Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Public Defenders

Tomorrow my roommate, one of my other friends, and I are going to Capitol Hill for a hearing, appropriations bill, and committee markup, respectively. Welcome to the life of public policy lawyers.

Going to law school in Washington, DC, I found many other law students like me who are doing the non-profit or government sector kind of lawyering this summer. In fact, at my school, working at a firm after your first year almost seems like an anomaly. I guess we're all at that point in our schooling where we are still young and idealistic. Or we have not realized how much debt we have from law school yet.

I am glad that I am in DC though, in company with so many people who's main clients are the public at large. In some ways I think it can be more interesting but other times also frustrating when you do not have a tangible client. Whether its defending people's civil liberties, reproductive rights, or working on healthcare issues, you know you are doing good work that affects a lot of people but you don't get an instant or black and white result because you usually don't have direct clients that have jury verdicts or settlements.

Whether or not I decide to do this lawyering this summer, my week and a half have already been a great learning experience. And I'm excited to go back to Capitol Hill tomorrow in a different capacity. It's almost like I'm going from being "the man" to fighting it. But still wearing a power suit.

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