Professional development

In Episode 13 of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy talk with Karina O’Brien, an attorney at Kostner, Koslo & Brovold LLC in Arcadia, Wisconsin. The topic? Rural practice in Wisconsin. The challenges. The opportunities. The shortage of attorneys in rural Wisconsin.
A 2014 U.W. Law School graduate, Karina grew up in Arcadia, located 45 miles south of Eau Claire. She didn’t think she would return to her
Continue Reading Episode 13: Rural Law Practice with Karina O’Brien

Milwaukee-based attorney Christa Wittenberg, a 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, never thought she would ever work for a law firm. But plans change.
Now after 9 years with O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, Dejong & Laing S.C., Wittenberg was recently elected to serve on the firm’s 3-person Board of Directors. In the firm’s 50-year history, she is the first woman to serve in that role. In addition to her commercial litigation practice, Wittenberg will help the firm
Continue Reading Episode 12: Navigating New Opportunities with Confidence: Christa Wittenberg

I read Influence Is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance earlier this year. One of my big takeaways was a concept I had read about other places but I liked her description best. There are two processes for processing thoughts. System 1 is mostly monitors for threats and opportunities. It is mostly controlled by the amygdala, which means it is a lot of emotion and actions unconsciously and automatically. It bypasses the neocortex. She calls this Gator Brain.

System 2
Continue Reading Get Out of Gator Land

Fresh off a one-year term as president of the State Bar of Wisconsin, family and elder law attorney Margaret Hickey, of Milwaukee, discusses the importance of leadership, including service to a State Bar membership of more than 25,000 attorneys. Co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy engage Hickey – the fourth consecutive woman to serve as president – in discussions about the role of State Bar leaders, including the State Bar’s Board of Governors, and how leaders tackle issues important
Continue Reading Episode 11: Leading the Legal Profession with Margaret Hickey

[Erin here: This is the second of two lessons from Carter, our outstanding high school administrative assistant. He keeps winning Gold at Wisconsin State Forensics so we think we all can learn something from him.!]

If you are reading this then I like to think that you enjoyed the first part of this two-part blog post, and you want to hear more about the rules that I think are a must to being a great public speaker. Before reading
Continue Reading Public Speaking: An Ability Worth Working For (Episode 2)

When Makda Fessahaye was age 28, and only five years out of law school, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers appointed her as the top administrator of the Division of Adult Institutions at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. That was in 2019. “You go for it because when else do you get a gubernatorial appointment,” Fessahaye said. She went on to become the chief human resources officer for the city of Milwaukee, and now serves as associate vice chancellor and chief
Continue Reading Episode 10: Building Relationships and Community with Makda Fessahaye

In Episode 9 of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-hosts Kristen Hardy and Emil Ovbiagele speak with Milwaukee-based attorney Nate Cade, who wakes up at exactly 4:06 a.m. every morning to start his routine. A heavy-hitting litigator who often works on high-profile cases, Cade spent the first 17 years of his career at a large law firm, honing his craft as a trial lawyer and making his own opportunities. One day, about a
Continue Reading Episode 9: Nate Cade on Extreme Ownership, from Big Law to Solo Practice

Are you a public defender or prosecutor? A judge? A Wisconsin resident? Thinking about criminal law as a career? The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Advocacy Team is advocating for you. In Episode 8 of Bottom Up, a WisLawNOW podcast produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, guest host Joe Forward speaks with three members of the State Bar’s Advocacy Team – Cale Battles, Lynne Davis, and Devin Martin – about the advocacy work they are doing to increase funding
Continue Reading Episode 8: Advocating for the Criminal Justice System

Milwaukee attorney Larry Whitley went straight from law school to an in-house counsel position, working on billion dollar deals in real estate right out the gate. In the latest episode of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-hosts Kristen Hardy and Emil Ovbiagele chat with Whitley about his journey. “There’s no wrong path, just your path,” Whitley says. The Rufus King High School and Marquette University Law School graduate – a former Milwaukee Bucks
Continue Reading Episode 7: The Road Less Traveled with In-House Counsel, Larry Whitley

In this episode, a near-death experience sparks discussion about self-reflection, making changes, lawyer wellbeing, and finding your purpose. Co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy speak with Joe Forward, communications director at the State Bar of Wisconsin. Joe discusses a recent near-death experience, which he wrote about in Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, and the self-reflection that followed. Many lawyers reached out to Joe after his article appeared, an indication that many identified with the observation that everyone has flaws, but we
Continue Reading Episode 6: Life, Death, Change & Purpose

A year ago, attorney Rebeca Lopez made partner. It took her almost 10 years, and a lot of work, to become a shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

In the latest episode of Bottom Up, a WisLawNOW Podcast produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, Lopez – an employment lawyer who is also the vice president of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association – shares insights on the secret to her success.

As Bottom Up co-host Kristen Hardy notes,
Continue Reading Episode 5: Making Partner, and Refilling Your Cup​​​

Young lawyers and law students, this episode is for you! Co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy join guest Alex Eichhorn, a partner at Tabek Law LLC, based in Milwaukee. All three graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2014, and now have eight years of law practice under their belts. All three are also entrepreneurial lawyers in some form. Emil started his own law practice, on his own terms. Kristen, a former college athlete, is an assistant general counsel
Continue Reading Episode 4: On Being an Entrepreneurial Attorney

In this episode, the second of a two-parter on lawyer well-being and work-life balance, guests and co-hosts dig deeper into the topic of work-life balance and what it really means, what firms and companies are doing, and what they can do to create better workplaces for lawyers, especially young lawyers. Emil Ovbiagele (co-host), a small firm owner in Milwaukee, and Kristen Hardy (co-host), an in-house counsel at a large company, lead the discussion with mid-sized firm partner Ryan Woody
Continue Reading Episode 3 (Part 2): Work-Life Balance and Young Lawyers

Work-life balance was the topic of discussion in the latest episode of the WisLawNOW podcast, Bottom Up, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin.

The first in a two-part episode on lawyer well-being and work-life balance, Emil Ovbiagele (co-host), a small firm owner in Milwaukee, and Kristen Hardy (co-host), an in-house counsel at a large company, lead the discussion with mid-sized firm partner Ryan Woody and Emily Stedman, a senior associate at a large law firm.

Listen now. 
Continue Reading Bottom Up Podcast: What Does Work-Life Balance for Young Lawyers Look Like?

Mentoring and mentorship. Is there a generational divide? What experienced attorneys view as positive mentorship may be different from that of newer and younger attorneys in their first decade of practice. How do we bridge the gap? Co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy explore the topic with guest Syovata Edari, a former criminal trial lawyer who is now an award-winning chocolatier.
Continue Reading Episode 2: Mentoring and Mentorship. Is there a Generational Divide?

Meet Emil Ovbiagele, host of the new WisLawNOW Podcast, Bottom Up, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin. Emil is the immediate past president of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Young Lawyers Division and founder of OVB Law & Consulting S.C. in Milwaukee. The monthly podcast will focus on issues of interest to young lawyers in Wisconsin and beyond. Tune in!
Continue Reading Episode 1: Intro to Bottom Up, a WisLawNOW Podcast