Alex Shin, University of California, Irvine
Civil Litigation Intern
In my search for work experience in the legal field, I was daunted by several factors that influenced my decisions and future career choices. Like many others before me, I too wanted to enter the legal field in order to help others. Despite this, I was skeptical as to whether or not the work I would be doing would genuinely be for that purpose or for the sake of simply taking on the unwanted workloads of those above me in exchange for being able to list it as work experience on my résumé.
I ended up receiving interviews at several firms practicing criminal defense and personal injury. Though the work was indeed impressive, and would be helpful to have on my résumé, I felt that many of these locations were simply so detached on a personal level to their clients and employees that I could not see myself working, or wanting to work at these firms. One particular firm however, stood out from the very first day I walked in for my interview.
The Law Firm of Higbee and Associates was a firm that I could easily warm up to. With the warm atmosphere, dog-friendly policies, and numerous interns that you can work alongside and relate with, I found this firm to be a wonderful place to work and develop my legal knowledge and skills. The office is definitely an innovator and leader in the legal field, using the latest technology the world has to offer, as well as taking the firm to the online sphere in order to make its services and resources easily accessible to prospective clients nationwide.
Working at the firm’s Civil Litigation division, First Source Law, I was able to learn a variety of things in the field of consumer protection and contract law. Through my tasks of communicating with opposing counsel, clients and courthouses, drafting responses to discovery, etc., I came to learn about various protections such as the Truth-In-Lending Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Then I subsequently applied that knowledge in order to help those who may be suffering from the recent economic collapse, victims or identity theft, and those who may simply be victim of a creditor’s unlawful tactics. The outcomes of my work as an intern in FSL have been very satisfying, as in most of our cases, we have helped people manage and/or eliminate their debt.
Though my work at The Law Firm of Higbee and Associates is soon coming to an end, I encourage anyone out there looking to pursue their passion in the field of law to apply to this firm. The wide range of practices in the field of law offered by this firm will definitely allow prospective interns to explore a field of their interest, and develop their skills in that particular area. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given, as well as the people I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside and I hope to be able to return in the future!
Whittier Law Student
However, something changed when I applied to intern as an immigration law clerk at Higbee and Associates. The facts that I was taught to analyze became something more special. The lives of clients; their struggle to attain the American dream gave the files I read daily, a heart, a soul, something living and breathing that I began to not just analyze, but to truly fight and advocate for. Leading by example, my supervising attorneys and case managers served as paragons of compassion and enduring work ethic in assisting clients with their concerns and questions. When I write or conduct research I find myself completely immersed in the hopes and aspirations of clients or share in the sorrows of potential separation. I constantly find myself asking my supervising attorneys and case managers about the people whose cases we had worked on, and the progress we had made.
Ultimately, the experience with the human element and the leadership of my immigration attorneys and case managers at Higbee and Associates has left me with an indelible imprint about what it means to practice law, what it means to truly be invested in others, what it truly means to be an advocate and not just an issue, rule, analysis, and conclusion…
Human Resources Intern
My internship experience at Higbee & Associates has exceeded all of my expectations. I worked closely alongside the Manager of Human Resources and Internships and the Director of Finance and Operations/Human Resources. Being able to work with my supervisors gave me a lot of insight and knowledge about the field of Human Resources. I assisted with updating intern files, coordinating interviews, researching compliance laws, and completing and filing employee verification forms. In addition, I was given the opportunity to attend a career fair where I was able to observe and get hands-on experience in the recruiting process. Through the tasks I have completed at Higbee & Associates I have acquired many skills that are crucial in the Human Resources field. After completing this internship, I feel confident to progress my studies and experience in Human Resources. Thank you Higbee & Associates!
Criminal Defense Intern
During the six months I have been here thus far, I feel that I have learned a ton about the expungement process and even about the legal process in general. As an intern, I have spent a lot of time making calls to courts, judicial assistants, and state attorney’s offices. Although this was intimidating at first, it has really taught me a lot about the legal system as a whole. Each person you talk to can teach you something new, and in my experience they usually do.
Everyone in the office is very friendly and helpful, especially my case manager, Melanie! She gives me guidance but not so much that it is overbearing, and I am sure the other case managers do the same. One of the best things about the internship is that the longer you stay, the more you learn. I am currently here for my second quarter and I hope to stay for a third because I know that I will continue gaining experience that I didn’t have before. In my opinion, this is the most important, and often most rare quality that a good internship should have and Higbee definitely does!
AND, they have dogs– automatically the best law firm to work for!
Briana Carlson, Champan University
Criminal Defense Intern
I was in the process of studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools when I received an email from an administrator at my alma mater. The email was meant to provide information on different internship opportunities. When I came across the Higbee & Associates intern description I was very excited. I felt like I had found my perfect match. The only concern I had was that I had been graduated for several years from college and wanted to make sure they accepted non-student interns. I emailed Brooke with my concern and to my delight they did. I immediately applied and started with in a few short weeks.
I remember feeling very comfortable from the start. Brooke was very personable and it felt like she really cared about not just our success as interns, but also our happiness. The whole law firm seems to be very interested in not just having an amazing legal team, but also in making sure everyone enjoys their job and work environment.
I have previous work experience in a law firm, but I really had no idea what to expect. I started as an inter-term intern. Higbee & Associates had never had an inter-term session before, so we were the first of our kind. I was assigned to Criminal Defense and was so excited to be working in a very different legal field; my previous experience was in civil litigation.
From the beginning I was set up for success. My case managers and Brooke all communicated with me in effective ways so I always knew what my expectations were and how to achieve them. Additionally the work I was doing was fascinating and rewarding. Post-conviction relief allows people to correct the wrongs of their past and move forward to a more positive future. I am still very honored to know that I was able to help our clients in their paths to success.
At the end of our short inter-term period Brooke asked if any of the intern wanted to stay on for spring. The choice was a no brainer. So I signed up for spring and have continued to love my experience.
Chad Marquez, Junior at Chapman University
Loan Modification Intern
The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates has given me such great experience working within their firm. I had the opportunity to work directly with Gina Berg, Esq. in the loan modification and short sale division of First Source Law.
Working with Gina, I learned what is needed to complete and process loan modifications and some short sales; my jobs included contacting banks and clients, whether it be emails, fax, or phone calls, completing and collecting necessary documents, and filing finished paperwork. Lacking adequate knowledge in this area, I was not fully confident working in this division, but Gina really eased me into the process, and I have learned plenty from her expertise in real estate law. Gina is very passionate about her work, as are the other staff, which provides a great environment to learn what it takes to make it in this field.
I must add that prior to this internship, I was not 100% sure of pursuing law, let alone real estate law, but First Source Law/Higbee & Associates have definitely diminished any of my doubts.
Overall, this has been a great experience; the attorneys and staff are great and will answer any questions you have, and I am very grateful for the wonderful opportunity plus the experience and knowledge gained.
Maxwell Shoemaker, Senior at Cal State Fullerton
Criminal Defense Intern
When I first came to work at Higbee & Associates I was really nervous about the job. I had no prior office experience and no prior legal experience. In fact, for about the first 2 weeks I must have asked my case manager a question every 5 minutes. But as the internship progressed, and I learned more and more through completing the tasks, I knew a lot and could work much more independently. Working for Higbee & Associates has been a real eye-opening experience as far as what a career in law would entail. As a Criminal Defense Intern, I gained exposure to the expungement process. As well as other forms of post-conviction relief. As one aspiring to become a lawyer myself, I gained a lot from this internship. Aside from the typical clerical duties, I felt that my duties were very hands-on involving a lot of experience corresponding with clients, courts, and police agencies. I was also given an opportunity to watch a court hearing and I was able to watch a lawyer in action defending one of our clients.
All of the people working here at Higbee & Associates are very nice and helpful. They are always willing to answer any questions you may have and, many of them being former interns themselves, understand things from your point of view. If I were to give a brand-new intern a piece of advice, it would be to ask lots of questions and to soak up as much of the experience as possible. You will get out of this internship what you put into it, and I highly recommend anyone to intern here!
Justin Templeton, Senior at Cal State Fullerton
Graphic Design Intern
As a Graphic Design student I was unsure what my experience would be like at a law firm. To my surprise it has offered me plenty of tasks related to my field. Some responsibilities include updating or redesigning office documents, fliers, and newsletters to prepping or creating icons for web use. In addition, I have also been able to do some basic office tasks as researching fonts and supplies for design purposes as well as ordering those supplies.
The best part about being here at Higbee & Associates is working with the full time graphic designer Adriana who has been more than willing to offer information to any inquiries I have for design. Adriana has many great tips for both print and web design that will help in my career as a graphic designer. The law firm has a very friendly environment with many different internship programs now including the new Graphic Design internship. I am very thankful to have been selected by Brooke Groom for this opportunity and will be here again next semester for additional experience.