Paul M. Parent, 50, who had practiced law in the Washington area since 1956, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Silver Spring.

He was a partner in the Silver Spring law firm of Parent and Kelly, which he had established with John F. Kelly in 1968.

Before that, Mr. Parent had had his own law practice in Silver Spring for five years, and had been a claims manager and lawyer with Allstate Insurance Co. in Washington.

Mr. Parent was born in New Bedford, Mass., and grew up in Newport, R.I. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island. After serving in the Air Force from 1950 to 1953, he came her and earned a degree from Georgetown University Law School.

He was a member of the D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland and American bar associations. He belonged to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and was active in its Catholic Youth Organization. He also was a member of the Father Rosensteel Council, Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife, Grace, and four children, Michael, Michele, Kenneth, and Paula, all of the home; three sisters, Irene Dickson and Pauline Parent, both of Raleigh, N.C., and Doris Hull, of Jamestown, R.I., and a brother, Roland, of Coral Gables, Fla.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to St. Ann's Infant Home in Hyattsville.