By Tenesha McDuffie
As a student at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, I recently had the opportunity to volunteer with attorney David Morris of the Forrest Firm.
When I first started searching for a place to volunteer for my graduation project at SRMHS, I never thought I would pick, much less enjoy, working at a law firm. Before I arrived on my first day with Mr. Morris, I had already thought of how my hours were going to play out. My first thoughts were that the work would be boring and busy, with no talking—a place where everyone was all to themselves. But after actually working at the Forrest Firm, I can say that none of my preconceived notions were correct!
This experience, for me, was beyond interesting. Being a lawyer had never crossed my mind until I volunteered at the firm. But from my first time meeting Mr. Morris, I just couldn’t believe everything he taught me: from the way the firm works to his everyday schedule. I learned that lawyers never catch a break—you are continuously on the go, from one project to another. Making appointments and having a schedule are very essential to life.
First, we visited American Underground (AU) in Durham. While in Durham, we took a tour of AU and held a conference call with a potential client. Next, we went to Duke University, and I had the pleasure of meeting more people in the law field. While at Duke, I noticed that there were not as many female lawyers – hopefully that can change someday.
My second day at the Forrest Firm, I was privileged to sit in on their monthly firm meeting, attended by the entire team – attorneys and support staff. I felt so empowered to be in a room with all of these talented individuals. The way that everyone interacted with each other was not like any other place I had ever been to—it was like having a work family. Most people are for themselves and no one else, but everyone in this place was just bouncing ideas off each other like magic!
The Forrest Firm’s foundational commitment to give back to the community was so enriching. No words could really describe how good these aspects of the firm are. My last day working with Mr. Morris really was heartbreaking. I would never want to leave the environment the Forrest Firm brings to the table, and I would recommend this experience to everyone.
In conclusion, I can’t say anything bad about my experience working with Mr. Morris and the lawyers of the Forrest Firm—the whole experience was just that amazing and eye-opening, and spent in great company. Mr. Morris really asked me challenging questions to make me think and be more aware of things as we went about our work. He was an awesome mentor, and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.
Thanks again to the Forrest Firm for providing me with this volunteer experience opportunity.
Tenesha McDuffie is a senior at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School and plans to attend Bridgewater College this fall.