Thursday, March 27, 2008

ask and ye shall...

I just pled with fate and this blog's audience for a big win.  Right after that I had a trial, and right after that I had an utterly innocent client convicted.
Kick me while I'm down.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This blog is something I've come to just poke at now and again, like a super fancy kitchen utensil that you only need for one recipe that you make twice a year.  Otherwise it sits on the shelf, and I wish I had the energy or the zeal or the words to do something with it.
Maybe I will eventually.  Just not lately.
Part of the reason might be because I feel driven to leave the job.  Not right away.  Not next month, or even in 3 months.  But I need to get a feel for what's out there, because I need to leave, and the idea of leaving my job is really difficult to grasp.  I thought I'd be here a long time.  And I thought when I left, I'd just go to a public defender in a different part of the country.  Work has been so difficult for me lately - so tedious, so not law-based, so much paperwork and scheduling and administrative bullshit that it makes me feel like my law degree has just led me to be a fucking secretary with six figure debt - that I'm losing my shit.  It never even occurred to me to do anything other than public defender work - and not even as a contract attorney.  When I tentatively mentioned to a friend I was considering hittin' the long dusty road, she started talking civil rights firms and big government work.  No no no, I waved it off.  Just PD work, not that other stuff.  Why not? she asked.  And then I stopped for a moment.  I guess I don't know why not, other than I just never really considered it. 
If I'm not a public defender, who am I? 
Am I ready to leave before I feel like I ever really got started?
My mentor told me, it's times like these that you need a big win.  I don't know if just one will cut it - I think I need a few really big wins to get my revved again.  I feel so far gone already.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I can't stand it a minute longer.  I'm so angry I want to cry.  I'm storming out of the courtroom, where I've just wasted an hour of time sitting there doing nothing, precious time better spent researching a legal issue or analyzing a case or writing a motion or talking to a client or interviewing witnesses.  Just an hour today wasted, as I've started to realize that NOT appearing on time has made me a better lawyer.  The wind is cold and I can't get a handle on my scarf that's whipping around in the air around me.  Fuck this.  Fuck this. FUCK THIS.  I'm not meant for this.  I'm not built to just sit there and watch people in black robes and suits say stupid, stupid things over and over and over again.  I hate it, I can't stand it, I don't have the patience for it.
Back in the office, I return to my chair, the chair that sees more of me than does my boyfriend or my bed.  On the screen, right where I left it, that motion I've been painstakingly writing, one slow sentence at a time, researching as I write.  I cut, I paste, I cite, I move the paragraph, I'm clicking, I'm typing.  Every once in a while a flash of his small quiet face comes to mind.  Juvenile charged as an adult.  So quiet.  Can't get him to talk.  What ever happened to him that made him so quiet?  So tiny.  I click, I type, I type, I highlight.  I remember back when I saw him, when he first sat down across from me in the activity room.  The activity room filled with silence, with false institutional cheer on the cement walls.  He, in the jumpsuit, not expecting me.  He was expecting the other one, the middle-aged paunchy grizzly soft male attorney he had before.  Instead he got me, an edgy, young, eternally scowling female.
When considering sentencing, the court is required to first consider rehabilitative options
and as I typed the sentence I wondered how that was going to be true.  He had never been in trouble before.  I couldn't quite figure out what was to rehabilitate.  It was a bad decision, made quickly.