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From Civics Alum to Practicing Attorney


 Indiana’s brain drain — the void left when new college graduates leave the state — troubles business and civic leaders almost as much as taxes do.

One young professional who chose to remain in Indiana is Caryn Glawe. A Newburgh native who now resides in Indianapolis, she practices insurance regulatory and insolvency law at Baker & Daniels LLP. She is also a We the People alumna.

Caryn was a high school senior in 1997 when her team competed in the We the People finals in Washington, D. C., and finished fourth in the nation. Caryn pointed out that “Indiana has a history of getting to the top 10 in the national finals.                                           

She explained that civic education “creates more engaged and informed citizens. Students articulate thoughts on political and societal issues, and there’s a ripple effect as they discuss what they are learning with their parents and their peers”

We the People’s semester-long curriculum culminates in a congressional-style hearing with students testifying before a panel of judges composed of attorneys, members of the judiciary and civic leaders who quiz them on contemporary and historical issues the students have researched.

“Students have to get comfortable being quizzed by the judges and defending their opinions,” Caryn said.  She credits We the People with giving her confidence in her ability to articulate ideas.

Caryn believes this program needs curious students but also dedicated teachers.  She has high esteem for the teachers of the challenging curriculum. “They dedicate so much time outside of the classroom to their students and to learn about constitutional issues,” she said.

“My teacher was one of the best,” Caryn said of the late Stan Harris. “He and his wife welcomed us into their home every night as we were practicing for nationals. 

Caryn, who volunteers as a judge for Indiana's We the People state competition, also recognized the large roster of volunteers at the local, district and state competitions. 

 “It’s nerve-wracking to serve as a judge," Caryn added. "Most of us don’t deal with constitutional theory every day in our law practices. It’s exciting to engage on these issues with such intelligent students.”

How might Indiana thrive if all the intelligent kids made a home here?

Caryn Glawe 

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