John Bouman

The Career Planning Center was pleased to host Mr. John Bouman on October 28, 2008, at DISH restaurant in Valparaiso for a Distinguished Alumnus Lunch. Mr. Bouman met with eight students to discuss his career path and the benefits of working in the legal aid and non-profit sector.

Mr. Bouman was named President of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law effective January 1, 2007. He also remains the Shriver Center’s Director of Advocacy, his position since 1996. He joined the Shriver Center in May 1996 after twenty-one years at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, where he supervised public benefits advocacy from 1985. Mr. Bouman also worked in several Chicago neighborhoods and held a position as a specialist in the Foundation’s Elderly Law Project.

Mr. Bouman has won numerous awards for his career and accomplishments in antipoverty legal and advocacy work. He is recognized for being one of the most effective and thoughtful public benefits advocates in the country. He is credited by many legislators, administrators, providers, and other advocates for his leadership in the design and implementation of Illinois’s new welfare law in 1997.

John Bouman
 Recently Mr. Bouman led the successful statewide effort to create the FamilyCare program to provide health insurance to up to 300,000 working poor parents of minor children. In November 2002, Mr. Bouman was named to Governor-elect Rod Blagojevich’s key transition team committee focusing on the state’s budget crisis. He was also lead counsel in Memisovski v. Maram, a successful case establishing substantial reforms in children’s health care in Illinois.\Mr. Bouman is a founding and current member of the steering committee of the National Transitional Jobs Network and a frequent lecturer and trainer on a variety of social policy, advocacy, and lawyering subjects. Mr. Bouman is also a member of the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Chicago Bar Association.

Roberta Lang

The Career Planning Center was pleased to host Ms. Roberta Lang at Valparaiso Law, on September 26, 2008, to lead a program entitled “Conscious Capitalism: Craft a Career with Passion.” After the program, Ms. Lang joined 10 law students at DISH restaurant in Valparaiso for lunch and to discuss her role as General Counsel and Global Vice President of Legal Affairs for Whole Foods Market, Inc., a fortune 500 company and the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods. It was a lively question and answer period, where she provided students with information specific to her career path and also general information about what type of background and experience is needed to become in-house counsel. Ms. Lang is a true believer in Whole Foods Market and their mission and expressed that to fully understand an organization you are a working for, you need to be a part of it. To that end, all of her staff works at least one day a year in a Whole Foods Market store in order to be better acquainted with how the organization works from the ground up. Roberta Lang
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Ms. Lang is responsible for a broad scope of corporate legal functions for the entire company and its 55,000 Team Members. Ms. Lang works closely with the Whole Foods Market Executive and National Leadership Teams, as well as with the Board of Directors. Her team provides a variety of services and counsel ranging from intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, securities, contractual work, risk assessment, human resources, Employment and Labor, licensing, policy and business advice. She has been recognized five times as a Whole Foods Market “All*Star”, the Company’s highest honor, for her overall outstanding performance as a dedicated, tireless team member who brings incredible intellect, seasoned perspective, understanding and balance to her professional life.Prior to joining Whole Foods Market, Roberta practiced law in the Chicago area. She has been a legal consultant to several international corporations and has chaired both business and tax related bar association committees as well as serving as an arbitration judge. She sits on the board of the Whole Planet Foundation and was a board member of the former Animal Compassion Foundation. She is currently listed in Who’s Who of American Law and in the Who’s Who of American Business. Ms. Lang is a member of the American Bar Association, the Texas General Counsel Forum and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She has been profiled in the National Law Journal, Inside Counsel Magazine and Texas Monthly. She earned her undergraduate degree at Indiana University.

Michael Tolbert

The Career Planning Center was pleased to host Mr. Michael Tolbert as our November Distinguished Alumnus on November 21, 2008. Seven students were able to talk with Mr. Tolbert about his career, ask questions relating to his practice and get advice about conducting their own job search.Mr. Tolbert is a partner at Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans and focuses his practice primarily in the areas of insurance defense, civil litigation, employment law and wrongful death actions which includes catastrophic personal injury cases.

He received his J.D., cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2000 and his B.A. in Criminal Justice from Valparaiso University in 1997.

Michael Tolbert
Mr. Tolbert is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association Board of Governors Executive Committee, Lake County Bar Association, Porter County Bar Association, American Bar Association, is the Vice President of the Indiana Supreme Court Commission for Continuing Legal Education, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Gary Chamber of Commerce, President of the Porter County Chapter of the American Inns of Court and Vice President of the James Kimbrough Bar Association. Mr. Tolbert is also on the Board of Directors for Housing Opportunities, Inc.