Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sometimes I hate this job...

That's not true. Really, it's not. I love my job. It's so frustrating though! Seeing the same clients over and over and over again, same crime, different victim, same crime, different drug, same crime, different location, yada, yada.

But today has to be the most frustrating kind of day. The occassional client that you get that you believe really is innocent, not just not guilty. Because the case has been around a while, you develop a sort a relationship, almost a friendship with the client. A case that hangs around for a while, because of an obstinate state attorney bordering on unethical. The state attorney offers misdemeanors, client thinks it over, and decides to go to trial. And the jury comes back guilty as charged.

I have been told on more than one occassion that the thing that makes me feel the way I do right now is the same thing that makes me good at what I do. I care. Sometimes I feel like just walking away. It is really agonizing to watch a client you have come to know, and actually like, be placed in handcuffs and led off to the jail. To have them thank you as they are being led away, the occassional client that actually appreciates you for what you do. And always will appreciate you.

Is it possible not to feel discouraged with the system? To not feel that you can't compete with a society whose motto appears to be "guilty until proven innocent?" To not want to throw in the towel and go to the high-priced corporate law firms where you deal with dollar signs instead of lives? Numbers instead of families?

And to know that you have no time to mourn this loss, because there are 100 more clients just like the one that you couldn't save from jail, that need to be defended. And know that it will probably be another 100 clients (or more) before you get another thank you?

Sometimes I hate my job...

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