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Up & Coming Honorees: Jarica Oeltjen, 31

Assistant General Counsel, BKD CPAs & Advisors, Springfield

Jarica OeltjanPractice Areas: Litigation, estate planning

Law School: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

Jarica Oeltjen’s favorite moment in her career so far came on the day she won summary judgment in state court on behalf of a rural water district.

Her desire to serve her community in ways large and small is evident from her resume: After earning her law degree in 2012, she worked for Legal Aid of Western Missouri in Joplin.

From there, she worked with Lathrop Gage before joining Kutak Rock in Springfield, where until recently she practiced litigation and estate planning. She joined BKD CPAs & Advisors as assistant general counsel earlier this month.

Oeltjen makes time to engage in pro bono work in family-law issues and property-damage cases.

She also shares her legal knowledge with the community: At a 2017 event with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, she gave the colorfully titled presentation: “Panic! At the Disco(very): An Unfortunate Pun for an Unfortunately Common and Tricky Situation.”

What is your biggest accomplishment this year?

Reuniting a father with his child after being apart for over six months in a pro bono child-custody dispute

What is the best career advice you have received?

Read the [insert favorite expletive] [insert applicable case/rule/statute/contract/deed of trust]. It’s short and simple, but it has steered me on the right path more times than I can count.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

My first name is from a 1980s hit cartoon, “Jem and the Holograms.” It’s truly, truly, truly outrageous.

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