Matthew Raposas

Whittier Law Student

Issue, rule, analysis, conclusion; this is method by which law students are taught to analyze a set of operative facts on a typical law school exam. The facts are just your run-of-the-mill legal scenarios on a piece of paper that would effectively gauge our knowledge of the law. As a 3L law student, I had become quite adept at this process.

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…

Jennifer Choi

Human Resources Intern

The advantage that Higbee & Associates interns have is that they are actually able to contribute to the firm with cases and projects geared towards their area of study. This is not your typical internship where interns run irrelevant errands or get coffee. The internship program at this law firm understands the importance of experience that internships give students, and that your time is very valuable. Interning at Higbee & Associates is a great investment of your time because they will teach you many important skills that will help you grow as a college or law student.

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!

Katie Feldman

Criminal Defense Intern

I started working at Higbee because I was considering Law School but wasn’t sure if I liked it enough to spend the money and the time. Although I can’t say that I am planning on going to law school at this point, I do know that I would like to have some type of career involving law, thanks to my experience at Higbee.

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.

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.