Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Verner Brumley McCurley Mueller Parker PC

Summer 2016 

Position: Pre-Law Intern
Student: Psychology Junior

My internship this summer took place at Verner Brumley McCurley Mueller Parker PC, a law firm in Dallas. This law firm specializes in family law, most often divorce, but also deals with child custody issues and adoption. The law firm has twelve attorneys working full time to help their clients with a range of issues. Each lawyer there brings a unique set of skills to the table. One of the partners, Janet Brumley, is passionate about women having equal opportunity, and really encourages young women, like myself, to consider going into the field of law.

A typical day at the office starts at 8:30 or 9:00 am. Each day brings in new cases and new opportunities to handle different issues. Most days there are consultations with new clients, which are very interesting. It’s the first opportunity to hear someone’s unique story. You get to listen and try to figure out if the marriage is salvageable. If it isn’t, the attorneys proceed to figure out the next step, whether or not it can be handled without having to go to court. Other days the attorneys handle mediations. Mediations last most of the day, if not all of it. In my personal experience, it is the most boring part of the job. You must sit in a conference room all day picking through details of what each party wants. On the other side, if a case has to go to court it can be very exciting to see some of the milder tempered attorneys get very aggressive during their arguments in the court room.
Most of my time was spent going with the attorneys to the courthouses. However, when I wasn’t in the court house, my time was spent researching new laws or information that could help with each case. I was able to learn more about specific family law codes. I also did research on laws not pertaining to family law, such as the laws regarding over time pay in Texas and across the United States. Each day was different, but each day equally interesting. Some days were more exciting than others, but each day was important to furthering my knowledge of the legal system.

My time at Verner Brumley McCurley Mueller Parker PC was the most adult experience I have had so far. It was my first nine to five job, and there was no one else I could rely on to do my tasks for me. I was on my own, and I think it made me more independent. I also was forced to become more reliable and trustworthy. I was forced to make professional relationships and make sure each lawyer trusted me with whatever task they gave me. It took a few weeks for some attorneys to realize I am smart and responsible. As the weeks went by my tasks went from making copies to more important tasks, like writing discovery papers and being responsible for important documents.

I learned that having a job and a strict schedule is important. I wasn’t wasting any time on social media at work. My days felt more important because I felt like an important asset to the firm. They were paying me to do a job, and to do it well. I took it much more seriously than I thought I would going into the experience. Before this experience I really didn’t think I would like having a full-time job, I thought it would be too time consuming and not rewarding enough. Even though I was only paid minimum wage, the experience was rewarding. I learned much more in my time there than I would have at other companies. It made me realize that I want to make my academic experience a positive one so that I do not have to work in a minimum wage paying job when I graduate. I realize how hard it is to live off that kind of money, it is incredibly challenging. I have a deeper respect for attorneys and all adults who work in similar professions. It is an incredibly challenging and time consuming occupation, but it is also rewarding. I am happy with my experience and that I was able to further my education through a real world experience.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508