“Be a sponge.” - Judge Lorton
“People can be smarter than you, but, if you put your mind to it, you can outwork them.” - Sheriff Manns

Jersey County Courthouse
Judge Allison Lorton & Sheriff Nick Manns

Did you know the Jersey County Courthouse was built in 1893!?
We could have asked these two questions all day! Their current jobs and past career experiences are fascinating.

Judge Lorton grew up in Belleville, IL. Her parents were teachers; in high school, she would never have thought she would be a judge one day because it seemed too out of reach given her family’s career paths. She went to college in Kentucky and obtained her finance degree. After graduation, she realized she wanted to do something else. A professor suggested she go to law school. She attended SIUC, where she met her husband Laef Lorton, and knew from the start that she loved law.
In response to student questions she said: her favorite part of her job is helping people resolve disputes; her best job experience was working in Madison County and taking it all in to learn as much as she could. She advised them to “be a sponge” and soak it all up and then put it to use.

Sheriff Manns has had an impressive career.
He grew up here in Jersey County on a farm. He went to University of Illinois and planned to be a lawyer. He originally went into law enforcement while going to law school to help pay for tuition. His job was security for a traveling museum exhibiting the history of the US Marshals. The US Marshals got to know him and they were the first to hire him after college. To simply sum up the job - they hunt fugitives and sit in court rooms. After sitting in court rooms, he decided he did not want to be a lawyer.

After five years with the US Marshals, another man from the area worked for the FBI and knew Nick would be a good fit. He has spent a lot of his career in East St. Louis and also places like: Iraq, Navajo Indian Reservation, Oklahoma City (after the bombing), D.C., and more. He retired in 2016 and in recent years decided to bring his experience back to his hometown. He gave God a lot of the credit for setting his career path up for him.
He told the students, “no matter where you are in the world, one thing I’ve learned is, everyone wants the same things in life. No matter how different you are from someone else, you have that in common”.

Public speaking is an important skill set in most any job. Sheriff Manns & Judge Lorton both mentioned as young adults they were not comfortable with public speaking.
Judge Lorton shared some tips that she used to help herself feel ready to sit on the bench (reference for where the judge sits). She emphasized that the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become - but that you may always have some nerves and that just means you care.
Sheriff Manns shared that he was in FFA in high school and his teacher, Jack Stork, encouraged him and helped train him to partake in the public speaking competitions. His FFA experience, along with being an intern at the St. Louis Arch speaking to visitors each day, helped him to be more confident with public speaking.

Thank you Judge Lorton & Sheriff Manns for speaking with us today!