Last summer, Roosevelt High School debater Chris Oquist participated in the Summer Fellowship at Gray Plant Mooty. To conclude his fellowship, Chris wrote an essay describing the experience:
As a lower class minority, the fellowship opportunity is an experience I highly recommend to other high school students. As a senior in high school, I have to be thinking about my future and the fellowship opens the door to many great things. Being at Gray Plant Mooty has helped me see how the legal field works, and to learn about other jobs and careers I might want to be involved in. During my stay at Gray Plant, I was able to help the administration team, which I have realized is the backbone to the firm. During my projects with the administration team, I was in charge of making sure the conference rooms were tidy and well kept. I helped restack refreshments and make sure there were proper utensils available as needed. Along with this, I also helped the administration team prepare supplies for incoming employees – which was really fun when I needed a break from my computer work.
With the Strategic Intelligence group, I worked on transferring files and organizing matter numbers. This kept me busy during the days, and was a long job, but the people were so nice. They took me out to lunch, always asked about my day, were eager to help me when I didn’t understand something, and did their best to make sure I wasn’t bored. Working with them was a great experience and taught me what it feels like to be in an office setting. What I enjoyed most was having the responsibility of being a part of their team and being able to make things easier for them by completing small tasks they weren’t able to get too.
Working with Dean Eyler was fantastic! We often talked about policy debate and our experiences, but he was also very open to any questions I had about his work and the different parts of the law field I didn’t understand. He took me to meet with an attorney from advocates as well as meetings with Judge Wahl from family court, federal judge Davis, and a judge from criminals. These experiences were incredible because I was able to see how hearings and court procedures went. Being in the courts was great because the judges got to know me more as a person, and showed me how important their jobs are. Judge Wahl was familiar with who I am from meeting me when I was a fellow at Oppenheimer last year, which made me feel important and significant because he was able to recognize me after all the people he has seen in his life.
Working at Gray Plant has given me plenty of opportunities to meet new people, see different parts of the legal field, and spark new interests for my future career. Not only has it shown me different parts of the legal field, but also the different departments that help a firm be successful. I like sitting in the foundation meeting and witnessing how valuable Gray Plant Mooty can be to other programs and small businesses. I would highly recommend the summer fellowship experience to other high schoolers. What I liked most about working there is how many people I know think highly of me. That gives me a great feeling and helps me believe that my future will be as great as I want it to be.