Paula Boggs is a Washington Life Patron Fellow, served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Starbucks until 2012, and is the founder of Boggs Media, LLC. Ms. Boggs is also the singer in the Paula Boggs Band.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Washington, DC and raised in Virginia, Germany and Italy. My parents met as Howard University students and then my dad taught biology at HBCU Virginia State University. When my parents divorced, my mom and four kids moved to Europe where she taught the children of US military personnel.
What type of law did you practice and how did you become interested in it?
I started my law career in the Pentagon as an Army officer doing administrative law and treaty work. A White House assignment exposed me to litigation work and that’s what I did to some degree from that point until retiring from Starbucks in 2012. As an in-house lawyer for 15 years I performed and supervised the practice of many types of domestic and international law.
If you did not decide to go into law, what would you have done?
I was on a path to become a diplomat before choosing law school. Before that, I considered a career in music.
We are so excited the Paula Boggs Band will be playing at the Opening Reception at the Midyear Meeting in San Diego. Who were some of your early musical influences?
My early influences included the folk music I heard in Catholic school and church, including the Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Judy Collins and Bob Dylan, the music in my house, like Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, and the gospel music I heard in my mom’s African Methodist Episcopal church.
If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?
I’d love having dinner with South African retired bishop Desmond Tutu.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Paula Boggs Band is very much looking forward to playing for the ABF Fellows!