I had an old friend come into town Monday. He's a former public defender, now working for a prosecutor's office in a small county. So small there are only three prosecutors for the whole county. Well, there are supposed to be three. But one is out on maternity leave. So that leaves two.
Anyway, he moved about three months ago, and had to come back to testify at a trial. We sat all day and talked, about his new job, and about some of the clients he left behind when he left. He's my best friend and I really miss him. But it was great to see him. Later he and I and our respective spouses all went out for dinner and spent a couple of more hours talking. During dinner, you could see the eyes of our spouses glazing over. We fell right back into our earlier discussion about clients and jobs, law school and bar exams.
I love my husband dearly. The greatest thing that ever happened to me. And it's really a good thing that he's not involved in the law. It does allow me a little break from constantly thinking about what clients I need to see, what tasks I have to complete at the office, etc. And I believe he does understand, to a certain extent, what my job is like. He has spent many a night listening to me bitch and complain about clients, prosecutors and judges. He couldn't help but learn something about every aspect of my job. But unless you have done this, you can never really comprehend everything. I love having a lively discussion over great food with another attorney who has been exactly where you are and can acutely identify with every little feeling you have. Which is what my friend and I did. As I've said, I really miss him. There are other attorneys in my office, sure. But he and I just hit it off instantly. And it sucks that he's not around anymore.
Tuesday, back to the same grind. Sort of.
My friend had to head back home, and came by the office to say good-bye. That put kind of a downer on the day. Then I had to head to court. Thank goodness...a light day.
I took care of my clients, argued with the state, and got the judge to see things my way once or twice.
Then...the topper of my day. I was leaving court, and was stopped by a tall, well-dressed gentleman that asked if I had a moment to speak to him. I assumed he was the father or husband of one of my clients, so I put on my nice face and said sure.
Turns out, he was the victim of a client of one of my office partners. He said he had been to court four times because of the case, and he had an opportunity to observe what goes on in court. And he just wanted to let me know that he was impressed with everything that we, public defenders, had to deal with on a daily basis, and admired us for doing it.
I politely thanked him and walked back to my office. It's nice to hear that every once in a while. Not as nice as to hear it from my clients. But to have my job acknowledge by anyone makes me realize how important my job is. And why I do it.
Then, back at the office, I get a message from a client that she wants to appeal a case she entered a plea to. Said she entered the plea just to get out of jail, and that she really isn't guilty of the charge. I will have to explain to her that we can only appeal the judgment and/or sentence of the court, not her guilt, since she entered a plea to an offer by the state.
I think I'll do that tomorrow. Don't want to lose that feeling of appreciation just yet.