandatory active-duty service. He will be an officer in the JAG Corps, which, he says, has unique benefits for lawyers.

“You must successfully navigate the dual roles of being a soldier and an attorney,” he says. “The complexity of that task appeals to me.”


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