By Paul Hogan

Lauryn is my great-niece, great in that she is my nephew’s daughter and is a great young woman. I think the designation should be “grand-niece,” and I’m informed by higher authorities (my wife, Cheri, and daughter, Katie – whom many of you know from the office) that I know nothing about relative designations.

Lauryn began working at the office as a Sophomore in College at WSU four years ago. She graduated from WSU with a 3.7 GPA, took the Law School Admission Test, applied, was accepted, and has now left to attend Law School at my alma mater, Oklahoma City University School of Law (OCU).  In her admission essay she wrote about working here at the office during college and how meaningful it was for her to help injured people.

Lauryn is a ray of sunshine with her laughter and smile, especially sometimes when things get “hurly-burly” at the office. I’m biased – I think she is a nice, beautiful, smart, and talented young woman (who is also very tall).

I attended the Dean’s Reception with Lauryn last year and toured the new Law School building. I know this article was supposed to be about Lauryn, but WOW! was I impressed after touring the new building in downtown Oklahoma City. It’s located where the action is – the Courts, the law firms, the government offices are all located there. And Oh! What a flood of memories! My law school roommates, friends – forgotten names and faces of more than 40 years ago, but I haven’t forgotten my first jury trial in 1974 or that back then probably 80% – 90% of my class was male. It appears in Lauryn’s class that there are more women than men.  Also, my introduction to law school (my classes’ pep talk) in 1972 was, “. . . look to the right and left. Only one out of three of you will graduate.”

For Lauryn’s class they brought in law students (1-year, 2-year, 3-year and some recent graduates) to speak. They talked of how each of the members of the new class were chosen, the environment was to support them, and they were expected to succeed, to graduate and pass the bar exam. Their success rate is 97%. They spoke about the challenges and the support but most of all that they should not compare themselves to others (sometimes don’t we all want to be how someone else appears?), and of treasuring the time and making life-long friends.  Quite a difference from the “2/3 of you will fail” message of the 1970’s.

So, on Lauryn’s last day at the office (for now), I read Dr. Seuss to her at our weekly office meeting . . . Oh, The Places You’ll Go.  I don’t know what the future holds, I do know a law school education opens doors. Our doors will be open to welcome Lauryn back – not because she’s my great-niece (that helps), or that she’s extremely smart (that helps, too), but because she wrote, “I want to help injured people.”