And last of all, high over thought, in the world of morals, Fate appears
as vindicator, leveling the high, lifting the low, requiring justice in
man, and always striking soon or late when justice is not done. What is
useful will last, what is hurtful will sink.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I attended my first NACDL conference in San Francisco in 1987. My
criminal law and clinical professor, William Greenhalgh, was being
honored. One year out of law school, and working in a large Los Angeles
law firm where the closest I came to a court appearance was carrying the
briefcase, I was so inspired by the camaraderie and great stories at
the conference that I took a 75 percent pay cut to join the public
defender ranks. I remained a public defender for 22 years.
I specialized exclusively in juvenile defense during my last 10 years as
a public defender. I worked with topnotch, dedicated, and amazing
defense attorneys in my office and around the country, even though “they
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