As a criminal defense attorney, the question I am most often asked is, “How can you defend someone when you know they are guilty?” My answer is always the same. “Because but for the grace of god go I.”
So many people come from unimaginable circumstances. People have the most tragic family backgrounds and have sufferred things most of us could not comprehend. My clients are often people who had parents were were drug addicts and/or were in prison. My clients have witnessed violence in their own homes which would make your blood turn cold in your veins. My clients have been abused and molested and left behind. My clients all have a story that needs to be heard.
On Thanksgiving I wanted to take a moment to give thanks for the things that allow me to do the work I do. I have been given the great gift of being born into a loving family. I have always been told I could do anything I dreamed of doing. I have had the amazing opportunity, not only to receive a college degree but also a law degree. I have the mental capacity to reach these goals and the ability to do the work that my clients need me to do to defend them. I am thankful for being born in a country that tries to be a democracy and attempts to have a criminal justice system that is fair.
I am grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the table whom I respect and who make me better at what I do every day. I am grateful for the support I receive from the legal community and the judges I stand before. I am grateful for the US Marshalls, the bailiffs, the clerks, the court reporters who come to work every day to play their part in the system.
Most of all, I am grateful to my clients for trusting me to defend them and for allowing me to do what I do…to play my part in the system we call justice.