UA law student completes internship with Covington County Circuit Court
Published 9:15 am Saturday, July 8, 2023
Andrew Mount recently concluded a seven-week summer internship under the direction of Covington County Circuit Judge Ben Bowden.
A student at the University of Alabama’s School of Law in Tuscaloosa, Mount was awarded the internship through the Finch Initiative, which provides law students an opportunity to learn and experience the court processes in a small-town setting.
“The Finch Fellowship is funded and organized by the law school. I submitted a written application to the law school to become a Finch Fellow last fall and then interviewed with one of the law school’s deans for the position. She recommended me to Judge Bowden. After he approved me for the position, I became a 2023 Finch Fellow. It is worth noting that there are three other Finch Fellows this year working for other rural judges around the state,” he said.
Originally from the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City, his parents moved to New York before he was born. Mount received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2020. After working for two years, he moved south last fall. He will begin his second year of law school in the fall and graduate in the spring of 2025.
Mount stated that he learned a judge must be meticulous at all times and is responsible for the proper enforcement of the law.
“He must have extensive knowledge of what the law entails. Where he is unsure of how the law applies to a given set of facts, he must research and consult with case law to determine how best to apply it. In assisting Judge Bowden with his research, I honed the legal research and writing skills I developed during my first year of law school. I learned how to explain the law in a clear, concise, and accurate way because Judge Bowden could not determine whether my understanding of the law was accurate unless I articulated my understanding well. I also learned that the best judges not only know how to explain the law well but also know how to treat people with dignity and understanding. It can be stressful to come to court, especially when high stakes are involved. Judge Bowden approaches each matter before him with the sort of knowledge and compassion that I hope to exhibit as a lawyer one day. I further learned that a judge’s responsibility to his community extends outside of the courtroom. To truly serve, a judge must participate in his community as a private citizen. Judge Bowden is involved in too many community groups to count,” Mount said.
As a visitor to the area, Mount has embraced the rural Alabama cultures and praised the community.
“People here are neighbors to each other in the truest sense of the world. Quick to conversation, happy to help a stranger, they exhibit the very best of small-town America. They’re each invested in Andalusia in one form or another and it shows. The Rotary Club is busy with the World Domino Championship as we speak. There’s a summer tennis camp here for a reduced cost because folks have pulled together to make that happen. LBW’s Andalusia campus is not only beautiful but also an excellent place for education because the people of Andalusia are committed to their children’s education. I am extremely grateful to have gotten to know this town and the people who call it home. I grew up in a big city, and it was great to see what life might have looked like had I grown up somewhere else,” Mount said.
His ultimate goal is to become an assistant attorney general at the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
“I want to serve my community to the best of my ability, and the best way I can think to do that is by becoming a lawyer. As an actor, I could entertain people, and there’s something to be said for that. As a lawyer, I could fight to keep people free from unreasonable government interference and help them secure justice where they’ve been wronged. I chose to attend Alabama Law because I want to practice law in Alabama when I graduate and also hope to start a family here,” he said.
Mount is the son of the late Gregory Mount and Allison Cook.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed having Andrew here this summer. He has embraced the culture of small-town Alabama, and everyone loved having him around. I’m genuinely proud of the law school for attracting someone like Andrew to our state. He’s a high-character young man, bright, and will make a fine lawyer sooner rather than later. I just hope he picks South Alabama to set up practice,” Judge Bowden said.