I had never walked into a courtroom before law school. The only people I knew who had been in courtrooms entered as defendants. For me, courtrooms had a very serious and almost terrifying power about them. And yet this year, I have walked into a courtroom at least once a week. To say the experience… Continue reading Reflections from a Courtroom
Conversations with Practitioners is our ongoing series in which we ask current practitioners about their careers. 1. What do you currently do? I am a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in the Criminal Defense Practice in Brooklyn, New York. 2. What does your job entail? I represent low-income individuals accused of crimes, ranging from low… Continue reading Adam Heyman
I am a child of two public servants and I have always known that I would follow the public service path too. In spite of my own privileged situation, I grew up watching my parent’s clients struggle with poverty, lack of access to services, and additional law enforcement scrutiny due to their race. While many… Continue reading A Liberal Prosecutor – Oxymoron?
Why public defense is a question that I have heard many times during law school, from various sources. It is the first question in every PD interview, and the most difficult one to answer. It is asked to measure commitment and maturity; my answer has always been difficult to form because it derives from an… Continue reading The Inevitable Question of Public Defense
I’m going to tell you what may seem like a very obvious thing, but it’s also a very important thing: law school does not prepare you to be a lawyer. Law school prepares you to be a law professor. 1L year is spent teaching you to “think like a lawyer.” I’m still not totally sure… Continue reading An Education Beyond the Classroom