ROBERTO M. J. LARA is a graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) where he obtained his college degree (A.B. Social Science, 1982) and law degree (Bachelor of Laws, 1987). In 1998, he obtained his Masters of Law (Commercial Law) degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
He has worked in various government agencies and law firms in varying capacities. While studying in UP, he worked part-time as Clerk with the then Ministry of Justice (1979-80) and as Investigator of the Development Bank of the Philippines (1980-1986). After taking his oath as a lawyer in 1988, he joined the legislative staff of then Senator Rene A.V. Saguisag. Thereafter, he joined the law firm of Puruganan Chato Chato and Tan. In 1993, he was admitted as Partner in the Tan & Venturanza law firm, but subsequently joined the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as Chief of Staff of Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons-Chato, where he supervised the preparation and filing of tax evasion cases, as well as the anti-graft and corruption campaign of the bureau.
In 2000, he joined the Tan & Concepcion Law Offices as Litigation Partner, where he supervised the firm’s litigation associates. In 2009, he formed the Lara Uy Santos Tayag Danganan Law Office where he was a Senior Partner until October 2016. He then re-joined the Tan Concepcion & Que Law Office until he was appointed as the Secretary of the University and of the Board of Regents of UP on 10 February 2017.