John Berry is the managing partner of Berry Law Firm. Berry Law Firm represents veterans seeking disability benefits nationwide. Regionally, the firm represent clients in a multitude of criminal law matters from DUIs to white collar crime.
How did you get started in the business? – My father, John Stevens Berry, Sr. started the practice in 1965. In the 1970s after he returned from Vietnam, he practiced primarily in the areas of criminal defense and civil trial work. Several of his clients who were also veterans were denied benefits by the VA and he began doing pro bono legal work for veterans. In 2000, I left the active army to pursue a law degree and join the firm.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Expanding from a Nebraska law firm to a national law firm. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan exponentially increased our client base. Fortunately we were able to hire great lawyers and staff to keep up with the increasing demand for lawyers representing veterans.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Serving as an officer in the United States Army and Nebraska Army National Guard. I have been fortunate to have two commands and am still currently serving in the guard. As an army officer, I took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution. As a lawyer, I get to support and defend the Constitution by protecting my clients’ rights. Democracy is not a spectator’s sport!
Tell us a little about your family. – My family is fairly athletic. My wife is a former college swimmer and coach. My daughter is a great ice skater and skier. My son is only four years old, but has been able to hit a baseball since age three. They keep me in shape.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Serving as a company commander in Iraq. I learned a lot about leadership, management, and team building that I have been able to incorporate into our organization.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Alpine ski.
What are you the most proud of? – My family.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – The only easy day is yesterday and of course the Golden Rule.
What is the one goal you would most like to accomplish? – To raise my children to live hopefully, courageously, and generously, and to always remember my duty to “give back” to my community and profession.
How would your friends describe you? – Intense, but I hope with some humor.
Which talent would you most like to have? – Patience may not qualify as a talent, but it would be fun to write a good novel.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – The Ginger Man by JP Donleavy is probably my favorite.
What is your favorite movie? – Better Off Dead
Favorite Omaha restaurant? – Lo Sole Mio
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Thomas Jefferson
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – firstname.lastname@example.org