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Senior Speech


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Senior Speech

  1. 1. Heather JonesLesterAdvanced Grammar and Composition 125 March 2012 Speech Have you ever wondered what it is like for an attorney to have to persuade jurors in a courtroom? My topic for my research project was how the “CSI effect” influences the decision of jurors. This topic links to my career because I plan on being an attorney and I will have to sway jurors to believe that my client is innocent by the evidence I have gathered. In order to sway jurors I will have to use many different marketing techniques to prove my client’s case. I chose this topic because I have always been interested in the law field with the influence of televisions shows like “Law and Order” and “CSI Miami.” These television shows provide a small glimpse of what it is like to be part of the criminal justice system we have in the United States today. Everything I have seen on the shows not only makes me want to learn about what the field is like, but it also makes me want to become something like the people who are already successful in the career field. My strong-willed personally and my ability to defend myself have also influenced me to know I can put up a good argument to help defend an innocent person. In the courtroom not only will I have to put up a good argument, but I will also have to bring up evidence supporting my argument. While defending my client, I will have to bring up the most important issues that have surfaced and the evidence that proves my client is innocent. My research project relates to my product because my product is a documentation of what it takes to create evidence files that can be used in the courtroom, and my research explains what the jurors look for when an attorney represents a client. Everything I have
  2. 2. documented at the law firm includes all of the skills I have developed while interningthere and all of these aspects I have learned has opened my eyes for what the life of anattorney is like. The blog that I helped create while working at the mortgage firm relatesto how I am able to use certain techniques to persuade people to believe my side of thingsespecially since jurors are the people who need to be persuaded the most. Now I willexplain to you about the process I followed while creating my project. I took two different approaches for my senior project involving two differentfacilitators. One of my facilitators was Julie O’Brien of the marketing department atMiLEND Mortgage Firm in Atlanta. She has been in the marketing for over 20 years,attending Stanford College as part of her college career. She’s been elected for the headmarketing position and has been since 2006. My second facilitator was Steve Yaklin ofKing & Yaklin, LLP. in Marietta Square. He has been practicing commercial litigationsince 1990 and found King & Yaklin, L.L.P. in August 2007 with his law schoolclassmate Russell King. He has served as the Chief Judge for the Municipal Court of cityof Powder Springs since 1994 and was appointed as the Chief Judge for the MunicipalCourt for the City of Woodstock in 2010. There were a few qualities I looked for whensearching for my facilitators. The person must’ve been willing to take time out of theirday to help me learn about the law field and teach me new things. They also had to becommitted to helping me get closer to my career and show me the processes that youmust go through to get there. A special thank you goes out to my mother because she wasthe one that helped me get both of my facilitators. She breeds German Shepherds andactually one of the litigators named, Nancy Smith, works at the law firm I am interning atand she bought a dog from my mom. When I found out about the senior project I asked
  3. 3. Nancy if I could possibly intern there and she told me she would have to get back to me because she had to talk to head the head attorney of the firm. Once Nancy got the good news that I was able to intern, she immediately called me and we scheduled a meeting day and time for me to come in and meet my facilitator Steve Yaklin, My other facilitator Julie is the marketing director of my mom’s work. My mom is the main accountant of MiLEND Mortgage Firm and she had heard from the marketing department that they were looking for some help. Marketing was not my chosen career choice but I thought that I could at least use the business experience. On my journey of the senior project I had many experiences. In order to create myproduct there were many steps I followed throughout the process. I had to establish a meetingtime that would work with both my facilitators and I. A problem that I had to work with wasgetting to the law firm and the mortgage firm while my facilitators were there. The law firmclosed at five o’clock every day, but since I didn’t get out of school until 2:30, I would haveto go straight to my facilitator’s office after school on some days, but that still didn’t give methat much time to work with my facilitators, so I talked to them and my attorney agreed tostay late on some Mondays and my marketing director agreed to stay late on someThursdays. When I did meet with my facilitators I had to focus and take notes because a lotof information was thrown my direction with me being new to the career. This meant I had tostay organized because everything I noted was usually something that was a process that Iwould continue to use. I would usually take notes on lined sticky notes and stick themtogether each day I worked with my facilitator, then later I would go back and add to myjournal. Most of my senior project experience was capture while working at the law firm.
  4. 4. I created file folders and gussets for both old and new cases. I also ran arrons for theattorney, getting to see the Cobb County Superior Court and the Cobb County MagistrateCourt. At the courts I took original copies of important documents to get stamped, filed, andsigned by the clerks. Not only did I do filing for my one attorney, I did the filing for all threeattorneys incorporated with the firm. I created their law diaries, which consist of all their casenames and numbers. I also created their pleading indexes inside the file folders with tabs thatwould allow the attorneys to flip to an important document quickly. When creating the labelsfor the folders I used a special label writer making sure I used the correct font and underlinedall the correct information. While creating my product there were only a few obstacles Iencountered. I encountered obstacles with both of my facilitators during my senior project. Whileat the mortgage firm I stood in on marketing meetings with the company president. This wasan efficient way for me to see how company meetings take place and to see how it is possibleto sell yourself to a crowd of people by using different marketing techniques not only inperson but also over the internet. I found it important for me to pay attention to thesetechniques because in the court room it is very important for me as an attorney to sell myclient’s story and evidence to the jurors. As part of my internship at the mortgage firmworking with the marketing department I helped create the company blog. While creatingthis blog, purchasing the blog was an obstacle. I had to go directly to the president and tellthem why I thought the blog would be efficient and how it could help spread the name of thecompany not only through a blogging website but also through social media. When heunderstood where I was coming from, he agreed to pay for the blog. Another problem Iencountered was at the very beginning when starting the senior project in December when I
  5. 5. had to find a new facilitator. My first facilitator was actually part of another firm in theBuckhead area. He helped me during the first part of the project but then told me that his caseload was too heavy. He told me the week that all the pictures and the first work log was due,so that gave me 4 days to find a new facilitator in the law career and to get five hours as wellas four pictures completed. I solved this problem by telling my mom and that was when shemade a call into my facilitator of the law firm I am now hired on to. The senior project has really made me grow and experience what the real world islike. I have learned much about my career and plan to stay focused and driven towards thelaw field. I have shown myself that if I really want something I must be assertive and go afterit. I’ve noticed my work habits must continue to include organizational skills and gettingthings done in a timely manner. I also realized that I must stay focused while at theworkplace and not let little things distract my train of thought, especially when I am workingon important and confidential documents. Another thing I realized I must improve is mycommunication skills. When I am working on something and have a question, I shouldalways ask. Whether the question ends up on a sticky note, over phone, or thru email, it ismuch safer to ask then to do the wrong thing. I feel like I am much more interested in the lawcareer than I am the marketing career. I am very glad I got to see both aspects of the careersthrough the journey of my senior project. I was opened up the business world and allowedme to pick out the likes and dislikes of each career. I have chosen to take on what law schoolhas to offer. Next year, I plan to pursue going to major in public relations at Kennesaw StateUniversity, then attending Emory University’s law school. I also plan to start working atKing & Yaklin, L.L.P, for I have been hired on because of the senior project.
  6. 6. I would like to thank you guys for your time, coming and supporting me through the seniorproject here at Creekview High school.