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A Pro Bono Advocate with High Aspirations

A founding partner of Boise-based law firm, Warren & Wynn, Sean Wynn has been chosen to receive the 2019 Denise O’Donnell Day Pro Bono Award.  Sean’s accomplishments will be recognized at the Idaho State Bar Annual meeting this summer and formally presented to him at the Fourth District Road Show in the fall.  The Fourth District is the largest in the state with more than 1700 lawyers.

This award, along with several others, is presented to members of the Idaho Bar who demonstrate exemplary leadership, professionalism, and a commitment to the legal community and the public. 

“Receiving the Denise O’Donnell Day award means a great deal to me,” said Sean, a 2017 Concordia University School of Law graduate. “It tells me that my pro bono work has not gone unnoticed.” Sean dedicates his pro bono service to prosecuting civil protection orders for domestic violence victims and representing guardian ad litems in child protection order cases. “These cases involve some of the most vulnerable members of society,” explains Sean.

Sean, who practices with a fellow Concordia Law alumnus, believes all attorneys should take on pro bono cases as an invaluable way to contribute by helping those who otherwise might not be able to secure proper representation. “It is important for those with special skills, like attorneys, to use those skills to make their community a better place and pro bono service is one of the best ways for an attorney to give back.”

Putting lessons into practice

Originally from Ogden, Utah, Sean was a double major in philosophy and political science at Weber State University and was drawn to Concordia Law in large part because of the pro bono and mentorship programs. 

“I loved the classes and the professors and many of the lectures stuck with me, most notably was the lesson from Professor Chad DeVeaux that the law is about people,” said Sean of his law school experience. 

A few courses—the Concordia Housing Clinic, Trial Practice class, and the Criminal Law Clinic were particularly fruitful in preparing Sean for his current practice which handles family law, 
housing, and criminal defense cases. He said the Housing Clinic taught him how to draft documents like letters of engagement, termination letters, and rejection letters while the Trial 
Practice Class and Criminal Law Clinic laid the foundation for him to become an effective trialattorney. 

A class united

Sean looks back on his days at Concordia Law with high regard for his classmates. “Most of my class felt like we were in it together, helping each other all the way through law school and the bar exam,” he offered. 

He believes the 91% bar passage rate for his graduating class was due in large part, “to our cooperative approach,” to law school and achieving our academic goals. 

When he wasn’t studying, Sean was the “driving force” in establishing a moot court team at Concordia Law.  Moot court gives second and third year students the opportunity to hone their written and oral advocacy skills and participate as a team in annual competitions. “Getting that team established is my proudest accomplishment while at Concordia,” he said. 

The practice of kindness

With a strong educational foundation, Sean left Concordia Law with the confidence to start a practice and looks to his professional future with high aspirations of growing into a great trial attorney. “I would like to be considered as great as the likes of Clarence Darrow, Barnabas Sears, Edward Bennet Williams, and F. Lee Baily,” said Sean. 

With a growing law practice and a staunch commitment to the community as evidenced by his forthcoming pro bono award from the Idaho State Bar, Sean is on his way. He says the best career advice he has received is to, “be kind and cordial to other attorneys and especially to court clerks,” adding, “I also think it is important to find your passion which will help get you through the more tedious aspects of the practice of law.”