I filed my first bankruptcy case in February, 1983. In the time since then, I have filed thousands more. The feeling I had when I filed my first case is the same I have now: that my clients, having made the difficult decision to file a bankruptcy case, would be able to protect themselves and their family financially, and I was able to help.
I was born and raised in St. Cloud. My parents made financial sacrifices to make sure that my brothers and sister and I were provided for. Neither of my parents had the opportunity to attend college; they wanted to make sure their children had that chance. With their help, I was able to go to college. I graduated from Saint John’s University and the University of Minnesota Law School.
My parents also instilled in me the ethic that if I was able to help someone, I should do so. For the past 30 years, my bankruptcy clients have needed my help. Their finances have gotten out of control. They are experiencing the anxiety that money problems create. By working with them, I have helped them reorganize themselves financially and get a fresh start in their lives.
I try to share the knowledge I’ve gained. For six years I was an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at St. Cloud State University. I have been a guest lecturer in Business Law at the College of Saint Scholastica. I have spoken to other lawyers regarding Bankruptcy topics at Continuing Legal Education seminars.
I try to keep my skills sharp. I am a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
I am gratified that I have been recognized by the legal community for my work. I received recognition from the Stearns-Benton Bar Association for my work with disadvantaged clients in 2009. In 2011, I received the Raeder Larson Public Service Award by the Bankruptcy Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
While that recognition is gratifying, the most gratifying part of my job is the assistance I give clients who need help. That was true in 1983, and it is still true today.