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MARCH 2016 - Power Lunch
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WLALA Board Members Participate in the First Power Lunch in Riverside

by Dionna Shear
Law Clerk to the Hon. Mark D. Houle


Students and Volunteers at the Riverside Power Lunch

On February 29, 2016, WLALA Board members Hon. Beverly Reid O’Connell and Hon. Sandra R. Klein participated in the first Power Lunch (Lunch) to be held in Riverside.  During the Lunch, students from the San Gorgonio High School met with judges, lawyers, and other professionals to learn about the law and the legal profession.  In addition Judge O’Connell—who developed the Power Lunch concept—and Judge Klein, numerous other Judges participated including, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, and Bankruptcy Judges Mark D. Houle, Wayne Johnson, Meredith A. Jury, and Scott H. Yun. 

The theme of the Lunch was overcoming adversity and dreaming big.  Judge Klein kicked off the program by introducing the guest speakers, Judge Houle and Judge Yun, who both spoke about their backgrounds, overcoming adversity, and the importance of planning for success. 

Judge Klein then introduced each Judge, and provided fun facts about the Judges.  The highlight of the Lunch was a game of Legal Jeopardy! (which is played like the traditional Jeopardy! game), but with the following legal categories:  “Judges and Lawyers,” “Trials,” “Bill of Rights,” “Think Like a Lawyer,” and “Who’s Who in the Courtroom.”  The students had a great time answering the questions and learning about the law and the legal profession.

At the end of the Lunch, Judge Klein thanked everyone for participating and gave a heartfelt thank you to all members of the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office staff who work hard behind the scenes to make the Power Lunches such successful and noteworthy events. 

Before leaving the courthouse, the students asked to see Judge Houle’s courtroom.  He graciously agreed.  The students thoroughly enjoyed being in the courtroom, and they especially enjoyed sitting behind the bench.

Stay tuned for the next Federal Court Power Lunch, which is scheduled on Friday, May 13, 2016, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena.  If you are interested in participating in that Power Lunch, please contact the WLALA office (