Each summer Rembolt Ludtke welcomes Summer Associates — more commonly known as law clerks — to the firm in order for these talented people to gain more insight to a legal career.
Thomas J. Chvala — one of our 2018 Summer Associates — was raised in O’Neill, NE. Tom’s respect for legal work and his desire to help people can be traced back to his mother, who has practiced law for nearly 30 years. After becoming involved in real estate development and meeting various people with law degrees, Tom saw the value a JD could bring to his life.
During his time at Rembolt Ludtke, Tom had a unique opportunity assisting Sheila Bentzen during a three day commercial litigation trial. It is fairly rare for many non-criminal cases to reach a jury trial, so it is especially exciting for a Summer Associate to have this experience. When asked about his involvement in the trial, Tom said:
Being able to attend and participate in a jury trial this early in my legal career was a tremendous experience. Observing a trial from voir dire (selection of a jury) all the way to the final verdict is an experience that not many law clerks are probably able to take part in during their first summer. Watching Sheila craft her arguments while simultaneously mentoring me about different procedural and substantive issues of the law was extremely rewarding. I especially enjoyed interacting with our client, who received a favorable result in the case, which made the experience all the better.
And Sheila Bentzen said:
At Rembolt Ludtke we strive to provide hands-on, real-world experience for our summer associates. Because I had a jury trial set for the summer, I knew I wanted to share that experience with a summer associate. While law school provides a great educational foundation, there is no substitute for observing and experiencing the real thing.
Having Tom assist with my jury trial was a great help to me and a wonderful learning experience for him. Tom did a fantastic job listening to and analyzing the evidence and helping me get a read on the jurors. From start to finish, Tom was an invaluable resource. And best of all, he helped me celebrate our win!
Our firm shares Tom’s excitement for helping others through our knowledge and expertise of the law. And we’re proud to be developing the next generation of lawyers through opportunities such as this by being mentors and examples.