Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Sunday, January 22, 2006

We Don’t Represent the “Bad Guys”

When I finished law school, I was largely open to any practice area. An opportunity arose with a local law firm that specializes largely in criminal law, although one of the attorneys also practices family law. I never anticipated that I would be involved in criminal defense. When I mention to people the area of practice, some of them speculate that criminal defense must be interesting. A few people, though, have made remarks about representing “the bad guys.” After I landed this job, I contacted my two mentors via e-mail to inform them that I would be beginning work. I made a remark about working for the good guys. One of my mentors responded, “Don’t think of it in terms of good guys and bad guys. You are now an enforcer of the Constitution.” I like this way of considering the practice of law. When the machinery of the state is in motion against a person, everyone needs and is entitled to representation, regardless of guilt or innocence. The Constitution guarantees numerous rights to the accused, and it is the job of the criminal defender to ensure that these rights are afforded to every person who is suspected of or charged with a crime. This is enforcing the Constitution.

2 Comments:

  • Absolutely. The system wouldn't work without people like you. We need you.

    However, one day you may get Hannibal Lector freed because you could rip apart the sloppy job the cops did at the crime scene and tank the DA's case.

    Sh*t! we need better cops, not better defense attorneys!!!

    :)

    By Blogger Ashley, at 5:52 AM, January 22, 2006  

  • yep, you sound like a lawyer.

    kidding, matthew! Well, only half kidding. But you are right. Court systems have always been fascinating to me. And I actually liked being on the jury. Really now.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 8:31 AM, January 22, 2006  

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