Kyle Wallor, Partner
Describe your career trajectory.
In August 1994, I packed all my belongings into a 1984 Volvo 240DL and hauled them 1,400 miles from the beaches of Narragansett, Rhode Island to the mean streets of Mid-Town Omaha, Nebraska. All of that to attend Creighton Law School. (That 240DL was a sexy ride, just Google it). Thanks to our very own Frank Schepers calling in a favor to Tim O’Brien, my first legal job was as a summer clerk for Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf and Lathrop.
Upon my graduation in 1997, I went to work as a law clerk for Douglas County’s 14 district court judges. The job called for research and writing on criminal, civil and domestic matters. It also provided the opportunity to attend trials and hearings to watch some of Omaha’s best trial attorneys practice law. It also afforded the opportunity to witness how not to practice law. If memory serves, my salary was less than a full time job at present-day minimum wage. Based on a recommendation from the Honorable James Buckley, Chief Justice C. Thomas White hired me to serve as his law clerk with the Nebraska Supreme Court. Once again, I was researching and writing, while being afforded the opportunity to see some Nebraska’s best lawyers argue before the Court. In hindsight and without any planning on my part, the combination of those clerkships fortuitously provided a wonderful foundation for becoming a litigator.
In August 1998, Lamson Dugan & Murray offered me a position as an associate in the litigation department. Over the course of my time as an associate, I was able to work with and learn from some of the best trial lawyers in the state. At the same time, the Firm allowed me to secure hands-on experience by handling files on my own. In the fall of 2005, the Firm offered me an opportunity to become a partner and I avoided stepping into any potholes before January 1, 2006. About 10 years ago, the Partners elected me as a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. The Partners have re-elected me twice and I continue to serve on the Committee today. I also have a full-time litigation practice. Over the course of my career, my cases have covered a broad spectrum, including insurance coverage disputes, personal injury, product liability, professional negligence, complex commercial litigation in the transportation industry including, breach of contract, breach of warranty, general commercial disputes, applications for writs of mandamus and claims under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.
What’s the most unique part about working at LDM?
Lamson Dugan & Murray is unparalleled in its commitment to providing associates with immediate hands-on opportunities to practice law in their chosen fields. By way of example, my first solo jury trial took place in January 1999, four months after joining the Firm. If you want that kind of immediate experience, there is no lack of opportunity for you to earn it at LDM. Most importantly, there is no law firm in Omaha that provides such immediate experience to associates.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — you learned in the last month?
The time in your life from when you have a child to when that child becomes an independent young adult is an awesomely frightening experience.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?
While hard work, commitment and experience are at the top of the list, the very best lawyers are thoughtful, curious and creative. It can be some of the most difficult time to write down and bill. However, investing the time to think about the matters we work on and being curious about the law and the facts presented by them allows us to build a creative solutions to secure successful results for our clients. That is real lawyering. It doesn’t matter if it’s a minor or major result, creative well thought out solutions can be one of the most rewarding parts of practicing law.
What are you currently reading, binge-watching or listening to?
“Welcome to Wrexham” on Hulu.
If someone were traveling to Omaha, what is one activity or place you’d recommend and why?
The College World Series. Omaha’s pride in and commitment to the CWS since it first arrived in the 1950’s is impossible to put into words. You need to experience it.