Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Board Update

Even during this holiday season, the OBCLAA Board has kept busy on projects discussed at our 2009 annual meeting. Our post-Tahoe Board meetings on October 8 and December 8 have been exciting times of reconnecting and watching projects take shape.

Here are some highlights of recent Board activity:
* Brandon Stallings, chairman of the Alumni Relations Committee, has been working hard to compile contact information and questions for an upcoming survey of OBCL alumni. It is our hope that this survey will increase awareness of the alumni association and make it easier for the OBCL community to connect, both personally and professionally.

* Charissa Sonntag, chairman of the National Association and Accreditation Committee, is creating (all the way from Taiwan!) a directory of Oak Brook's multi-jurisdictional practitioners, which will be a resource for those pursuing legal practice outside California.

* Mark Bigger, chairman of the Media Relations Committee, has formed a subcommittee to monitor Oak Brook's presence on the internet. He's also recruited two of our most media-savvy alumni, Meredith Turney and Mike Reitz, to handle any media opportunities that come our way. Also expect to hear more soon about a campaign to increase OBCL's internet presence using Google AdWords.
That's just a sampling of the Board's work to encourage growth in the OBCL community in the coming year.

To read more about what the Board is doing, you are welcome to access approved minutes of board meetings here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Alumni In the News I

Oak Brook’s emphasis on understanding the law’s connection to public policy and our individual role as attorneys in participating in that discussion is an important aspect of our educational heritage. In the coming months, I will try to put out regular updates with links to OBCL graduates efforts to make an impact on law and public policy.

As befitting a blog run by members of the legal profession, the views linked to on our site do not necessarily reflect the views of the alumni association or its members.

The first OBCL grad whose work I would like to link to is Meredith Turney. Meredith is a graduate of the 99B class and is the California Communications Director for Americans for Prosperity. Her full biography can be read at the above link at Besides Townhall, Meredith also writes for the The Flash Report.

Ms. Turney recently wrote an article entitled “Winning The Abortion War Battle But Losing The Pro-Life War?" Her most recent article is "America's Unnecessary Sacrifice For The Planet."

Our next OBCL grad in the news, is 98B class graduate, Mike Reitz. Mike Reitz is general counsel of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, where he oversees EFF’s legal affairs. He has been cited or published by the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Seattle Times, etc. Along with OBCL grad Jonathan Bechtle, he is the co-author of To Protect and Maintain Individual Rights, a reference guide to the Declaration of Rights in the Washington Constitution. You can follow Mike at the Washington State Supreme Court Blog.

Mike’s most recent articles on the blog include a discussion of rulings on the inevitable discovery rule and the legality of issuing infraction citations when the offense was not committed in the officer’s presence.

Mike recently made an appearance on the Fox News Channel to do an interview with Glenn Beck on Washington Election Law.

The last graduate that we are linking to is Jack Stuart. Jack is a graduate of OBCL, a commercial airline pilot, Air Force Reserves Colonel, and a great teacher on leadership skills. But to those of use who like action movies and/or moving fast, one of the coolest things about Jack is that he was the “Ice Man” of the 1990’s at the Top Gun school. Yeah, he’s that sort of pilot. “Feeling the need, the need for speed.”

Jack brings his uniquely qualified perspective on foreign policy, the military, and our constitution to The Patriot Post. He entitled his latest article on the troop surge “Just Enough To Fail.”

Please contact me with links to the recent work of OBCLers who you believe should be included. Thank you for your help.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

ABA Journal Touts Oak Brook Graduate's Work

Oak Brook faculty and graduates have been on the cutting edge of the movement for change in state bar admissions rules. That effort in Minnesota has been picking up a tremendous amount of steam in the recent months. Though the legal system changes slowly, the inertia is building!

Even the ABA Journal is reporting the action.

Valarie Wallin, a graduate of an online law school, has passed the bar in California and Wisconsin. Now she wants the Minnesota Supreme Court to allow her to take the exam there.

Wallin is joining with three other petitioners to ask for a change in Minnesota rules that allow only graduates of ABA-accredited law schools to take the state bar exam, according to Wallin graduated from the Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, an unaccredited distance-learning law school in California that touts its Biblical approach.

Today the average annual tuition at the four law schools in Minnesota is $27,890, according to Wallin’s petition (PDF). That compares to an annual tuition of $9,250 at the online Concord Law School and $3,500 at Oak Brook College of Law.

Read the full story here.

Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Little Extra Thanksgiving...

I have lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. For one thing, I'm grateful for an OBCL "second family" to celebrate with when I couldn't make it home for the holiday!

But I would be willing to bet that I'm not the only one with significant thanks to give. One particular blessing that it seems appropriate to give recognition, kudos, and/or props to relates to our very own Alumni Relations Committee Chairman, Brandon Stallings.

Brandon just recently found out that he was hired by the Kern County District Attorney's office, and will be starting there this month. It goes without saying that in this tough job market, that is a incredible accomplishment.

So congratulations to Brandon, and praise the Lord!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alumni help needed to compile information

The OBCL Alumni Association is looking to hire a student or alumni to make contact with all college alumni who graduated between the years 1999 and 2006.

The hiree will be responsible for:
1) contacting the alumni by e-mail and by phone;
2) asking a series of specific questions, previously drafted by the Alumni Association;
3) using alumni responses to these questions to draft general biographies;
4) return those biographies to the Alumni Association for posting on the Alumni website

The hiree will be given a list of names and contact information for each alumni. It is estimated there are 130-180 alumni who will need to be contacted. The Alumni Association will compensate the hiree at $8.00 a completed bio. There will also be a deadline for completing the project in a timely manner.

If you are interested in working on this project please contact Nathan DeLadurantey and Brandon Stallings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Alumna Commemorates the Fall of the Wall

Meredith Turney graduated from the OBCL JD program with the 99B class, and works in Camarillo, CA as a spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity. She is a regular columnist at

She wrote a great article on the fall of the Berlin Wall at Flashpoint - be sure to check it out!

Real Leadership brought down the Berlin Wall

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fear Not

Toward the end of last year, an opportunity arose to become part of a research and lecture team made up of lawyers and law students and led by a professor associated with Oak Brook College of Law. The purpose of this team was and is to confront our culture regarding the danger of evolutionary thought through a discussion of the 1925 Scopes Trial.

Initially, I joined this team because I love history and research, not so much out of a desire to do much lecturing. After all, I told myself that “I am a horrible public speaker.”

As has frequently happened in my life, God had a bigger reason for this step in my life. As I started my research, God began to give me a strong desire to share this message.

And once again, He reminded me of His conversation with Moses in Exodus 4:10-12. “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

Who am I to say “I can’t” when God has said “go, and I will teach you what to say”? Lord, give me the strength and the courage to share your message because it’s not about me, it’s about YOU.

For more information about our team or the Scopes Trial Lecture, feel free to contact me at or Professor Caprera at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Alumni Association at the Crossroads - The 2009 President's Report

Every organization starts with a vision of something great. For the Alumni Association, that was a vision of expanding, promoting, and growing OBCL's unique calling. Even as a student, I could see the vision of those that worked to establish this organization. It was apparent, and it trickled all the way down to my study-swamped self. In the intervening years, the vision has been clarified and built.

And in every organization's life comes a time in which the established vision must be put into practical reality by dint of hard work. And as I looked back on the last year's work done by the Alumni Association Board and numerous volunteers, I can't help but realize that we are at that point in the Alumni Association's life. The vision is there, and it is clear - and now comes the time in which we must turn that vision into practical reality.

This past year, the Board worked to lay the foundation to build this reality on. So many "small" components go into effective communication, effective promotion, and effective fundraising...and this list of essentials could go on. Beyond those normal challenges, the Alumni Association faces unique challenges simply because we are scattered all across this nation! One thing that I have greatly appreciated about the Board of Directors of this association is their willingness to do things the right way. We've never taken an idea and gone off half-cocked; we've taken good ideas and made them better - those ideas and that work is the foundation.

But right now we have this chance to turn vision into reality, if we are willing to put our noses to their respective grindstones and do the work. It's time to take the foundation and build on it, taking those ideas into reality. And that is our goal for this year.

It was terrific to see the excitement of the alumni at the annual meeting last week. Indeed, I found it impossible not to get excited myself! We have the skills and the desire to do the building - and we have the foundation to build on.

It is going to be a great year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

For the Complete Tahoe Update

If you are having trouble accessing the complete Lake Tahoe post at, try Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

2009 Alumni Weekend at Lake Tahoe

October 2nd through 4th was the weekend of the sixth Annual Oak Brook College of Law Alumni Association. This was the second year that alumni weekend was held in beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Over 30 members and associates of the alumni association gathered for a weekend of fun and fellowship.

The annual meeting was held on the lake at beautiful Zephyr Cove. At the general business meeting, the following board was elected:

President, Gabe Waddell
Vice President, Nathan DeLadurantey
Treasurer, Quinton Miller
Secretary, Emily Younger
Paralegal Liaison, Crystal Kinz
Student Relations, Adam York
Alumni Relations, Brandon Stallings
Media and Promotions, Mark Bigger
Association and Accreditation, Charissa Sontagg
College Liaison, Anita Paulsson
Student Liaison, Kait Showerman

Three break out sessions were conducted:

Facilitating College Outreach (with Mark Bigger and Peter Fear)
Alumni discussed ways to increase current college enrollment such as sponsoring google Adwords, using your practice to get the word out, use of social media in your practice and for the college, and using alumni skills and personal contacts in the community to generate interest in the school.

Please contact Peter or Mark if you would like more information or would like to get involved.

2. Helping Students Prepare for the Bar (with Adam York )
Alumni explored ways that the Alumni Association can assist 4th year students study for the Bar, including scholarships for bar review materials, staging reviews, video and audio conferencing, assistance with PTs, and improving the mentoring program.

Please contact Adam if you would like to be a part of this effort or need more information.

3. Creative Fundraising for the Future (with Nathan Deladurantey)

Alumni brainstormed (significantly longer than the other groups) on ways to connect with willing givers, facilitate giving, and link giving with projects and advertising.

Nathan Deladurantey is heading up a group committed to fundraising this year. Please contact him if you would like more information or to get involved.

After the session, alumni spread out over the South Lake area to hike, sight see, shop, or rest back at one houses reserved for alumni and family. On Saturday night, we had a BBQ and social time at a 4100 square foot house rented for alumni use by Peter Fear. On Sunday morning (late), we gathered at another vacation rental for a time of worship and reflection on God's blessings on OBCL over the last 14 years.

More pictures of the weekend will posted shortly. You can also find more pictures on facebook.

Lake Tahoe will also be the site of the 2010 annual meeting. A September date should be announced by the Board by the end of the year. Please plan on coming next year!

Contact Mark Bigger at if you have any questions from this post.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tahoe, here we come!

We have a terrific group registered for this year's Annual Meeting and Retreat in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. If you can't make it, be sure to check back here soon for pictures from the weekend!

If you are going to be able to make it, you are in for a treat - not only do we have a great group of people, not only is the weather supposed to be great, but I got a chance to sample some of the homemade goodies baked up for us by some enterprising alumni. Treats all around!

See you soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009


The website you are looking at is the combined effort of a long list of people - a list long enough that I don't want to attempt it here for fear of missing someone. But suffice it to say that our hope, and our prayer, is that this website will be one of the tools that the Alumni Association can use to increase the networking potential of the organization. We are all about friendships, professional connections, and advancing the ministry and impact of the Oak Brook College of Law.

So be sure to take a look around. If there is something you see, at this early stage of the game, that looks like it needs content, consider being the author. Whether you want to participate by writing practice area articles, alerting us to pertinent news stories, writing a quick article for the blog, or even just uploading your own profile information, we ask that you go for it! The Alumni Association, by its very definition, is a group effort, and this website is the same way - and therein lies its potential.

Don't forget to register today for the retreat out at Lake Tahoe, and if ever there is anything the Alumni Association can do for you, please don't hesitate to contact me at

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

President, OBCLAA