Criminal defense as spiritual practice

Might as well start out with some blasphemy. I think Jesus would approve of our work as criminal defense attorneys.

Now that I've gotten the really controversial stuff out on the table, permit me to provide some background: I am a criminal defense practitioner, in private practice. I've been doing this work for eight years. In that time I have worked on a wide variety of cases, including domestic violence, murder, and child molestation. I have encountered the obligatory questioning of friends, family, and mere acquaintances: "How can you do that?" and "Do you represent people even if you know they are guilty?" and the other standard queries. My responses have changed since I started working—they've been informed by more experience and by many discussions with other criminal practitioners. But the most significant influence in forming my current set of answers has been the relationships that I have developed with my clients.

May 20, 2002

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