Alumni Profile: Ron Maroko ’86
For Ron Maroko, there is a simple reason he takes time away from his busy schedule as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as an alumni volunteer for UC Davis School of Law: "It's all about the people and the community," he said.
Maroko has volunteered for the Law School in a wide variety of ways, from being the class agent to publishing a newsletter for his Class of 1986, to developing a continuing education program for his class' 20th reunion, to serving on the King Hall Alumni Board, to his current work organizing alumni lunches in Los Angeles, a task he has undertaken each month for the past three years.
"I had really great classmates, and I always enjoy reconnecting with them," said Maroko. "My goal has been to find ways to help others reconnect with each other and the Law School. Our monthly events are a real joy to host and great opportunity for alumni and students in the Los Angeles area, and I would encourage alumni living in other cities where the Law School has a significant alumni presence to consider organizing similar events."
Maroko recognized there was something special about the King Hall community from his earliest days as a student. "During Intro Week, they took the time to explain how the members of the class were selected and to make sure we were aware of what a diverse group we were," Maroko recalled. "They really encouraged us to get to know one another. One of my fondest memories of law school came during my first year, when we had a chili cook-off, with members of the California Supreme Court acting as judges. I was standing side by side with my professor and classmates, making chili, and it really brought home the sense of community to me."
Maroko said he had "a really great experience" as a law student and especially enjoyed his classes with Professors Ed Rabin, Daniel Fessler, Richard Wydick, and Rex Perschbacher. "I have thanked Professor Perschbacher on more than one occasion for the foundation he taught me in his civil procedure class," said Maroko. "The way he laid things out was a big help to me when I started working."
Maroko came to King Hall with a Masters of Business Taxation degree from USC and passed the CPA exam while in law school. He started working for Arthur Andersen in the firm's tax department. He stayed there until 1989, when a desire to "get into the courtroom" led him to accept a position with the Department of Justice Office of the U.S. Trustee in Santa Ana. He subsequently transferred to the agency's Los Angeles office. Over the years, he has handled thousands of bankruptcy cases.
"I've done a variety of things in all chapters, but right now I'm working a lot of consumer cases involving attorneys and non-attorneys who have issues with their assistance to their clients," he said. "Los Angeles is one of the highest-filing districts in the country, and I think I've handled close to 2,000 chapter 11 cases, in addition to chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. It's always busy, and there's always something that can be done to assist the process."
Despite his busy schedule, Maroko has been volunteering for the School of Law for more than a decade.
"I went to one of our class reunions, and we didn't have a very large turnout, and I decided I wanted to do something to increase participation, so I started writing a class newsletter. Ultimately, I volunteered for the Alumni Board, where I got involved in trying to increase the percentage of alumni giving to the King Hall Annual Fund," said Maroko, who also has a certificate in fund raising from UCLA Extension.
Maroko recently volunteered to serve on the committee to help organize his class's 25-year reunion. "I hope members of all the participating classes will also decide to get involved, so we can make the 2011 Milestone Reunions something really special," he said.
A board member from 2002-09, Maroko continues to organize alumni lunches in the Los Angeles area, and to promote the formation of the Insolvent Aggies South, a group of alumni working in bankruptcy law in Southern California. He is an enthusiastic supporter of Dean Kevin R. Johnson, and in 2008 Maroko helped to organize an alumni event in which Dean Johnson threw the ceremonial first pitch at a Long Beach Armada minor league baseball game.
"We all have a lot of opportunities in our lives to support various causes and organizations," said Maroko. "What I'd like to do is to convince people that for those of us who benefitted from attending UC Davis School of Law, supporting the Law School should be a priority."