There appears to be no shortage of young talent on the Tulsa legal scene.
Several were recommended when the Tulsa Business Journal asked who local firms thought were Tulsa’s up-and-coming attorneys – who is on the partner track, who is growing into a quality lawyer and who gets results?
Most of the largest firms in town understandably suggested that several of their young attorneys were among the city’s best and brightest, and several individuals stood out in addition to firm affiliation.
The following four attorneys were mentioned multiple times each by both representatives of their firms as well as by other members of the local legal community. Their leadership experience and legal accomplishments despite their young ages make these Tulsa attorneys ones to watch.
Name: Jill Grimsley Drewyor Age: 30
Law School: Tulane University Law School Employer: Pray, Walker, Jackman, Williamson & Marlar Position: Soon-to-be shareholder
When Drewyor had her choice of employers when she graduated from Tulane University Law School, she chose to live in Tulsa and work for Pray, Walker, Jackman, Williamson & Marlar.
“When I came to interview here, these were just my favorite people,” Drewyor said.
At only 30, Drewyor will be made a shareholder at Pray Walker as of Jan. 1.
At Pray Walker, Drewyor drafts bank documents, forms corporations and provides general contract advice.
Drewyor said her greatest achievement has been to balance a professional and a personal life and do both well.
“I struggle with it, but I feel I’ve been reasonably successful at it,” Drewyor said.
Drewyor is a new mother, and she and her husband – also a local attorney – are learning to juggle their new roles as parents with increasing responsibilities at work.
Her job is challenging, Drewyor said, but she looks forward to going to work in the morning.
“I enjoy what I do, and I enjoy the people I work with,” she said.
Drewyor said her age is a professional advantage.
“I think that with a younger attorney, there is a bit more open mindedness to new ideas and ways of doing things. You’re not set in your ways.”
Drewyor said she sees the local legal field adjusting to Tulsa’s growing service economy.
“We’re seeing a lot of business development in the oil and gas areas right now,” Drewyor said. “And I’m a service provider. I’m hoping to grow my practice.”
Name: Cason Carter Age: 29
Law School: Georgetown University Law Center Employer: GableGotwals Position: Associate
Cason Carter, 29, is a native Tulsan. He and his family are still involved in the community here, he said. In fact, Carter was elected City Councilor for Tulsa’s District 9 in April.
“I love Tulsa. It’s a great place to live, and it’s a great place to work,” Carter said.
Carter’s studies in public policy and economics at Duke University were a natural segue into law school at Georgetown University Law Center.
“I wanted that education,” Carter said. “It seemed like a good knowledge base.”
Carter said working at GableGotwals – “a great firm, and wonderful people to be around” – is one of his greatest achievements.
“I chose GableGotwals because of the quality of work and the people,” Carter said. “I felt the senior partners could offer a great education to a young lawyer.”
Balancing and being successful in his jobs as City Councilor and as an attorney at GableGotwals is the hardest part of Carter’s job, he said.
“My wife is also an attorney, and she’s very understanding,” Carter said.
“I enjoy complex litigation,” Carter said. “And I’m very impressed with my colleagues.
Carter and his wife are involved with Tulsa’s Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as Carter’s family’s cancer research foundation.
“The legal field, like many other industries, lives and dies by economic development in Tulsa,” Carter said. “I feel it’s so important that we’re involved in the community, in part so that the legal field can move forward.”
“If the local economy does well, then we will do well,” Carter added.
Name: Scott Weatherholt Age: 28
Law School: University of Oklahoma College of Law Employer: Samson Resources Group Position: In-house Council
Scott Weatherholt, a native Tulsan and 2003 OU College of Law graduate, began his legal career in Tulsa at Pray Walker and is now an in-house counsel for Samson Resources Group.
Weatherholt’s three years of experience has been mainly in oil and gas law.
“At Samson I do mostly transactional work related to our daily operations,” Weatherholt said.
Samson is a great place to work, Weatherholt said, and he enjoys working with oil- and gas- related law every day.
“It’s a great place to work, and it’s a challenging environment,” Weatherholt said. “I like it.”
Weatherholt said his age sets him apart from other lawyers with his specialization.
“Most oil and gas attorneys are probably in their 40s or older,” Weatherholt said. “There aren’t many of us in our late 20s, early 30s.”
From 2004 to 2006, Weatherholt served as the chairman of the Tulsa County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division. He received the Outstanding Young Lawyer award from the TCBA in 2005.
Weatherholt said he considers having two children and “being able to serve on the Habitat for Humanity board of directors” among his greatest accomplishments.
“I wanted to find a way to give back and use my law degree in a way that would benefit those who need it most,” Weatherholt said.
Name: Molly Bircher Age: 28
Law School: University of Kansas School of Law Employer: Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C. Position: Associate
Now an associate at Hall Estill and the recipient of the Tulsa County Bar Association’s 2006 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, Molly Bircher grew up on a farm in Ellsworth, a small town in central Kansas.
During her undergraduate work at Fort Hayes State University in Hayes, Kan, Bircher was both a Truman and a Rhodes scholar finalist. Bircher attended the University of Kansas School of Law as a Rice Scholar and graduated in 2003.
“It was a great job. It was really fun to travel,” Bircher said.
Bircher worked as a clerk at Hall Estill during her second year of law school. Upon graduation, Bircher decided to make Tulsa her home.
“It’s only about four hours from my hometown, and it’s a good fit,” Bircher said. “It seemed like a neat place to be with a lot of opportunities.”
Bircher focuses her practice at Hall Estill on employment and labor defense.
Bircher said she enjoys working with her clients and colleagues.
“Part of what I do is counseling, so it’s not all litigation,” Bircher said. “I like the interaction with the clients, and we have a great group of people who do employment law here. We have a good time together.”
Bircher aspires to be a partner at Hall Estill. She said her work ethic will help her achieve this goal.
“I also have respect for attorneys I work with, and for opposing counsel and clients,” Bircher said.
Bircher said she considered balancing work, community involvement and friends a big achievement.
“I like to go to Tulsa 66ers games, and I like to see the Tulsa Drillers play,” she said. “I like to get out and do things, and seeing Tulsa. I have a great group of friends here.” ?