Terry Dougherty Recognized by Nebraska State Bar Association for 50 Years of Service

Terry C. Dougherty

Woods Aitken attorney Terry C. Dougherty was recently recognized as a 50-year member of the Nebraska State Bar Association during its Annual Meeting in October 2023. Each year, the NSBA recognizes members who have reached this milestone. Additional acknowledgement on 50-year members is in the November/December 2023 issue of The Nebraska Lawyer magazine, including a special Q&A section, “NSBA 50-Year Members Spotlights,” featuring quotes from Dougherty: 

NSBA 50-Year Member Spotlights: 

What advice would you give a new or young lawyer?
“The practice of law can be demanding, and you must do your best for your clients but also remember to establish time for your family and to take care of yourself.” 

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
“Something in the medical field like a radiologist, medical research, or cardiologist. NO surgery!”

What is your proudest or most rewarding moment of practice?
“Being inducted as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. The induction was held at a meeting of the College in London.”

What have you seen change about the legal profession in the last 50 years?
“Greater diversification among lawyers, especially with regard to women in the law. There were seven women who started in law school when I did, and four graduated with my class. I have had the opportunity to write numerous letters of recommendation for women who became district and Court of Appeals judges. There is still room to improve, but things are much different than they were 50 years ago.”

How do you think the legal profession will change in the next 50 years?
“Obviously technological change will continue to occur, perhaps even in some ways that may seem a bit ominous to us now. There will be new or expanded existing areas of practice such as environmental/climate change law, space law, and law in relation to new solutions to protect privacy and individual liberties, and economic changes, perhaps as fundamental as our units of currency and the organization of financial institutions. If there are still “law offices” as such, they will not be centralized and the members will be working on their own most of the time and communicating by devices yet unimagined. Many functions not performed by assistants will have been programmed to be handled by “machines.” Hopefully one thing that will not change is that lawyers and clients will still be able to interact through meaningful “attorney-client communication.” 

            -Terry Dougherty 

Shared with permission from the Nebraska State Bar Association, The Nebraska Lawyer (November/December 2023).

In honor of 50 years of service, the Nebraska State Bar Association presented Dougherty with a certificate that reads:

“This certificate is presented to Terry C. Dougherty in recognition of your adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and for your service to the public and to the profession through the faithful performance of your duties as a Nebraska lawyer for 50 years.”

Dougherty joined Woods Aitken in 1997 and focuses his trial practice on plaintiff’s personal injury and products liability claims. Prior to becoming an attorney at Woods Aitken, Dougherty’s legal career included four years as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, three years with the Office of the Lancaster County Attorney as a felony prosecutor, and seventeen years in private practice in Norfolk and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Dougherty is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. He is listed in Super Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America©. In 2016, he received the Boss of the Year award from the Lincoln Legal Professionals Association. 

Dougherty received his J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.