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!