By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY-OK – Oklahoma City University School of Law recently named Phillips Murrah Director Nikki Edwards as the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence for the upcoming Fall semester.
Edwards’ practice at Phillips Murrah law firm focuses on family law, labor law and general civil litigation. Her family law practice includes litigation, complex custody issues and valuation issues.
“The role of Distinguished Practitioner in Residence is an exciting opportunity to interact with the students in a meaningful, interactive way, as opposed to a lecture format,” Edwards said. “I’m most looking forward to being able to play a small role in the exciting futures of our future lawyers.”
Edwards will be the third person and first female to hold the position, Jim Roth, OCU School of Law Dean said.
“We at OCU School of Law are thrilled to host Nikki Edwards as our Distinguished Practitioner in Residence for the upcoming Academic Year ‘20-‘21 where she will lead our lucky students through a Litigation Practicum covering all issues from A to Z,” Roth said.
“As our first female lawyer in this role, it’s an extra special way to highlight not only her wonderful skills but to bring attention to the under-representation of women in litigation practices.
“We have tremendous faith that Nikki will educate and inspire men and women to become great practitioners for their clients and the profession,” Roth added.
With Phillips Murrah’s firm’s focus on gender equity in law firm leadership, Edwards hopes her role can bring more visibility to women in the legal field, according to the news release.
“I am honored to be the first female to serve as Distinguished Practitioner In Residence,” Edwards said. “Today more than 50 percent of law students are women, yet a very small percentage of trial lawyers are female.
“I would love my students to realize that women can be strong, effective, trial lawyers, and the courtroom is not only a place for men. A big part of my life’s work is supporting other women as a mentor, friend and colleague.
“As a shareholder of Phillips Murrah P.C., our firm has a much larger percentage of female shareholders than the state and national average, which is something I am very proud of,” Edwards continuted. “I think the future should and will have more female litigators, and that is why being chosen by Dean Roth and OCU Law for this position is such a high honor.”
Enrollment for the course is now open. Learn more at OCU School of Law’s website.
“I hope students learn to love the practice of law and not just the substantive case law found in various subjects,” Edwards added. “A significant takeaway will be that as lawyers in litigation we have the ability to really change lives and that the students realize how important our representation is to our clients, the public and the judiciary.
“Importantly, litigation and trial work can be extremely exhilarating and exciting, but also very frightening for new lawyers, so I hope each student feels a basic comfort level with the process at the conclusion of the class.”
Oklahoma City University School of Law is fully approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It serves a diverse student body of approximately 400. Oklahoma City University School of Law’s nearly 7,000 alumni practice in every state and several foreign countries.
For more information, visit law.okcu.edu.