Q&A: ENMU student bound for Chicago law internship

Eastern New Mexico University student Robert Johnston was one out of 25 college students across the nation selected to be an intern at the Chicago-Kent College of Law this summer. The 19-year-old will be leaving New Mexico in June to get a taste of law school and will be studying an array of legal topics, including American legal history and constitutional law.


Johnston was asked the following questions about his opportunity and have been edited for style and clarity:

• How long have you been interested in law and politics?

Politics, for as long as I could understand the man or woman talking on the nightly news. Law, since about 10th grade when I realized the legal profession was the predominant means to affect change and help people.

• How did you find out about the internship and what was the process like between applying and receiving it?

I found out through an email from my advisor, Sue Strickler, who has been an amazing mentor and friend to me throughout my time at ENMU. I actually, knowing the chances, didn't think I got in so I had already registered to take the Law School Admission Test and a LSAT prep-course during the summer, when all of a sudden on April 13, I got a call telling me I was accepted. I was excited, but had to undo all the registrations (the LSAT) in order to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Have you ever been to Chicago? What are you looking forward to seeing, experiencing, and tasting in Chicago?

I have never been to Chicago outside of the airport so, technically, I have but not really. I am looking forward to meeting all the other amazing individuals in the program and trying some Chicago pizza and hot dogs. Also, even though I am afraid of heights, I am excited to go to the top of the Sears Tower and look down from the glass box they have projecting from the side.

What will you be doing with the Chicago-Kent College of Law?

During the four-week program, Chicago-Kent scholars will be enrolled in several core courses which combine lecture, guest speakers and visits to law offices and court buildings. Students may also network with practicing lawyers, judicial representatives and law school admissions and career counselors. All courses are taught by a highly-skilled staff, including Chicago-Kent faculty and staff, practicing attorneys and upper-level law students.

Who are the political leaders, now, or in history that inspire you?

Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Joe Biden, John F. Kennedy, Howard Dean and Debbie Wasserman Shultz.

What are your future goals and career plans after the internship?

I plan on graduating from ENMU with a bachelor's in political science and a bachelor's in history. From there I plan on attending law school somewhere on the East coast. My dream school would be Georgetown or Yale. Upon graduating law school I plan on working as a lawyer. My ultimate goal is to practice international human rights law. I find the atrocities around the world to be unthinkable and want to help the world so that where someone lives doesn't determine whether or not they are treated like a human being.

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