When the Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Congrats to the TL kid who graduates today from Cardozo Law School in New York City. His ambition: to be a public defender.

I never was a public defender, I've only been in private practice. But I've told the TL kid since he was a child that if he wanted to be a trial lawyer, he ought to spend a few years as a public defender, to master the skills of a litigator.

He's listening, and hoping for a job. Congrats, Nic, to a valiant effort and a great accomplishment. And I'm sorry you have spend the summer suffering through bar refresher to take the bar exam, but it's a rite of passage. I know you will do great.

If you have some words of encouragement for him today, I hope you will post them in the comments. TalkLeft is his home page so I know he'll read them.

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    What a great picture of the two of you (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 03:45:54 AM EST
    Congratulations to both of you!

    it could be worse (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 03:54:00 AM EST
    he could be studying for the cpa exam! :)

    Congrats to the TL kid! (none / 0) (#3)
    by HK on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 05:01:11 AM EST
    It's so important to remember that even though it is a long road to get where you want to go, each step you successfully complete and any valiant efforts made are worthy of celebration in their own right.  Even though in many ways this must feel like the beginning of the journey, already you have accomplished so much.  Jeralyn, you are clearly very proud and rightly so!  I hope the TL kid is proud of himself too.

    BTW no matter how successful (or old!) he gets, knowing that he will always be referred to as the TL kid here should help him keep his feet firmly on the ground ;0)

    Good luck kid.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 06:26:39 AM EST
    I hope I never need your services.

    Mom (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 06:48:34 AM EST
      is giving good advice. Good luck. And, if for some reason you can't get a PD's job don't feel forced to take a big firm job. My first job was with a solo practitioner and even though I made a lot less than some of my classmates at big firms, that route got me on my feet in the courtroom right away. Don't rule out  prosecutorial jobs either. Idealistic prosecutors are valuable to the system and your perspective could help there and the perspective of the "other side" you gain could help you later when you are ready for private practice.

    Taller, Smarter and Better Looking (none / 0) (#6)
    by koshembos on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 07:06:29 AM EST
    My mantra is that our kids are smarter, smarter and better looking than their parents. Sun will rise again on this country!

    Congratulations Nic! (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 08:22:07 AM EST

    Best wishes (none / 0) (#8)
    by Randinho on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 09:24:20 AM EST
    Good luck on the bar exam!

    Lawyer Joke (none / 0) (#9)
    by ding7777 on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 10:23:41 AM EST
    Taylor was desperate for business, and was happy to be appointed by the court to defend an indigent defendant.

    The judge ordered Taylor, "You are to confer with the defendant in the hallway, and give him the best legal advice you can."

    After a time, Taylor re-entered the courtroom alone.

    When the judge asked where the defendant had gone, Taylor replied, "You asked me to give him good advice. I found out that he was guilty, so I told him to split."

    Congratulations! (none / 0) (#10)
    by nolo on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 10:31:29 AM EST
    Best of luck on the bar exam.  I concur for the most part with Decon regarding the big firm job.  I started out with a big firm job, and while it was good for my bank account, it was fairly awful in a lot of other ways -- and you certainly aren't going to get trial experience in a big commercial firm.  On the other hand, smaller general practice firms and offices that handle a lot of personal injury work are great places to get trial experience.  I'm in a PI practice now, and we have a new associate who passed the bar last November who's already trying cases -- which is something that would never have happened at my former firm.

    Congrats! And welcome! (none / 0) (#11)
    by txpublicdefender on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 11:00:44 AM EST
    Congrats to Nic!  I started out at a big law firm, slowly killed my soul for two years, then quit to become a public defender.  In the 5 1/2 years I've been doing this work, I've never once regretted my decision to leave the big bucks.  I am continually inspired and fulfilled with the work I do.  I wish you the best of luck!

    Congrats, and may you do much good in the world (none / 0) (#12)
    by Lora on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 11:32:19 AM EST
    All the best.

    Congrats! (none / 0) (#13)
    by SLH on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 12:48:08 PM EST
    Good luck on the bar exam!  And don't think you have to limit yourself to just a few years with the PD.  You won't get rich, but you can make a very fulfilling career as a public defender.  You'll help a lot of people who really need you, and you can have a direct impact on the law and on the delivery of legal services to the poor.  I wish you great success!