Exploring Opportunities – C. Robert “Bob” Zelinger ‘77

Exploring Opportunities – C. Robert “Bob” Zelinger ‘77

Interviewed by Sophia Gourley ’18

 

SG: What have you done since graduating from Trinity?

 

CRZ: I explored different careers prior to going to law school so, although I graduated from Trinity in 1977, I didn’t graduate from law school until 1985. I did some health care work where I operated a poverty health care clinic. From there, I did some public relations and advertising work, and after that, I did some lobbying in Washington and Hartford. During my third job as a lobbyist, I decided to go to law school at night. I went to law school in the evenings from 1981 to 1985 and graduated with no intention of practicing law. I was going to go back to lobbying and government relations. A friend who was a practicing attorney suggested I go into practice, because, while one can always go back to lobbying, it’s hard to find work with a law firm if you’ve embarked on a different career path. I gave it a try, and I’ve been practicing business law now for more than 30 years.

 

SG: Would you recommend taking a few years to get work experience before going to law school?

 

CRZ: I would, unless you know for sure that’s what you want to do. In general, though, I would suggest taking a few years to work and explore different things before you commit to law school.

 

SG: Is there anything you learned at Trinity that has been helpful in your career?

 

CRZ: Trinity gave me a solid foundation: critical analysis, writing skills, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to express myself both in writing and orally. Those skills have been essential throughout my career. And the discipline of getting work done, being on schedule, and making sure that you fulfill all your responsibilities has certainly made a difference for me in the working world.

 

SG: What kind of things were you involved in at Trinity?

 

CRZ: At Trinity, I was involved with the Tripod and student government, and I was in Hillel. I was also a Presidents Fellow in Political Science.

 

SG: Do you have any hobbies?

 

CRZ: Now that I am getting older, I’m traveling more and I still do a lot of hiking and biking when the weather gets warmer.