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Third Year Law Student John P. Beauvais Jr. Wants to Practice Landlord Tenant and Family Law

published April 08, 2013

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Personal Life

John P. Beauvais Jr.
John P. Beauvais a third year law student at Creighton University School of Law and anticipates a May 2013 graduation. He will also earn his Masters in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University’s Werner Institute. Although John has several areas of interest including a passion for ADR work and business law, he plans on practicing landlord tenant and family law.

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John was born in Omaha, NE and was raised throughout the U.S. because his father served in the Air Force. He grew up with his mother, father, younger brother and two younger sisters. John graduated with a B.A. in English and minored in writing from Briar Cliff University in May 2009. Two trimesters later, he turned his minor into a second B.A.

While studying at Briar Cliff University, John was the recipient of the President’s Scholarship, the St. Francis Leadership Scholarship and a music scholarship. He was a member of the choir for four years and a member of the Chamber Choir for three years. From 2006 to 2010, John served as a copy editor on the Briar Cliff Review, and he was a submissions editor from 2007 to 2010. In addition, he was a member of the Writing and English Majors Club’s Triumvirate from 2008 to 2009. He also worked as a writing tutor during those years.

John joined the Creighton Law Review via its summer write-on competition in 2011. He explained, “I wrote an article which went unpublished but for which I received academic credit. The article concerned the NFL’s use of the ‘knock out’ rule against players during the NFL lockout. Being that I was busy with my Master’s program, I chose not to pursue a board position.”

Since 2012, John has been the Vice President of the Gay-Straight Law Student Alliance at Creighton University School of Law. When asked about his honors and awards during law school, he replied, “I received my mediator’s license last November (2012). During the summer of 2012, I also had the benefit of being part of AmeriCorps’ Equal Justice Works. Also, this past week I was informed that the Nebraska Supreme Court had ruled in favor of an appeal I had worked on this past summer and that the decision has been published (285 Neb. 440). This was particularly exciting for me because part of their decision used the same reasoning I had written into our clinic’s brief.”

Although John and his partner did not advance past the first round of their school’s moot court competition in 2012, he gained valuable knowledge during his 2L year.Last summer, he participated in the Equal Justice Works’ Summer Corps program. John stated, “I worked over 300 hours in Creighton’s civil law clinic, which serves the low-income residents of Douglas County, Nebraska. Currently, I work in Creighton’s Community Economic Development Clinic.I would have loved to return to the civil clinic for another semester, but I felt it was necessary to my growth as a legal professional to gain practical experience in business law.”

In 2012, John externed under Judge Vernon Daniels at the Douglas County Juvenile Court. He recalled:
“As his clerk, I researched a variety of issues related to juvenile law. The topics that stick out in my mind include the notice requirements of ICWA, the intersection of immigration and juvenile law, and the role of defense attorneys in pre-trial facilitation conferences.

I felt as if my extensive background in alternative dispute resolution techniques helped me to relate concepts that those with a more traditional legal background may have struggled with. I also felt that my life experiences also gave me some unique insights into the proceedings. Having had lived in a group home for two years, I definitely felt as if I had a certain degree of intuition about certain cases.”
Is John involved with any assistance research projects or upcoming publications or projects? He claimed, “As part of my Master’s, I recently completed a research project.  The goal of the project was to facilitate collaboration between the law school’s gay rights advocacy group and Creighton’s undergrad equivalent. While the immediate dividends of the project have been small, I hope that my project has helped to establish a solid foundation which will aid in future growth beyond just this year.”

John is currently a member of the Omaha Bar Association and the Iowa Bar Association’s Family Law Section.His favorite author is Gabriel Márquez. When the Briar Cliff University alumnus isn’t studying, he is an avid film critic. John also enjoys basketball and football. He said, “If I weren’t in law, I’d love to either be a film critic or a sports analyst.”

John’s Academic Law Career and Future Aspirations

Why did John go into the law? “I decided to go into law because it afforded me the best opportunity to maximize my abilities and to do what I dream of: living a life in service of others.” He continued to say that he is interested in the law because he used to live in group homes and the experience opened his eyes. John saw how many people needed help.

John shared his aims and aspirations. “My dream job would be to become General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services. I would also love to someday work as a guardian ad litem or as a law guardian.”

When asked about his key accomplishments, John noted:
“I prefer to remain humble about the things I have achieved in life; I, like most people would not be where I am today had it not been for all of those [people] who have helped me through the years.

The one achievement I am most proud of is having turned my life around.  Children are the most vulnerable individuals in our society. As a child, I found myself completely in the hands of the kindness of others. Thankfully, the people at Boys Town helped me to turn my life around. My hope is that my story can someday help a child in a similar situation keep faith that their current circumstances will not dictate their future.”
John discussed his key strengths and skills that he would like to use to advance his career goals. “I think that my best strength is my academic curiosity. I love to find ways to understand and analyze situations on a deeper level. I can learn to love learning about almost any subject and I love to research.”

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As for his weakness, John acknowledged, “I have a tendency to spread myself too thin. While this is sometimes necessary to take advantage of some great opportunities, I have started to realize that limiting myself to a smaller set of activities would result in higher quality work.”

Since law school can be hectic at times, John pointed out how he relieves stress. “The best stress management I have is simply talking to a friend. Taking a few minutes to laugh brings sunshine to any day.”

Many readers are probably wondering how John handles new assignments. The third year law student shared his process: “Usually, I like to start a project by acquainting [myself] with the lexicon of the subject-matter. I feel like this really helps me to engage in more productive research. It also helps me to figure out how to ask and who to ask the right questions that need to be answered in order to solve the problem.”

Where does John derive his confidence? “My confidence comes from my belief in the value of hard work. I know I can work hard, and if given the chance, I can make the most of any opportunity I am given.”

Three Wishes to Live By, Dealing with Fear, Major Obstacles and Volunteer Experience

If John had three wishes, what would he wish for? He asserted:
“1) To find a job in which I could serve others while having the opportunity for advancement and supporting a family. 2) For society to have a deeper understanding of and a more compassionate approach to the mentally ill. 3) For all of our communities to know of and better appreciate the contributions and sacrifices of the many hard working attorneys that make our day to day life possible.”
In regards to handling fear, John stated, “I am a big fan of Immanuel Kant—when life is at its most difficult, we should try to act in the manner that we wish others would strive to act if given a similar situation. I’m not sure I have ever achieved this aim, but I believe that, in trying to achieve it, I have become a better person.”

Has John faced any obstacles in his life? How did he get through these obstacles?He disclosed:
“I’ve overcome a few struggles in my life. As I alluded to before, I ended up in a group home by the time I was 14. A little over two years later, I returned to my hometown. Overcoming the rumors that surrounded my departure was every bit as difficult as the time I spent away.

During my 1L and 2L years, my mother’s struggles with manic depression and alcoholism became so great that she had to move in with me.Taking care of a person in that condition definitely puts a strain on one’s academics.

I made it through these things with the love and the support of friends and family. Beyond that, it has always been my faith in Providence which has stayed me through the darkest times.”
John discussed his volunteer experience. He explained:
“In 2005, while I attended high school, I was given the St. Francis Award for having engaged in the most community service of any student at my school. 

I also helped to set up my church youth group’s mission trip program. Through it, I went on two mission trips: one to inner-city Chicago in 2004 and one to the Red-Lake Indian Reservation in 2005.

Later, in college, I went on two mission trips to Honduras (2007-08). While we were there, we helped to install running water to two villages which had never had it before.

In law school, I have worked in Creighton’s Civil Law Clinic and it’s Community Economic Development Clinic. Both clinics serve the legal needs of low-income individuals.”
Legal Role Models, Personal Philosophy, People You Want to Surround Yourself With and Most Influential Traveling Experience

Does John have any legal role models? He claimed, “Prof. Kate Mahern, Prof. Milo Alexander, and Judge Vernon Daniels are all my role models and some of the best people I have ever known. The Omaha legal community and the greater Omaha community are better places because of their service to others. They are all great examples of ‘a life well lived in the law.’”

What is John’s personal philosophy? “There is beauty in all things. Life is a gift and it is beautiful. One of the greatest blessings and greatest tragedies of our existence is that there are so many wondrous things in this world that we will never even begin to fully appreciate them.”

The future attorney talked about what he believes holds more truth in light of his personal philosophy. Was it fate or choice? “Choice. There have been many times in my life where I could have given up, but I am only where I am today because I made the choice to stand up and try once more.”

What kind of situations and people is John attracted to? What kind of situations and people does the law student avoid? “I really gravitate towards the type of people who I wish to be more like. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to look to some of your peers as role models. Other than that, I really enjoy talking to people who like to analyze music, art, literature, and film.” As for situations and people to avoid, John said, “I try to appreciate each individual for who they are, but I find that people who are the most dogmatic/zealous about their beliefs are the most difficult to deal with.”

John talked about his most influential traveling experience. “I have traveled all throughout the United States. I’ve also traveled through Europe and Central America. My top three travel experiences have been: 1) my road trip from Nebraska to Oregon and back, 2) my mission trips to Honduras, and 3) my research trip to the Sioux holy lands.”

Family Matters and Favorite Quote

What is John’s top priority outside of work? “My top priorities outside of work are my family and my faith. My fiancée has been gracious enough to persevere through three years of a long distance relationship and I do my best to make sure that she knows just how much I appreciate it. She challenges me to be a better person, and it is the idea of our future together that keeps me motivated when school/work get tough.”

John’s favorite quote is by Andrew Martin: “One is glad to be of service.” He likes the quote because the law maximizes the ability to help others.

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published April 08, 2013

By Follow Me on
( 45 votes, average: 4.4 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.