Lennon on Fast Track in Legal Community 06/18/15 10:14:31 PM
Angela Terry Lennon has taken Omaha by storm from the day she landed here in 2008.
– Photo credit: Christine McGuiganLennon on Fast Track in Legal Community
By Elizabeth Elliott
The Daily Record
As a young child, she set her sights on becoming an attorney. She raised those dreams through involvement in politics and volunteering for campaigns in high school and college. She even went so far as being a founding member of the Teen Court program in her home city of Rapid City, S.D.
Angela Terry Lennon, an associate attorney for Koenig | Dunne Divorce Law, PC, LLO in Omaha, has risen quickly in her field.
Lennon is a board member (and former president) of the Nebraska Women’s Bar Association. She became a member of the board in her first year of practice. A position for presidency opened up the following year.
“I felt compelled to serve and support the vision and mission of the NWBA and our community of women lawyers. I believe strongly in the mission, which is advancing the status of women in the law, supporting and improving the administration of justice, and promoting equality of the sexes in our society,” she said. “It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and I’ve learned so much in my few years as a member and president of the organization.”
Lennon double majored in political science and women’s studies at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., graduating magna cum laude. She also spent time studying at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg, Germany. She took the LSAT in the fall of her senior year in college and began applying for law schools.
“My then-boyfriend, now-husband Dan, was in his first year of law school at Creighton University. I applied to law schools, including Creighton and UNL,” she said. “However, I deferred acceptance for one year. I wanted to obtain experience in a law firm to confirm I was making the right choice before committing to law school.”
That law firm was Koenig | Dunne, where she was hired as a receptionist in 2008.
“I began work in August and told Angela Dunne in my interview that I would only be able to work one year before starting law school. She and Susan Koenig graciously gave me an opportunity to obtain experience,” said Lennon.
Lennon wasn’t allowed to work during her first year of law school, but clerked at other places during her remaining years. She reconnected with Koenig | Dunne in the spring of 2011.
“Angela Dunne was arguing before the Nebraska Supreme Court. The oral arguments were taking place at Creighton,” she said. “After being reconnected with her and being inspired by her and the work our firm was doing, I reached out to the partners that same day and asked if I could come back to Koenig | Dunne as a clerk. They said yes, and we’ve been together ever since. So, while I graduated three years ago, I’ve been with KD for over five years.”
Lennon attended consultations, hearings and trials with Dunne. She was sworn in on September 18, 2012, and had her first trial on October 3rd of the same year. Lennon attributes her success in her career to the mentorship of the partners at her law firm.
“Susan and Angela have really invested a lot in me,” said Lennon. “Susan is now an executive coach. One of her many contributions to the firm is providing us with individual and team coaching focusing on our professional development. Once per month I get to meet with my coach to review and promote my professional goals.”
One of Lennon’s goals is to get to learn the services of the practice better. “I want to continue to learn our practice, develop and grow, such that I can support our clients through their transitions with as much ease as possible. The legal landscape of divorce is really complex, so I approach everyday as a learning opportunity,” she explained.
She is currently a member of the Nebraska Academy of Collaborative Professionals and has been trained as a collaborative divorce lawyer.
“Collaborative divorce is an alternative method for couples facing divorce. In collaborative divorce, spouses pledge to resolve all matters without court intervention,” said Lennon. “Collaborative law uses specially trained and skilled professionals to reach fair solutions and resolve issues, while avoiding the cost, time, and uncertainties of litigation.”
Lennon really finds joy in her work and helping people through difficult times.
“I especially love connecting with people when they come into our office for their first consultation. Many times, people have been suffering for years and struggling with the decision to get a divorce before finally making the appointment to see me,” she said. “It takes so much courage to even make an appointment with our firm. So I love when people leave my office more informed and educated about their rights and options.
“At Koenig | Dunne, we provide a really high level of support to our clients. We support them to make the best decisions for their families,” she added. “Making that connection with our clients and helping them through one of the most difficult times of their lives is really rewarding.”
Lennon doesn’t confine her work to the office. She is very active in the legal community.
“I’ve been a member of the Women in the Law Section of the NSBA and a member of Drinks Among Friends, which is an organization that brings together women in the legal community with the goal of empowering women in their legal practices,” she said. “I’ve tried to attend as many NSBA and OBA activities and events as possible to meet and network with other lawyers.”
Lennon is a member of the Women’s Fund Circles Group for the 2015 through 2017 term. The Women’s Fund of Omaha works to improve the lives of Omaha-area women and girls, examining issues and conducting research to support initiatives to improve the lives of women and girls in the metropolitan area.
“When I first moved to Omaha in 2008, I remember hearing about the Women’s Fund and knew that one day I would love to contribute or be a part of the organization. For the last several years, I’ve attended the Women’s Fund fall luncheons and was continually inspired by the work that they are doing in our community,” said Lennon. “The Circles Group consists of a select group of young professional women leaders in Omaha who serve a three-year term to learn about the mission of the Women’s Fund and how we can uniquely contribute to the mission.
“We develop meaningful connections with our members through networking opportunities and build mentoring relationships and develop our leadership skills to contribute to the Fund and our community,” added Lennon.
The Omaha Bar member said self-motivation has always come easily to her.
“I do not feel satisfied or fulfilled if I don’t feel like I am making my greatest contribution in the work that I am doing,” she said. “Also, loving your work makes self-motivation easy.”
Lennon’s philosophy contends that one needs not have everything figured out before moving forward; that is, it’s okay to start something before you are ready.
“I think fear and the desire to be 100-percent perfect can hold people back from moving forward in their personal lives and careers. People have an amazing capacity for growth and development, so by saying ‘yes’ to a project, case, or role before you feel 100-percent ready … it will push you to grow.”