For Charles Fairchild, adding some fun to challenging situations isn't just a way to survive - it's a way to thrive. The third-year evening student studied nonstop during his first semester at Southwestern and wound up stressed out and sick during his exams. "After that, I decided to enjoy law school," he said. He became more involved in the Southwestern community, joining both the Business and Tax Law Societies. "Apparently, I had to have a good time because the more fun I had, the better my grades got." During summer school, the Washington D.C. native also made sure he got to the beach every weekend, an exercise in relaxation that gave him his highest grades; he even earned a position on the Law Review. And along with teammate John Greenwall, Fairchild won Second Place in the J.D. Division at the ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge in January.
Prior to law school, Fairchild worked for ten years in sales and marketing positions, including stints as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley and a sales account executive for Oil Price Information Services. Since 2002, he has served as a regional liaison at the American Arbitration Association (AAA), where he sets up seminars and programs for law firms to learn the ins and outs of the arbitration process and for businesses to teach their employees more about arbitration. It was through the AAA that he met Professor Robert Lutz.
When he decided to pursue a law degree, Fairchild's familiarity with Southwestern through Professor Lutz and SCALE alumna Carolyn Childers '94 (who successfully represented him in a legal matter) made the law school a top choice for him. "My classroom focus has been tax and I am passionate about civil rights," said Fairchild, who is not quite sure how he plans to use his law degree. "I'm looking forward to whatever I'm doing but I CAN wait for school to be over, because I'm having a blast."
When he's not working, studying, editing for Law Review or preparing for competition, Fairchild serves on the board of the Guild Opera Company, providing marketing and membership recruitment and tracking for the nonprofit, which presents abridged opera performances to children throughout Southern California.