Monday, February 2, 2015

Attorneys who believe in their work

I attended law school way back in the dark ages [see my bio on the right].  Most of my family was surprised at my career choice, and honestly I was too, because I'd always been the shy, introverted type.  But I imagined myself sitting behind a desk, drafting contracts or wills, or maybe negotiating mergers and acquisitions.  Nothing in court, just the transactional stuff.

So, wanting to broaden my horizons before I left school, I took a Trial Practice class in my last year.

It was scary, but I loved it.

To get some actual experience in court before I left school and my chances dwindled to zero, I asked my friend who worked in the Y County Public Defender's Office [administration, she wasn't an attorney], if she could finagle me into a law clerk position for my last semester.  Which she did.

It's an interesting feeling to show up for court every day and have almost everyone in the courtroom look down on you, because you represent CRIMINALS, for gosh sakes.

I loved it.  I had an actual client with an actual legal problem, and I helped resolve it.  And as a bonus, I was protecting constitutional rights at the same time.

I did interview for a job at the Public Defender's office right after I passed the Bar exam, but the county experienced some pretty severe financial difficulties at exactly the time I obtained my Bar Card, so that job didn't materialize.  But my current employment is probably the next best thing, because I'm in court every day, with real clients who have real legal problems that I help resolve.

When I clerked for the Public Defender, I met some of the most amazing attorneys I've ever met, then or now.  That's why this story in this week's news doesn't surprise me.

Public Defender arrested for publicly defending

What that attorney did is exemplary and amazing, and I don't want to take away from it one bit.  But every attorney I met in the Y County Public Defender's office would have done exactly as this attorney did.  That's how much they cared about their clients and their rights.

I'm not protecting constitutional rights any more, but it's still nice to know that the attorneys who are, are still the best.

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