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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 1-The start of a public offender

December 1, 2011

I hopped out of bed this morning.  Not because I was startled or even excited.  Today is my first day in the Public Defender's office.  I contemplated NOT taking the job because...well, I'll be honest--I love helping people but helping people has typically led me to jobs where I can barely afford to help myself.  Unfortunately, because we live in a "put-that-on-my-tab" country, the job market is such that I do not have the luxury of turning down jobs.

I digress.

So today begins my 3 year training on becoming an excellent Criminal Defense attorney.  In order to reach that goal I must first become a public offender.  Understand that I do not mean that as a dig to public defenders.  Some of the smartest, most passionate and most dedicated attorneys I know either ARE public defenders, or got their start that way.  The reason I say I am a public offender is because that's essentially how the public seems to view PD's; like they (well, we) are one big offense.  I wish I could fool myself into thinking this was NOT because our society is a two-faced, fickle you-know-what but...well, if the shoe fits Cinderella.  Private criminal defense attorneys seem to be admired.  Public defense attorney-admonished.  It almost feels like the general consensus is-if you can't afford an attorney, you must be guilty.  Maybe not guilty of THIS offense, but you did something.

What's ironic is poverty on any other continent is viewed as a sad state, a project, cause, mission or ministry opportunity.  Most can see a hungry, homeless person on television in Thailand and their hearts go out to them.  Many of these same people see a hungry, homeless person in their downtown area and they cross the street.  Nice move Cinderella.

Again, I digress (I do that a lot, so I apologize in advance)

I was in court shadowing an attorney today and this girl asks her, "are you a real lawyer?"

Wow.

And so begins my journey, I will try to update daily but I make no promises.  SO I guess I'm off to becoming a "Public Offender."  Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't confess and don't consent.

~LT