Nicole Houston describes interning with the Law Offices of Northcutt, Clark, Gardner, Oldfield, and Layton…..
Many students are not exposed to career of choice until after they have gone through all the necessary schooling. Sometimes those students get stuck in a career that they thought they would love but in reality end up hating. To avoid this it is beneficial to complete an internship. An internship can provide valuable work experience, and give students the opportunity to explorer that career before it’s too late.
As an aspiring lawyer with no real exposure to the practice of law, it was a good idea for me to complete an internship before completing eight years of schooling to become a lawyer. I was placed in Ponca City at the law offices of Northcutt, Clark, Gardner, Oldfield, and Layton or Northcutt Law Firm for short. The firm was founded in 1983 by the senior partner C.D. Northcutt. In 1977 it merged with another law firm called Clark and Hron. “The Firm serves clients principally in northern Oklahoma and the Eastern, Western and Northern U.S. District Court, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Supreme Court.” (Pcok.com) Northcutt Law Firm offers services in almost all area of the law and has had seven lawyers work there since its founding. Four of the seven partners have passed away, so I had the opportunity of working with Guy Clark, William L. Oldfield, and Jennifer A. Layton. Guy Clark is the managing partner and practices law in the area of Business Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Appeals, Probate, and Real Estate Law. Will Oldfield practices law in the areas of Civil Litigation, Family Law, and Oil and Gas Law. Jennifer Layton practices law in the areas of Family Law and Civil and Criminal Litigation. Guy was my main mentor throughout my internship.
The main purpose of an internship is to learn. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who understood that. When I started my internship Guy told me, “You’re going to learn the ins and outs of a law firm from the bottom up.” The daily duties of my job included going to the post office to mail things and pick up the mail. I also took important documents to clients and obtained signatures. Every day I also learned something new. I learned about redlining contracts while reading through them before shredding them. Guy also had me read through the Oklahoma statutes regarding a case he was working on. I then read about final will and testimonies. And even got to watch a divorce trial. Most days I would go to the court house and file papers. After a while I got to sit in on a mediation and deposition with Guy. At the end of my internship I also got to sit in when a new client came in with a case and offer advice which Guy oversaw. The main thing I was able to contribute to the law firm was organizing and creating binders of evidence for mediation and trial.
The biggest con of an undergraduate internship was the fact that I didn’t have any law school experience. It is hard to be very helpful at a law firm without at least the base knowledge you learn in law school. The biggest pro of an undergraduate internship is seeing how lawyers operate and what the job of being a lawyer entails. I firmly believe that I gained a lot of exposure into my future career and am very excited to continue to pursue this career path.
My overall opinion of my internship experience is very positive. I learned a lot and feel like I was able to help a least a little bit in a significant way. I would highly recommend an internship with this agency for other students. All of the mentors I got to work with were very eager to teach me, and I feel like that is not something a lot of interns get to experience.
In conclusion, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to complete an internship at Northcutt law firm. An undergraduate internship at a law firm is a very rare opportunity and I had very eager and understanding mentors. I plan going to law school and completing a law degree so that I can help people the way that to lawyers at Northcutt law firm do. Until then I will work very hard on my education and continue to make connections that will guide me on the path to success in the law field.
Pcok.com, P. -. (n.d.). Northcutt Law Firm of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Retrieved from http://www.northcuttlawfirm.com/