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From the President: We Have Learned a Few Things Along the Way
By Steven D. Benjamin
From the President columns.
Part of the joy of our profession is the learning that never ends. After learning the principles and foundations of the law in law school, we spend years learning how to practice law. We learn to analyze, investigate, examine, and argue. We learn our own vocabulary; we learn the language of the street. We learn the culture of the criminal defense lawyer, and because our work requires that we understand others, we learn the culture and methods of the diverse communities in which we work. We learn that the courts, prosecutors, and police have values and customs every bit as distinct as those who populate the worlds of violence, fraud, and drugs.
We confront the frailty of human nature and learn that people will lie, withhold evidence, and deny the truth. We learn that honorable professionals can act dishonorably, and that those sworn to uphold the law can break it. We learn that rules and procedures can trump innocence, and that the truth-seeking function of the criminal tri
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