OBA Takes New Attorneys on a Brisk Walk Through the Courts 10/9/18 10/09/18 3:24:22 PM
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Douglas County Assistant Public Defender Brenda Leuck (far right), explains to the new attorneys how her office works. (Photo by Lorraine Boyd)
OBA Takes New Attorneys on a Brisk Walk Through the Courts
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
While it’s called a walk, the Omaha Bar Association’s annual Walk Through the Courts is more like a marathon for newly sworn members of the Omaha bar.
About 15 recent law school graduates gathered at the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center last week to begin their four-and-a-half hour journey through every pertinent office they might encounter in their legal career. Led by OBA Executive Director Dave Sommers and former president of the Omaha Barristers Club Joe Bradley, an Omaha attorney, they heard from representatives from city, county, state and federal judges and departments.
The message of the day soon became clear – network, get a mentor and ask questions.
“I thought it was interesting,” attendee Caitlin Lovell said. “I felt bad I didn’t have any questions to ask. I don’t even know what I don’t know, so I don’t know what questions to ask.”
Everyone who spoke to the group – from David Hubbard of the Douglas County Conciliation and Mediation Services to Hon. Joseph Bataillon, senior United States district judge for the District of Nebraska – emphasized their open-door policy and willingness to help.
Most of the speakers were scheduled at 10-minute intervals including actually walking to their offices and the speakers coming to the group when they assembled were in courtrooms along the way.
“I really liked to go around to different courtrooms and get a feel for them,” attendee Kory Quandt said.
As for his employment, Quandt said he is open to anything, but prefers “business law, small businesses.”
The tour led the group from the Civic Center to the Douglas County Courthouse, then to the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse.
Many of the attendees are still looking for a position, so the presenters gave them tips on how to speed up their search. One of the recurring tips – sit in on proceedings in the various courtrooms, especially ones that deal with the areas the new lawyers think they might be interested in.
In addition to Hubbard and Bataillon, the lawyers heard from: Rob Black, co-chair of the OBA Lawyer Referral Service; Brenda Leuck, Douglas County Assistant Public Defender; Matt Kuhse, Omaha City Prosecutor; Don Kleine, Douglas County Attorney; John Friend, Clerk of the Douglas County District Court; Kelley Golden, Division Manager, Douglas County Probate Court; LeAnne Srb, District Court Child Support Referee; Judge Johnson; Lisa Smith, Deputy Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Marian Frahm, Courtroom Technology, U.S. District Court; Jeff Thomas, Deputy Federal Public Defender; and Joseph Kelly, U.S. Attorney.