Cable TV Commentator and Attorney Faith Jenkins Offers Tools to Overcome Adversity
When Louisiana native Faith Jenkins was crowned Miss Louisiana in 2000 and later, first runner-up to Miss America 2001, you hadn’t seen the last of her. The seeds of destiny were just starting to take root.
“I finished law school and moved to New York, practiced for seven years and then started doing commentary,” shares the Southern University Law Center graduate. “People often ask me ‘you’ve done all of these things, how are you able to focus and achieve these goals?’ My answer is, it isn’t because I am the one of the most confident people in the world. That’s something that I continue to struggle with as I go through life, because I constantly hear people say what you can and can’t do, giving their opinion about you and your ability. For most people, what they can’t see for themselves they can’t see for you either.”
With a natural beauty and mild manner, Jenkins is truly a Southern belle. But, you can’t take her gentle spirit for granted. She’s incredibly influential and is often tapped for appearances on shows like Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” Fox Business Channel’s “Lou Dobbs Forum,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” HLN’s “Special Report” with Vinnie Politan, truTV’s “In Session,” among others. She’s also written opinion editorials addressing current events in the New York Daily News.
Having started her career at Sidley Austin law firm, representing high profile clients — defending class action securities fraud lawsuits, white-collar/regulatory investigations, breach of contract disputes, and other types of high-stakes litigation — Jenkins decided after five years of litigation, she wanted to continue to develop professionally. Before opening her private practice, where she focuses on resolving business disputes, white-collar defense and other civil and criminal matters, she became a criminal prosecutor for the government.
She continues, “The best opportunities are the ones that are going to push you outside of your comfort zone. Everything that I’ve done, including television, have pushed me out of my comfort zone. People ask if I am nervous. I am nervous every single time. I work hard, push myself, even if I’m afraid. It’s about taking steps to keep moving forward.”
How does she stay motivated and remain active in that thought process?
“You have to have an end goal for yourself. It was so hard, initially, to visualize myself competing for the Miss America title. Then, I said to myself, you know what, there are 51 contestants in this pageant and someone has to win, why can’t it be me? I embraced that philosophy. There’s someone who is going to make partner at this firm [then Sidley Austin], why can’t it be me? I started thinking about the end goal. You have to control your thought process, those inner conversations that you have with yourself. We are own worst critics and talk ourselves out of things before we get a foot in the door for better opportunities. Today, I am my biggest self-motivator because at the end of the day, no one can live this life for me.” –yvette caslin