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So I had an interview with Legal Aid yesterday. A…

16 April 2003

So I had an interview with Legal Aid yesterday. As some folks may know, I’ve wanted to work at this place since I started law school, basically. Legal Aid is based in New York City and provides legal services to the indigent –blokes who can’t afford to hire an attorney. So yes, I will be representing all sorts of folks –from kids who just happened to have run with the wrong crowd – to folks who have done very bad things such as armed robbery, rape, even murder.

I’ve always tried to explain to people why I want to be a criminal defense attorney, and a state-paid one at that. It’s partly because I feel that it is part of an attorney’s duty to serve the public. I believe all lawyers should take it upon themselves to do pro bono cases (cases for free). The other reason is because I feel I’ve been very lucky in life. I have generous parents who worked hard to provide for me, a wonderful husband who’s very patient… I went to good schools, have a network of good friends…all that stuff combined makes for one very comfortable life. And no, contrary to what some people may think, I’m not spoiled, and I do know how to work hard. My family and I have had our share of hardships…especially when we first moved to the U.S. But the point is, we have overcome these hurdles.

I want to be a public defender because a lot of people have not overcome their hurdles. A lot of people do not have a great family or good friends to help them out. A lot of people feel stuck in a rut and have no one to support them. As one attorney said to me, some people have never had anyone stand up for them. I think the very least I can do is to try to help out others by standing up for them, plain and simple.

So I hope I get the job offer. I’m pretty scared. However, wanting the job and doing the job are two, very separate things. But you don’t know until you’re actually doing it. So I hope I get the job, and I hope that I like the job. I can go on and on about wanting to be a criminal defense attorney, but I won’t know if it’s truly “my calling” until I’m knee-deep in it. Yes, I’m being very pragmatic about it all….in any case, wish me luck.

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