Solo Practitioners Don’t Have A Jackie Frankfurt

We had a tremendous support network at the public defender’s office in Philadelphia. There were social workers and mental health professionals. There were administrative staff focusing on probation, parole, and the expungement of criminal records. If you had… Read More

Court-Appointed Lawyers Who Are Too Busy Should Lighten Their Case Load

I will not take cases away from the Public Defender Service. How can I take someone’s money when that person is already getting top-notch legal representation for free? I am trying to make a living. But I also… Read More

A Prosecutor Melts Down

We had at least one meltdown every year at the public defender’s office in Philadelphia.  Sometimes the meltdown was very public:  the PD throwing down her files and stomping out of the court room.  Other times it was… Read More

It Is All About Respect

The judge takes the bench at 9:15 am. That she does this every day without fail is a sign of respect for herself, for the system, and for every person who appears in front of her. And it… Read More

Life Lessons for My Law Practice

I am in Nairobi.  Kenya is famous, among other things, for its malachite jewelry, and I would like to buy my wife a malachite necklace.  I check at the hotel store and see that the necklaces there sell… Read More

My Real (and Not So Real) Heroes

Guest Post by Somers Brush I normally tell people that my desire to be a lawyer came after the couple of weeks I spent with my aunt and uncle during the summer before my senior year of high… Read More

From Law School to Law Practice: The Importance of Clinicals

Unless we were working in some capacity in which we were actually dealing with clients, everything we learned in law school was theoretical.  Maybe we motivated ourselves by imagining that some day we would be able to apply… Read More

Common Sense in Dealing with Court Staff

It is a foolish lawyer who offends court personnel. During my first year as a public defender in Philadelphia, one of my colleagues made the mistake of being less than respectful toward a court clerk in a preliminary… Read More

What We Learn About Our Colleagues

We feel like we know our colleagues. We know who the good ones are and we know who the bad ones are. But that is based mostly on reputation. We spend a lot of time together in the… Read More

You Have To Love The Law Books

I just treated myself to the entire Wayne LaFave collection:  3 volumes on substantive criminal law, 6 volumes on search and seizure, and 7 volumes on criminal procedure.  I had been coveting the criminal procedure set in the… Read More