Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's A Wrap! Tahoe 2014 Highlights

Once again the annual OBCL retreat at Lake Tahoe came and went far too quickly.  But it was so much fun while it lasted. It was a solid weekend of great fellowship with grads and their families from all over the US. There were opportunities to meeting the school board and discuss the school’s future.  There were fabulous times of eating, enjoying group games, and playing with the kiddos. And of course attendees also had fun outdoors, hiking, biking, and driving around to see the sights.  This year’s Tahoe event was a not-to-be-missed opportunity.  Check out the fun below! And read up on this year's doings :-)

Special thanks to Bethany Harlin, Laura Barth and Jessica Mulder for the great collection of pictures.

So excited to be here!!!

Fellowshipping with Alumni from all across the country

Next Generation OBCLer?

Kershner photo opt with the Dean

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Taking the Oath.

Sharing School Vision

Some Cool people sharing Hot pizza

Photo shoot opportunities


Reuniting with classmates

Solving all the world's problems :-)

Lovely People

Empire building.


The Gang's All Here - well almost

Lake Tahoe

Biking between rain bursts

Flume Trail Hikers

Award Winner

Friends for Life


Honing Skills

Evening chats

Coffee, coffee, coffee = Happy!

The long awaited Settlers of Catan Championship

Drinking in all the beauty
Fun People
Chef Extraordinaire
Race to Emerald Bay
So much fun, can't stand still!
Deep Discussions
Morning Greetings
Meeting the Dean
Stephen Fairley with Satisfied Customer
Laughing together
Glad to be here man!
Good times, good times
Taking a breaking from work!
Iridescent Glow

Lead the charge

The 10th Annual OBCL Alumni Meeting and Retreat was a great success, with many new records and precedents set that will impact Tahoe gatherings in special ways for years to come. It was fantastic to have almost 100 individuals in attendance, including JD and paralegal alumni, their families, current students, alumni board members, and school board members.  Whenever we can see friends and classmates, it is great event; and to have a whole weekend to catch up on life and work with fellow alumni, and to spend time discussing how to increase the impact of OBCL is even greater. This year we had fantastic venues for meetings and housing, all of them huge and impressive. Perhaps even more impressive and definitely more scrumptious were the amazing meals all weekend long. What is fellowship without food, right?!

We want to extend a huge thank you to all the dedicated Alumni Association directors and volunteers who made the weekend run so smoothly. To all of you who attended, we are so glad you came.  As for the rest of you, we look forward to you joining us next year.


The annual meeting set a new record this year for the swiftest and most efficient handling of reports, elections, and new business.  The new Alumni Association board for the 2014-2015 year is as follows:

President: Jack Stuart
Immediate Past President: Mark Bigger
Vice President: Jonathon Hauenschild
Secretary: Rachael Denhollander
Treasurer: James Pennington
College Liaison: Gabriel Waddell
Student Affairs: Amy Kershner
Paralegal Liaison: Emily Adams
Alumni Relations: Paul Harman
Promotion & Media: Emily Milnes
National Assn. & Accreditation: Jamie Long
Student Liaison: Jacob Pennington


In memory of Dean Magnuson, the Alumni Association has instituted an annual award for the winner of the Appellate Advocacy moot court to honor the Dean’s heart for the school and desire to train advocates of truth and justice.  Our first winner of the award, David Covey (Class of 11B), received a scholarship to attend Tahoe and a beautiful crystal plaque to commemorate his skill in persuasive communication.


Another first for Tahoe was a swearing in ceremony held for one of our newest JD graduates, Katie Kershner. It was moving to watch a graduate from years past administer the oath to a new grad. We hope to see more graduates hold their ceremonies at future Alumni meetings.


Incoming Alumni president, Jack Stuart, held a brain storming session with attendees to elicit ideas for incentives to encourage alumni to get involved and participate in projects. Ideas ranging from bumper stickers to rides in a jet with Jack were suggested J. What type of awards, prizes, recognition, or other incentive would motivate you to give or help with projects?  Contact Jack Stuart with your ideas.


For the first time in the history of Alumni retreats, the entire school board was present. This year’s board is comprised of: Dean Douglas McElvy, Robert Barth, Peter Fear, Mark Bigger, and Paul Harman.  It was wonderful having them in attendance to share their passion, ideas, and goals for the future of the school. They shared many of their plans including bringing on a part time staff member to spearhead and oversee creating a new website and other marketing tactics.  The board also held a brain storming session with attendees to gather suggestions for improving the school and attracting more students that fit the mission of OBCL. What are some of your suggestions? Pass them on to the board.


Stephen Fairley presented a workshop on growing your firm through more effective ways of converting potential client leads into actual clients. This energetic and humorous presentation gave all of us much food for thought toward changing and improving our practices.


We wrapped up the weekend’s official events with a very special time of singing and sharing testimonies together Sunday morning. “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” and even more beautiful when they join together to praise the Lord.

Friday, June 6, 2014

OBCL Alumni Go to Anaheim!

OBCL Participants: (back row) Amy Kerschner, Michael Kern, Joel Barker,
Chris Schweickert; (front row) Katie Kerschner, Professor Robert Kern

by Amy Kerschner

Last week, several of our alumni traveled to Anaheim, California, to preside over and score the National Homeschool Mock Trial Association Tournament. We had alumni in Pre-Trial and Trial rounds, scoring, presiding, and providing feedback to the next generation of attorneys, pastors, paralegals, journalists, authors, actors and advocates. The level of talent displayed in the two-day tournament was truly impressive!
Judge Amy Kerschner

Amy Kerschner presided and scored in the Trial rounds. Each trial was strictly limited to two hours for both sides to present their cases, examine and cross-examine witnesses, make and argue objections, present evidence, and demonstrate proper courtroom procedure. The prosecution brought charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism against the defendant, a health-food blogger suspected of bombing an industrial food plant with the help of an activist, who unfortunately died before trial.
Judge Katie Kerschner

Katie Kerschner presided and scored in the Pre-Trial rounds. Student attorneys argued on a defense motion to suppress testimonial evidence under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Each student was expected to respond to questions from the bench regarding weaknesses in their case and case precedent that would damage their arguments.
Chris Schweickert with student

Joel Barker and Chris Schweickert also scored in both Trial and Pre-Trial rounds, giving valuable feedback and insight to students both for their progress in the tournament and for the success of their future legal careers.

Jury panel for the Championship Round

OBCL Professor Robert Kern and Michael Kern, a graduate of OBCL, participated in the Championship round. Michael scored in the jury box, along with Amy and Katie, and Professor Kern was on the three-judge panel for the Pre-Trial motion and scored as a part of the Trial round. 

It was an honor to watch these high school students demonstrate passion and dedication to their mock trial competition. Oak Brook College of Law was the top sponsor for the tournament, awarding $28,000 in scholarships to the top Trial and Pre-Trial attorneys. It is hoped that these students will use these scholarships to further their legal education and put their passions and talents to use in the legal profession. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Meet the Board: Jessica Mulder, Paralegal Liaison

For the next several weeks on the OBCLAA Blog, we will be introducing OBCLAA's 2013-2014 Board. As we introduce the leadership of the Alumni Association, you will catch a glimpse of the goals we hope to see accomplished this year. It is our hope that something you will read here will give you an idea for how YOU can get involved. Please feel free to post a reply or contact individual Board members.

Jessica first heard about OBCL in junior high and has had a life-long fascination with law and justice.  Prior to enrolling in OBCL, she earned her undergrad in General Business from Excelsior College (Albany, NY) in 2006.  From operating a home-based organizational service and working as an administrative assistant at a church and private school, Jessica developed skills that translate directly into what is necessary to be a paralegal.  In 2007 she was able to return to her early dream and enrolled in OBCL’s paralegal program, later passing the Certified Legal Assistant exam in 2008. In 2009, Jessica became paralegal to the senior partner at Perlstein, Sandler & McCracken, LLC, where she assists the lawyers in serving over 350 condominiums and homeowner associations throughout the state. In addition to law, Jessica enjoys singing, traveling, working with children, photography, and being involved in missions.

OBCL was a great match because of the affordability and flexibility that its long-distance program offered.  It is a joy for Jessica to be the Paralegal Liaison this year to further the networking of paralegals and attorneys within the alumni of OBCL. She had this to say about her goals for this year: “I am looking forward to contacting the paralegal grads in the months to come to connect them to the alumni association through calls and the newsletters.  Once again I will be organizing the mentor program for the current students in their studies.  And generally I am thrilled to help our paralegals to be excited about what they do and to help them network with other OBCL paralegals and lawyers.”

If you have any questions for Jessica about how you can be involved, she can be reached by e-mail at

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meet the Board: Paul Harman, National Assn. & Accreditation / Immediate Past President

For the next several weeks on the OBCLAA Blog, we will be introducing OBCLAA's 2013-2014 Board. As we introduce the leadership of the Alumni Association, you will catch a glimpse of the goals we hope to see accomplished this year. It is our hope that something you will read here will give you an idea for how YOU can get involved. Please feel free to post a reply or contact individual Board members.

Paul graduated with the 2004A Class and is currently serving as staff attorney to Justice Tom Parker of the Supreme Court of Alabama. His duties include writing opinions for petitions for writ of certiorari, petitions for writs of mandamus, and direct appeals. His french press has also made him the official Court barista.  Before coming to the Court, Paul was in private practice in Bakersfield, California for two years. He plans to return to private practice in 2014.

Paul enjoys serving Christ through Morningview Baptist Church in Montgomery while away from Crossway Baptist Church in Bakersfield. 

When not at work or church, Paul is either playing tennis, golf, or basketball or getting a sunburn on the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico.