Attorney joins Crangle Firm
By John Baetz
Bradley Steen recently returned to Lincoln, armed with his law degree, to work as part of the Crangle Law Firm. Last week he took some time to answer a few questions about his new career and making Lincoln his home.
What brought you to Lincoln and to Mr. Crangle’s practice, and how long have you been working there?
There were two reasons. I have ties to the community. My mother, Ellen Rose lives here, and her sister and my aunt, Jeanne Crangle (as well as her husband Bob). My grandmother, Wanda Rose, also lives here.
I’ve got roots going further back than that, too. One of my great-grandfathers, Hally Rector, was a probate judge in Lincoln County from 1955 to 1966. Another great-grandfather, Arthur Rose, Sr., was sheriff from 1922 to 1926.
I had worked for Bob in the past as a legal assistant, and after graduating from law school, came back to work as an attorney.
Where did you live and work prior to moving to Lincoln?
I originally grew up in Burlington, Kan., which is a town of about 3,000.
In December 2008 I graduated from Washburn University with a B.A. in political science. During undergrad I worked at a Papa John’s restaurant in Topeka, and following graduating from college I couldn’t find a better job. I stuck it out working as a shift manager at the Papa John’s until the summer of 2010.
I had long been interested in going to law school, and was looking for an exit strategy from the food service industry. It started with a talk with my mother, who reminded me that Bob is a lawyer. It developed into a chance for me to see what work as an attorney is like. I worked there while applying for law school and deciding where to go.
What is your education and background and what is your specialty?
I began attending Washburn University School of Law in August 2012. I graduated magna cum laude in May, and while in law school I was a writer for the Washburn Law Journal and executive editor of the same Journal my final year. During law school, I really enjoyed the topic of constitutional law, especially the subject of religious freedom.
I wrote a “Comment,” which is a Washburn Law Journal student-written article critiquing a given court case, on Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.’s religious freedom lawsuit against the federal government over the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. The case I specifically wrote about was the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s decision, which the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services later appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Journal wound up publishing my comment in its second issue during my second year of school.
From a student’s perspective, it was exciting to read the news developments on the Supreme Court case, as I’d been following the case for months before the Supreme Court even agreed to hear it.
What are your hobbies? Are you involved in any community organizations?
As far as hobbies go, I miss the process of months of work on a long, written piece. As an attorney, there is a lot of writing, but most of the time the documents are fairly short with a few weeks as the deadline. I had a lot of fun writing my Comment back in law school, even if it was a lot of work and took about nine months before it was published.
I had been kicking around a topic for a novel a number of years, and I’ve slowly but surely started working on that again. Perhaps it may be a quarter of the way finished in the next three years.
During law school, I kept my 1995 Subaru on life support. Replaced the starter, alternator, and fuel pump at various points I’d never really worked on cars before, and was astonished by how much simpler some of these repairs were to do than I thought they’d be.
I mainly figured out what I needed to do by watching Youtube videos on how to do the repairs, after consulting more mechanically-inclined friends about what the problem parts may be. The main motivating factor was being in school and tight on money, but I found that I really enjoyed doing it.
After spending most of my time hunched over a computer or textbooks, it was Zen-like to play shade-tree mechanic on a Sunday morning, and even better when the car ran again and I didn’t have to ride the bus anymore.
I also enjoy collecting and shooting handguns. I haven’t been into this hobby for very long – bought my first .22LR pistol a little over a year ago, and got a .40 S&W earlier this year. I hope to expand my collection soon and improve my aim.
What is your impression of Lincoln so far?
After coming back from Topeka, (which had probably 15 or 20 gang-related shootings during my final month living there) it is nice to be someplace quiet. It’s still the same Lincoln I remember -people are friendly, and things are pretty safe and calm by comparison.