Judge Gookins was a Hamilton County attorney in private practice for 22 years prior to assuming the bench. She practiced at Holt, Fleck & Romine and Campbell Kyle Proffitt, LLP before opening her own firm, Terry & Gookins, LLC. She focused her practice in criminal defense and family law. She served as a Public Defender in Hamilton County for 21 years. She regularly served as a parenting coordinator and family law mediator. She was a 20-year member of the Hamilton County Community Corrections Advisory Board and regularly served as Judge pro-tem for the courts.
Judge Gookins is active in her community serving as the coordinator of the Hamilton County Mock Trial Program and as a Boy Scout Leader. She is also a member of the Hamilton County and Indiana Bar Associations.