In Their Own Words: Natalie Gilbert's and Brooke Hamilton's Internship with Campus Crusade

January 13, 2016 | By Natalie Gilbert, 2L and Brooke Hamilton, 2L

Last summer we had the privilege of serving as legal interns for Campus Crusade for Christ International (Cru) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Cru is the world’s largest global missions’ organization, with over 25,000 employees in 191 countries, and their General Counsel’s Office serves as in-house counsel for the entire organization and its subsidiaries.

Our experiences, though similar, had some distinctions. Read on to learn more about our internship.

Brooke:

Coming into law school, I knew that I wanted to gain experience working with nonprofit organizations, but I was uncertain of how I would be able to find a legal internship in the nonprofit sector. It wasn’t until I learned about Cru’s program through the College of Law’s Spring Recruitment process.

Natalie:

Initially, I was drawn to the internship program because they would assign us a legal mentor as well as a spiritual mentor. This aspect of the internship was unique and I really liked how intentional Campus Crusade was with their interns.

Brooke:

Cru’s General Counsel’s Office works in a variety of areas of law such as human resources, contracts, real estate, intellectual property, corporate, first amendment, and international law. As interns, we had the opportunity to work with several different attorneys in each of these practice areas.

The projects I completed varied from filing copyright applications with the United States Copyright office, to researching international tax and nonprofit incorporation laws, and working on employment law projects. For each of my projects, the supervising attorney reviewed it with me and gave me feedback. I learned so much from the one-on-one feedback I received and was able to further develop my legal research and writing skills.

Natalie:

All of the attorneys I worked with modeled the value of strong teamwork, communication, and ethics in the legal profession. Further, I learned how essential the General Counsel’s office is to a business or organization. They are trusted with a ton of information and they passed on this trust to their interns as well.  

Researching played a large role in my internship and improved my skills immensely. I researched state laws and international laws to determine how to set up a non-profit entity in specific locations that ranged from Ohio to India and wrote legal memoranda over my findings. Learning the laws of other countries fascinated me, which made the international projects some of my favorites. Additionally, the Human Resources Department asked that I create a resource explaining the legalities behind hiring minors in a simplistic way. I also researched federal and state laws for the project, but had freedom to design the resource however I saw fit. I drafted several LLC operating agreements and contracts too. Prior to this experience, I had no exposure to transactional law.

Brooke:

One of the most rewarding aspects of my internship was the relationships I built. Each intern was assigned an employee in the General Counsel’s Office to meet with weekly and discuss both their personal and career goals. Additionally, each week we attended discussions led by different attorneys on a variety of topics, ranging from first amendment issues, the basics of contract law, to legal writing.

Natalie:

The people I worked with in the General Counsel’s office as well as the rest of the staff created a positive and encouraging work environment that I hope to carry into any office that I choose to work in. They not only led me professionally, but spiritually as well.

Brooke: 

Living in Colorado this summer was amazing. We spent our weekends hiking and experiencing different parts of the state. Cru itself provided several fun activities for its employees outside of work such as intramural sports teams, movie nights, and fun dinners.

My experience working with Cru made for a memorable summer and a once in a lifetime opportunity. I gained invaluable experience and built lasting relationships, and I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills I developed into my career as an attorney. 

Natalie:

I was born in Oklahoma and received my undergraduate from the University of Oklahoma, so living in Colorado was an added growth opportunity in itself. I loved experiencing a new place with new people and exploring the mountains along with all of the other adventures that Colorado had to offer. I grew as a future attorney and as a follower of Christ and I would not trade my experience or the memories I made for the world.

I walked away from this internship with valuable knowledge and experience. Eventually, I see myself working for a non-profit organization and interning with Campus Crusade for Christ affirmed that for me.

Updated 04/17/2017 by OU Law: lawcommunications@ou.edu

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