News & Stories
Brandin Carter
November 2, 2023

Making the Case for Early Internship and Self-discovery in the College Journey

From an early age, political science major Brandin Carter ’25 knew he wanted to practice law and dreamed of one day holding public office. Now a junior preparing for the LSAT, he says formative Berry experiences and his summer internship with a district attorney are steppingstones to achieving his goals.

The recipient of a Leadership and Service Fellow Scholarship, he identified with the program’s encouragement to seek out ways to improve campus organizations and teams as well as identify community needs and serve through leadership and action. Brandin saw leadership in a new light: “Rather than being about titles and positions, I now see it’s more about who a person is internally.” 

This definition helped him decide how to engage on campus and ways to positively influence his community — including working with Solidarity Week, a student-led initiative that educates and celebrates diversity in the Berry community. Brandin also took on roles with the Department of Admission, guiding prospective students and families on campus tours and serving as a leader during SOAR (student orientation advising and registration).

Hoping an experience with criminal law would inform his career path, Brandin approached the district attorney in Augusta, Georgia, and landed an internship. He spent the past summer shadowing prosecutors in a violent crime unit. He observed motions and trials while sitting alongside law student interns preparing for the bar exam.

The experience offered powerful lessons. For instance, Brandin saw a public defender handling a violent crime case. Despite the preponderance of evidence against the defendant, the attorney strived to give her client adequate representation.

“I have tremendous respect for public defenders and am grateful for our system because we don’t have justice unless we have both sides. However, now I know I could not do that job,” Brandin says. “I can confidently say that this opportunity has reassured my call and commitment to public service and law, but I’m more likely to become a prosecutor rather than a public defender.”

Brandin looks forward to more coursework in constitutional law and is excited to continue quantitative research with Assistant Professor of Political Science Abigail Vegter, who is finishing a book project on American gun politics.

He also urges students to pursue internships early in their college career: “We all want a sense of belonging, so it’s easy to take a profession at face value and romanticize it. But to see all a job entails in practice is important. With an internship, you walk away with tangible insight. Sophomores sometimes shy away from internships because they feel unqualified. I discovered not only was it an excellent experience, but I was also very prepared, thanks to Berry College.” 

As Brandin moves closer to realizing his professional goals, there’s an ideal that underpins his dedication — drawn from a familiar, and resonant, line of the Gettysburg Address. He notes, “Although we often say, ‘all men are created equal,’ this is a principle we must work to uphold in our communities.” Fitting words for a future lawyer focused on being the change for a better world.

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