Lauren Pavelik – Law Internship
My name is Lauren Pavelik and I am a senior at Garden Spot High School. Currently, I am interning at Smoker Gard Associates, a law firm in New Holland. I decided on this internship pretty quickly, as I have known for a while now that I definitely see myself practicing law in the future. When most people think of the definition of a lawyer, they imagine someone battling in a courtroom. However, Smoker Gard Associates deals with matters regarding business, real estate, tax, and elder law. During the course of my experience, I have been able to get an inside look at what being a lawyer is all about. Not only this, but I have also gotten a better idea of what different types of lawyers do, and what each one is responsible for.
I attend my internship 5 times a week, each for a duration of 1 ½ hour. My duties as an intern at Smoker Gard Associates change from day to day. This way, I am gaining experience in multiple fields, or areas, of the legal process. However, I do have tasks that I complete in between assignments that remain the same. This includes scanning and shredding client files that we no longer need to keep on paper. During this process, I get to look through, analyze, and take apart previous legal documents. This routine not only gets me familiar with what legal paperwork looks like but also allows me to learn the computer system that the company uses every day.
At the moment, I do not have one specific project that I am working on. Rather, I am constantly engaging in different types of work. One day I may be mailing letters out to clients and the next I may be fixing up a will. In order to send out letters, I need to make sure that the language, names, and information on the papers I am sending out are correct. I also need to make sure that every required document is included in the envelope. From there I can add postage and send the letters on their way. Creating wills is very interesting, as I get to see what set of “rules” different kinds of clients have for their family and loved ones when they pass. These are only a couple of more detailed examples of things I get to work on. I also get to edit deeds, create and void checks, make copies of documents, and so forth. On top of all these projects, I can be found sitting at the long table inside of the big meeting room at the office. In this room, I sit in on different types of meetings alongside my mentor, Nicole Gard. I get to experience things such as real estate closings, settlements, will signings, and more. The most exciting part about participating in these meetings is that I can be a legal witness and sign off on actual legal documentation for real clients who come in.
Overall, I am very thankful for the experience and knowledge that I am gaining through Smoker Gard Associates. Everyone that I see each day is always very approachable, warm, and welcoming. It takes a lot of focus and concentration to do the work that the employees do every single day. I respect these people that I have had the opportunity to work alongside for this reason. I have learned that I enjoy being in an office environment and that I can sit down at a computer and get to work. So far, I am still set on pursuing a career in law. Being a lawyer is both challenging and interesting, which is the thing I like about it so much. I also enjoy that I would constantly be interacting and helping people with their legal matters. This requires a lot of expertise in social interaction, which I have and am able to do. However, I do believe that I would like to look further into criminal law, as I think it may interest me a bit more and keep me on my toes. Undoubtedly, this has been an amazingly memorable experience, and I am very grateful to have had amazing people help me throughout this incredible first semester of my senior year!