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The Champion

August 2010 , Page 49 

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The Defense of Children - A Call to Arms

By Maureen Pacheco

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 only

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