My internship is over, and I am a little sad about it. I really liked that court. They threw us a little party, and I took the boy with me. He charmed the pants off everyone by pretending to be shy and hiding his head in my skirt. He would then stick his head out and pretend to laugh at their cooing. He was playing them all like a violin.
They gave us all a little certificate of recognition for helping out. I liked it there so much that I am actually considering becoming a defense attorney. This surprises me because I have a real problem with criminals. They can cause so much havoc and chaos. But I had a couple of revelations during the internship. First, most of these people are not actually criminals, they are alcoholics and addicts. The OUIs, possession and theft all have to do with their addictions. I wouldn’t have any problem defending these people. (There are some genuinely bad people, however).
Second, I had the realization that the only thing that keeps the government from becoming an authoritarian regime is the justice system. And the system relies on the presumption of innocence, and you need defense attorneys to defend that presumption. Otherwise, all of America would be Guantanamo Bay. You are a criminal because the government says you are. (I know most of you probably figured this out in your 9th grade civics class, but I’m dense – k).
There are some practical considerations. I have become friends with an attorney who left her big firm job when she became pregnant with triplet boys. She works four days a week and makes about 90,000 a year. She says she realized she could only do one thing well, and she chose being a mom. However, she is a great attorney, and your lucky if you get appointed her as your counsel.
Being a prosecutor is kind of out because they work their butts off for $37,000. Some of them even have second jobs. I’m not agreeing to that.
I am still thinking about it, but I would get to be in court and I would feel like I am doing something important. Plus, I could help Sue out with that neighbor of hers – should she need my help.