Opening Doors of Curiosity to Learn for Life
Alumni board member Rick Sellars ’74 ’77 cherishes his liberal arts education at UALR for launching a 30-year successful law career and a family.
After graduating from Little Rock Central High School, Sellars obtained both his bachelor’s degree in history and law degree from UALR. Admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1977, he is in private practice as a partner at the Bailey, Trimble, Lowe, Sellars & Thomas law firm.
“I have had a wonderful law practice for over 30 years,” said Sellars. “I have been blessed by being able to work in one law firm my entire career and be involved in several areas of practice.”
Sellars has practiced in several areas of civil law including general defense litigation, product liability defense, insurance policy litigation, toxic tort and environmental litigation ranging from contamination issues to personal injury exposures and workers’ compensation defense. He is also involved in business and corporation formations, as well as real estate, probate, and estate planning.
“Each new case or problem becomes my favorite until I move on to the next one,” he said. “I have always enjoyed trial work, particularly when it presents interesting questions and issues, but I also have enjoyed the estate planning, corporate, business, and real estate related matters that make up the bulk of my day-to-day office practice,” said Sellars.
“In my career, I have clearly been served by having taken speech, math, and chemistry classes as well as all of the other college classes that a truly liberal education dictated taking. I feel I got a first-rate undergraduate and legal education at UALR.
“The thing that I cherish the most about UALR on the undergraduate level is the broad liberal arts education that I received. One of the things I do not like about the direction of higher education today versus when I attended is the ever-increasing demand to be more specialized and career specific in orientation. Unfortunately, I think this sacrifices the broader liberal knowledge needed in the workplace of today and tomorrow. One of my old professors said, ‘If you want to become educated go to college; if you want training go to vo-tech school.’
“UALR gave me the ability and curiosity to learn for life,” said Sellars.
His appreciation of a college education has influenced his volunteer commitments. Chairing the UALR Alumni Association Membership Committee, Sellars can often be seen at Trojan home basketball games. He has staffed several games to let campus visitors know about the benefits of being a member of the Alumni Association. “Any time you have an alumni association, it’s a two-fold process,” said Sellars. “The success of a university or college is dependent on maintaining relationships with the community. It’s based upon how involved you are with alumni — both people participating in the community and also giving back to the university in the form of time or money. I’m just trying to do my small part.”
He sees one alumna regularly. His wife, Sharon, who teaches French at UALR, is also a 1974 graduate of the University. They met when they were both involved in the Student Government Association and had classes together. Next May they will celebrate their 35th anniversary. Their daughter, Elizabeth, is a medical doctor doing her residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.