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The Champion

July and August 2011 , Page 56 

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Reflections on a Year of Service

By Jim E. Lavine

Though it passed quickly and with more intensity than I could have anticipated, my year as president of NACDL was one of the most rewarding professional experiences imaginable. I traversed the country in support of NACDL’s educational and reform projects, and I saw firsthand the talent and dedication that is the hallmark of the American criminal defense bar. When I began this journey, I did so in the sincere belief that the women and men who stand with the individual against the full might of the state are true ministers of justice. Along the way, I learned something else. I learned they are the most courageous, resourceful, and persistent of warriors in a profession that serves as the guarantor of liberty and justice.

I saw these lawyers imparting knowledge in educational programs, urging reforms before governmental entities, brainstorming in seminars and symposia, and crafting reform proposals. I saw them pursue these tasks through late nights, weekends, and holidays — often giving of

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