On Friday, May 3, University of Tulsa College of Law students Demi Allen and Mitchell Lovett took part in the college’s hooding ceremony, thereby officially transforming into TU Law alumni. During the final semester before they wrapped up law school and embarked on their careers, TU Law’s externship program enabled them to live and work in Texas’s vibrant capital, Austin.
Here, in Allen and Mitchell’s own words, are first-hand accounts of their experiences. They also generously shared with us two short videos they shot down south on the banks of the Colorado River.
Demi Allen — “never a dull moment”
“During my last semester at TU Law, I externed in Austin at the private family law firm Kirker | Davis, LLP. I have always wanted to pursue a career as a family law attorney, and I could not have found a better fit for myself. Within my first month, I was drafting settlement agreements and final decrees, helping to prepare attorneys for court hearings and sitting in on client meetings. There was never a dull moment while at Kirker | Davis, LLP.
“Over the course of my time with the firm, I formed friendships with my fellow colleagues and learned more than I could have ever hoped. Each partner, attorney, paralegal and operations team member jumped right in to help make me feel welcome and never shied away from my many, many questions. The more I learned about family law, specifically the divorce process, the more diverse my tasks became. During the close of my time as an extern, I was drafting everything from the welcome email sent to a client to the conclusion of representation letter and everything in between. I assisted with depositions, mediations and court appearances. No task was ‘too important’ or ‘too big’ for me to at least take an initial stab at, and the experiences taught me a lot.”
“The partners at Kirker | Davis, LLP, truly wanted me to learn how to become the best family law attorney I could, and their doors were always open. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who is interested in family law. The firm is fast paced and full of brilliant attorneys who provide a welcoming and fun environment for attorneys and law students alike. I was given the freedom to work on any case I was interested in and pick up any task I wanted to learn more about.
“I absolutely loved my time in class at TU, but I never could have imagined the opportunities the externship program provided. I start full time as an associate attorney, pending licensure, with Kirker | Davis, LLP, this October and cannot wait to see what my future with the firm holds!”
Mitchell Lovett — “no better way to complete a legal education”
“Over the course of my last semester at TU Law, I opted to extern at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in Austin. My externship exceeded my learning expectations and helped me wrap up my legal education in a practical and worthwhile experience. I easily recommend the EDF to other students looking to work in environmental law.
“The work I did at the EDF was varied. I completed multiple long-form research projects that required drafting, cross-disciplinary teamwork, intense research and legal analysis. These projects revolved around how a toxic byproduct is affected by the constraints of water law, federal land management, endangered species and the oil and gas industry’s federal and state requirements. My larger projects taught me the importance of pace and taking one’s time when working on seemingly insurmountable tasks. After all, ‘Rome was not built in a day.'”
“Thankfully, I did much more than two projects. My supervisor allowed me the opportunity to entangle myself into any area that sparked my interest. I accompanied senior personnel to legislative meetings at the Texas capital, reviewed upcoming bills and I was lucky enough to attend a Groundwater Protection Council conference in Fort Worth.
“I also dove into administrative law and participated in administrative filings for multiple state agencies, which was an incredible experience. I learned how to pull the legally important language out of technical regulations and integrate technicalities into prose in order to persuade. Separately, I helped deconstruct technical regulations to develop base standards for future action, and that project is the bedrock for a regulatory framework. The EDF invested in me and at each step of the way. I felt included, which is worth more to a young professional than most realize. Ultimately, there is no better way to complete a legal education.”