Q&A with Faith Austin on her internship at local law firm, interest in law

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Junior Faith Austin poses with her Best Delegate award after a Model United Nations (U.N.) event. For other high schoolers also interested in law, she recommended joining organizations geared toward history and communication like Model U.N. “You need to learn how to communicate efficiently with other people while understanding what’s happened in the past and having knowledge of what you’re defending,” she said.

Wendy Zhu

Why are you passionate about politics and law?

My sophomore year was when I joined Model United Nations and debate, and I remember joining and being like, ‘Why didn’t I do this before? This is so cool; it’s right up my alley.’ I think that was really what kind of kicked it off. But even since then, I’ve just kind of realized that as I was growing up, (I did) things that most kids didn’t do that kind of showed my passion (in) politics and things like that. I have read the physical newspaper every Sunday since I could read. I’ve always read the politics section; I’ve always read the Current in Carmel and (followed) what the (Supreme) Court’s doing. So I think I had always had a little inkling, but I didn’t realize it until last year.

Where do you work as a law intern?

I am an intern at Cate Terry & Gookins LLC, which is a law firm off of Carmel Drive and 116th.

Chloe Sun

What do you hope to get out of your internship? Do you plan on continuing to pursue law and politics in the future?

I’ve only been there a month, and I’ve learned so much about how the whole process works and what the environment is like. But also, from reading through all the cases, the power of the American court system and what we can do legally that we can’t in other countries is amazing. It’s definitely guided my interests. In general, I would love to go into legal studies (and become) an attorney or a foreign ambassador or Secretary of State—who knows? But this field is what I want to do, so I’m glad I realized that earlier because otherwise, I wouldn’t have possibly had this opportunity.

What’s something about the courtroom that most people might not know about?

We get to go to court hearings and sit on mediations with the attorneys. I think a lot of people have the mindset that it’s this really scary environment. (But) it’s definitely very civil. Even in criminal cases, everyone keeps their cool—there’s not a ton of yelling.

How much time do you dedicate to your internship and these areas of interest?

This year, it’s kind of crazy. (I dedicate) maybe 10 to 15 hours a week for the internship, maybe five to 10 for other clubs. Time management has become a very crucial skill. Everything I’m in, I love it. When I’m there, I get to be with people who are pretty like-minded, and they’re showing up too for a reason, so it’s super energizing. But then I come home and I still have homework, and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be a long night.’

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