Since graduating law school, I have been asked hundreds of times about the type of law I practice. I always find it amusing to watch people raise their eyebrows when I respond, “criminal defense!” with an enthusiastic smile. The next question is often, “how do you defend criminals?” with a somewhat disturbed expression.
This answer is easy for me.
Most “criminals,” that is, those who are charged with criminal offenses, are people, just like you and me. Educated, clean records, husbands, wives, daughters, teachers, military personnel, government workers, and yes, lawyers — and I have the opportunity to be the only positive on the worst day of their lives. Quite frankly, it’s rewarding. That’s the big secret. I help people, not criminals, and I like it.
What is it Like to be a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Typically, my day as a criminal defense lawyer begins with court. I can often be found pacing the hallways of district court, calming down clients, talking to prosecutors, and looking for police officers. While it may look like fun, as I wave hello to fellow attorneys, and laugh with police officers, what I am really doing is putting my best foot forward to get the best result for my client. The fun ends, so to speak, when I enter a small vestibule outside the courtroom and spend time negotiating with prosecutors, pulling cases, statutes, pictures, evaluations, and reports out of large brown folders. If a favorable plea agreement is reached, I go to my client, and watch them breathe a huge sigh of relief. If not, we proceed to trial that morning.
As a Criminal Defense Attorney, I Can Help
As a criminal defense attorney, the odds are usually stacked against my clients. In other words, generally, there is evidence implicating my client, which led to their arrest. However, I enjoy the challenge trying to win, the success in mitigating damage, and absolutely love watching the faces and hearing the gratitude of clients who end up in a better place than when they first called. As a criminal defense attorney, I have the opportunity to help people every day, and I like it.