Careers

Taxi Gig Drives Cabbie, 59, to Law School


Driving a taxi is what put a 59-year-old Hawaii man on the road to law school.

John Parker often picked up fares at the police station, and drove people home who had just bailed out of jail, reports the Honolulu Advertiser. Along the way, many told him their problems, and he not infrequently offered advice. That awakened his interest in being a lawyer. “It would be fascinating to be entrusted with someone else’s problems,” he says, “even though I was just a driver.”

Although he enjoyed the excitement of driving a cab, he had been robbed three times and was trying to figure out a “retirement program” to follow his 25-year career as a taxi driver, he says. But, as a long-ago college dropout, he figured it was too late for him to go back to school and start anew as a freshman. A fortuitous fare, however, made him aware that he could actually start again where he left off, 80 credits into his program at the University of Hawaii.

Now he is about to graduate from the university’s law school and pursue a career in criminal law.

“Having a law career at age 60, although I am not going to make partner at a top local firm, I can still be relevant,” he explains. “I can say: ‘I did something today, and maybe I made a little bit of a difference.’

“That feeling is really important.”

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