Alumni Profiles | School of Law| SIU

Southern Illinois University

Alumni Profiles | School of Law| SIU

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alumni profiles

Vikas Dhar

Class of 2003

Vikas Dhar

Dhar Law, LLP

"We expected to contribute a substantial portion of our practices to 'community lawyering' – working directly with local, national and international groups to provide expert legal assistance to various non-profit initiatives and in performing varied pro bono work. This concept was fueled by my time at SIU, and the law school's tradition of being 'established in the public interest, serving the public good.'" 

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Kristen Johnson

Class of 2008

Attorney-Advisor, Division of Land and Water Resources, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior

"SIU's biggest asset is its small size and personal attention. I highly doubt I would have stayed with a program at a larger school. I really felt like the faculty at SIU cared about my success. SIU not only gave me a great education with practical application, but I also found my best friends, which I think, is also partially a result of the school's size."   

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Jordan Matthis

Class of 2013

Jordan Matthis

Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, Illinois

"What I enjoyed most about my experience at SIU is that faculty, staff, and fellow students all seek to help each other any way possible. The professors are very approachable and are always in their offices and happy to help if you need assistance with a lesson, or if you just need someone to talk to about life and the stress of law school."  

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Nancy Rosenstengel

Class of 1993

Nancy Rosenstengel

United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois

“The best advice I ever received was to go to SIU School of Law. I knew I wanted to remain in the area, and it was a great education at a great price.”   

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Jay Howd

Class of 1992

Jay Howd

Private Practice with emphasis on bankruptcy; owner and managing attorney for Bankruptcy Clinic, PC

"Your reputation is your stock and trade. Focus on building it and making it better. A Good reputation takes hard work and years to build, but can be lost very quickly."  

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Michelle Kinneer

Class of 2002

Michelle Kinneer

Risk Manager/Patient Compliance Officer/Patient Safety Officer at Fort Madison Community Hospital, Fort Madison, Iowa
Faculty, University of Phoenix

"There is a sharp learning curve after you graduate, if you think you can just work Monday through Friday 9 to 5, you will be sadly mistaken. But, I wouldn’t change anything because I love it. What other career has this much variety?"   

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Della Nelson

Class of 1984

Della Nelson

Civil personal injury litigation concentrating on traumatic brain injury cases.

"My son had a traumatic brain injury a while ago, which changed my work and life focus.  My work now gives me the flexibility to enjoy an active lifestyle here in Colorado. I am able to train for and participate in  triathlons, marathons, and trail races. It also makes my day to be able to work with my daughter every day."   

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Giovanni Randazzo

Class of 2004

Giovanni Randazzo

Deputy Legal Counsel, Office of the Senate President and Legal Counsel to the Senate Executive Committee and the Committee on Executive Appointments

"I believe that my work ethic and the ability to communicate a problem and possible solutions have helped me succeed.  I am also a strong believer in working with others toward a common goal. For example, my Caucus has a large supermajority but I do not try to merely rely on that to fix problems, I work with the other side and House to find consensus where we can."

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Kathy Pine

Class of 1982

Kathy Pine

Attorney and Shareholder at Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard

After almost 20 years practicing law from our St. Louis office, I opened our firm’s first Illinois office in Carbondale in '03. My practice has evolved into representing smaller hospitals and physician practices in more rural communities. I really enjoy representing these physicians, nurses and other health care workers who are willing to come to southern IL or, in some cases, come back to this area to provide critical frontline and basic health care in a rural community where access to that care is often threatened by shortages of health care providers.  

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