How has your career surprised you?
My career has surprised me in many ways, partly because I worked in the “real world” before the widespread use of the internet and email. The practice of law, government, and the private sector have changed so much since then.
Such experience provides me with context for mature decision-making. The latter never goes out of style. A former mayor of Milwaukee, Frank P. Zeidler (1912 – 2006), was a model of exemplary leadership. He possessed the qualities of integrity, intelligence, and compassion and believed in the public good and the value of education.
I advise other State Bar of Wisconsin members to constantly challenge themselves. Whatever you do, create value for your community and society. If the pandemic has (or should have) taught us anything, it is to be more humane and considerate toward each other.
It’s also important to be considerate toward yourself. I recharge my own batteries by playing guitar, and the Gibson Les Paul Junior is my axe of choice. Sometimes one pickup is all you need!
James Casey, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Fla.
What is your favorite place in Wisconsin?
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Wisconsin, but two stand out for me. The first is my parents’ home near Merrimac on Lake Wisconsin. My family – all 17 of us, including my husband and three daughters, my sister’s family of five, my brother’s family of five, my parents and the seven dogs (yes – seven!) – spend many summer weekends there swimming, skiing, boating, and relaxing by the water. It’s a truly idyllic Wisconsin setting.
My other favorite place is my hometown of Elroy. With its rolling hills, forests, and farmland, the kids love to hike, fish, ride four-wheelers, and explore the family farm. No matter how long I’ve been away, it always feels like home.
Kelli S. Thompson, Wisconsin State Public Defender, Madison
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What do you do in your free time?
In day-to-day free time, I listen to podcasts (and have an embarrassingly long backlog that I’m constantly working through), read, and am not above binge watching TV. When I can find a little more time away, I love to travel and am hoping to be able to do more of that in the coming year.
Erica N. Reib, O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C., Milwaukee
What’s your favorite hidden gem website or database?
One of my favorite websites for research and entertainment is the Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/). A fundamental aspect of the internet is that it is always changing. Websites are edited, corrected, updated, or outright deleted. How can lawyers citing a website ensure that they can confidently rely on a source that could be changed at any time? The Wayback Machine has archived billions of webpages across the past 20-plus years. This means you can find what a certain page looked like on a certain day. This is a great way to unearth changed website content or just amuse yourself with the glory of website design from 2002.
An added bonus: The Wayback Machine has also archived thousands of old games and videos, including such well-loved nostalgia treats as The Oregon Trail and Doom, all available for free here: https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos_games. Enjoy!
Kris Turner, University of Wisconsin Law Library, Madison
How has your career surprised you?
My career has surprised me in almost every way. I went to law school right after college. My parents were teachers. I had no lawyers in my extended family. Other than high school and college jobs at a restaurant, doing yardwork, and coaching youth sports and activities (and driving the Puppet Mobile for a municipal park system in Minnesota, but that is a long and different story), I had no professional work experience before my 2L summer law clerkships and had little-to-no business education before I started practicing law.
I knew the practice of law would require hard work and diligence, but I had little idea how my legal career would develop. Fortunately, I had supportive (and patient) friends, family, colleagues, and mentors who helped me at the start of what is now a 30-plus-years’ legal career. While I am not surprised I have enjoyed the practice of law, I am surprised how my legal career developed and has changed over the years. For that reason, I try to help other young lawyers starting their careers in the same way others helped me all those years ago.
Grant C. Killoran, O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C., Milwaukee
What is on your bucket list?
The first thing that I think of when asked about a “bucket list” is one of the more humorous scenes in the 1963 movie It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Jimmy Durante laying on his back after a car accident trying to muster his last words to tell everyone that he had buried “$350Gs” under the “big W” and then literally kicking the bucket down the hill upon his last breath.
Like Jimmy Durante, I may never get to the “big W” but I would like to have a bucket to kick – an empty one, I hope. So before the bucket is placed before my feet, I would like to have an opportunity to publish a self-help book, spend time with my beautiful wife visiting all 50 states (32 down/18 left), as well as visiting Italy, Japan, and New Zealand, and, more important, continue to see my three beautiful adult daughters make a positive difference for the people they encounter in their lives. Oh yes, one more, to get that elusive hole-in-one!
Joseph E. Gumina, O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C., Milwaukee