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Alumni Spotlight | Marc Rachman '82


Tell me about the work you do now.

I'm an attorney specializing in intellectual property. I am a partner at Davis+Gilbert LLP in New York City, where I have worked for over 25 years. Many of my clients are advertising and marketing firms that create materials for their clients, or brand owners who are advertising and marketing their brands.


What are some of your most memorable moments from your time at Friends and who were some of the teachers that you remember fondly?

I was a lifer at Friends, which back then meant pre-K through High School. I have a lot of fond memories, including attending a visit by John Lennon in the Meetinghouse, playing on the Varsity Basketball and Squash teams, going on Ex-Ed trips with my classmates, playing in Chambers Music recitals (I played the bassoon), and many more. Some of the teachers I that really influenced me and that I remember fondly are Phil Schwartz (HS English, Latin, and Squash coach, who sadly passed away just recently), Anne Sullivan (HS English), Linda Chu (First grade teacher, who was also years later my son's Third grade teacher), Charles Blank (HS History), Donald Bender (Chambers Music), and Harold Perry (HS Biology).


Looking back as a “lifer” at Friends, was there any time you considered transferring to another school, did your parents ever give you that option?

Yes, a lot of us at that time took the test in 8th grade for Stuyvesant High School. I was accepted but really did not want to leave Friends, which was like a second home to me. I never really considered leaving Friends, but my parents wanted me to have the option of going somewhere else for High School.


As an alum, current parent and parent of an alum, you have a unique perspective from which to speak on Quakerism at Friends. How, if at all, has the experience of Quakerism at Friends evolved since you were a student?

I think a lot has stayed the same at Friends with respect to how it incorporates Quaker values into its approach to education and its commitment to community service. If anything, I think Friends now is more vocal about how Quakerism is part of its mission and is integrated into the Friends community. One example is the development of the Center for Peace, Equity & Justice, which did not exist when I was there. This was an important part of why I wanted my children to go to Friends.


In what ways have Quaker values and your experience at Friends influenced the work you do today?

Much of what I learned at Friends has helped me in my work. The academic rigor of Friends helped me through college and law school and provided me with many skills that have served me well throughout my career. I have found that the influence of Quaker values has impacted me more in my non-work related activities, such as volunteering for causes that I and my family feel strongly about.


Historically, Friends has not been known as a school for sports. Did you play sports when you were a student at Friends? If so, what teams were you on?

Yes, I was very active in sports at Friends. I was on the Basketball, Squash and Softball teams in High School (they had a boy’s softball team back then, not baseball). We often were matched up against schools with much larger student bodies and stronger sports programs, but some of my fondest memories at Friends are from my experiences while on those teams.


How have you seen athletics evolve at Friends?

Sports has evolved to where Friends’ teams in several sports are very competitive among the private schools in New York City, despite drawing from a smaller student population than many of them. I think this is a testament to the coaches and the Physical Education department at Friends.


How do you understand the work you do now as bringing about a world that ought to be?

I would like to think that some of the legal work I do advances the creative process in our society. Also, protecting my clients’ legal rights in business disputes is important to our society as sometimes the legal process is the only way to a fair resolution.


What are your hopes, dreams and plans for your work in the future?

At some point, I would like to spend more time using my legal skills to help those less fortunate who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. I plan to dedicate more time to pro bono legal work in the future.


Is there anything else you wish to share with me that I didn’t ask you about?

No, other than I love the way Friends has expanded around the original buildings when I was there, while keeping the original look and feel intact. Alumni who have not been back in a while should visit. It is really something to see!

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