By Hailey Dixon for the Lincoln Sentinel
Drake Koops is a student, basketball coach, Student Government Association President, student ambassador, and now, a future lawyer.
Twenty-one-year-old Drake Koops, of Downs, is the law intern at the office of O’Hare Law, LLC this summer. Koops, who attends Sterling College in Sterling, is studying history and pre-law, with to graduate in May 2019.
Koops, who’s been working at the office since the beginning of June, discovered the internship opportunity through Darrell Miller in Mankato, he said, and then got in touch with Jennifer O’Hare.
“[Jennifer O’Hare] said she’d love to have me here,” he said.
Koops said he views court, looks at court documents, sits in during O’Hare’s consultations and discusses filings thus far, among other activities, in his internship.
He said he is getting a well-rounded look and first-hand experience of being an attorney through the internship.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “I can already tell this has been a good experience.”
Koops is commuting to Lincoln, and is working three days during the week over the course of his internship, he said.
“It’s been really meaningful hours that I’ve put in so far,” he said.
When Koops returns to Sterling College in the fall, he assumes the role as Student Government Association President.
“I am looking forward to being involved in student government,” he said.
In addition, he continues as a junior varsity basketball coach with the Sterling College Men’s Basketball Team. He said he looks forward to “being able to make an impact there” as a coach. He is also a student ambassador with the admissions office at the college.
He is planning to take the LSAT, and wants to apply to the University of Kansas School of Law and Washburn University School of Law. He said he also plans to apply to law schools on the east coast.
Colorado native Miki Blair is experiencing a summer of seeing her architectural designs come to life and getting a taste of what small town living entails.
“Everyone’s been so great, so welcoming,” Blair said.
Blair is working alongside Bethany Pingel this summer with the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation. The pair is working together within an initiative called the Downtown Revitalization Project, which is aimed to help local businesses in Lincoln County downtown districts renovate buildings’ exterior and interior spaces.
The internship for the two began in late May and runs until August.
Blair, a 2014 Broomfield High School graduate in Broomfield, Colo., is in her final year studying at the University of Kansas. She is studying architecture, and gains a master’s degree in next year.
Blair learned about the internship from a teacher, who said this could be a “good experience” for her, she said.
Blair said she is interested in historical preservation, which is an emphasis within her degree, and one of the reasons the internship appealed to her.
“There’s a genuine wanting to learn more in that area,” Larson said about the two interns.
Blair said, being from Denver, that being in a rural area is positive, as she has not experienced it before.
Blair said the business owners are “really receptive” of Blair and Pingel’s work so far.
“Everybody’s been super excited to have us here,” Blair said.
Blair said she is excited to come back to Lincoln after the internship and see the changes to the buildings.
“In the future, this is going to be huge,” Blair said.
Blair returns to Lawrence for her final year as a Jayhawk in August after the internship. After graduation, she said she hopes to gain a master’s degree in historic preservation in London.
Although Bethany Pingel grew up 30 miles north of Lincoln, Pingel never stepped foot in the downtown district until she arrived for an interview.
“Wow, this is beautiful,” Pingel, 22, said about downtown Lincoln. “It kinda got me excited for the internship.”
Pingel, a 2014 Beloit High School graduate, is currently a super-senior at Kansas State University, studying interior design and gerontology.
Pingel, who is working alongside Blair, said she heard about this internship opportunity from a teacher, like Blair. The internship appealed to her, she said, because of her interest in historical preservation.
“I’m a big history buff,” she said.
In addition to Pingel’s interest in historical preservation, Larson said one of the aspects about Pingel, and Blair, that led them to being an ideal intern is their friendly personalities.
“I just could tell they’d be a good fit for the community,” Larson said.
The experience working so far in Lincoln County is positive, Pingel said, as she is learning a lot about the history of the buildings.
“It’s a very developing community,” she said.
Pingel said they both continue to meet many individuals.
“They realize our intent is good,” Pingel said. “Truly, truly enjoyed the two weeks we’ve been here so far,” she said.
After the internship ends in August, Pingel will return back to Manhattan for her final year as a Wildcat and prepares for graduation. She said her “big dream” would be to get a master’s degree in architecture, possibly in London.
“I don’t want to limit myself to a certain place either,” she said.
Pingel said she and Blair may end up together in London pursuing their respective educational goals.