Deborah Roach Gilg
Class of 1970
The legal career of Deborah Roach Gilg has both spanned and connected the state of Nebraska. As a result, Deb has been able to build bridges between the rural and urban communities of the state. From her work in western Nebraska as County Attorney for Arthur and Keith counties, as a Special Deputy County Attorney for Garden, Deuel, and five other western Nebraska counties, as City Attorney for Ogallala, and as the Village Attorney for Arthur and Paxton to her work in eastern Nebraska as Deputy County Attorney for Saunders County, as a private practice attorney in Omaha, and, ultimately, to her presidential appointment as the first woman to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska, Deb has covered the state making legal decisions in a fair and just manner for all Nebraska's citizens, no matter their location in the state. A colleague has identified Deb's qualities of "calmness, fairness, patience, and modesty" as the foundation on which she has based her work as a lawyer. Through her work she has connected, not divided, the state. As she has said, "I owe much to western Nebraska for … teaching me what an honorable profession it is to be a lawyer -- and that there doesn't have to be a gap between urban and rural Nebraska." Her professional achievements include three Outstanding Public Service Awards and her selection as Chair of the Nebraska Equal Opportunities Commission. Deborah has also served on, or been a member of, several professional committees and associations affiliated with her legal work, including the Nebraska County Attorneys' Association, the Robert Spire Inns of the Court, the National District Attorneys' Association and the U.S. Attorney General's national terrorism and security committee, civil rights committee and Native American committee.