on law clerks

This is an ode to two law clerks from UCLA who recently helped me tremendously.

When I was interviewing at the PD I remember being asked what I would do if after 25 years in I was jaded and burnt out. I said I’d asked to be transfer to supervise law clerks because I figured theyd paddle my heart back to beating for the work.

I’m ten years deep. Wouldn’t say I’m jaded or burnt out but would say doing appeals is isolating and in some ways sad because your clients are so very defeated, asking not much from you —- thanking you profusely for “taking” their case and even thanking you for writing them back.

My two law clerks gave me so much faith for the future of this work. I have been so impressed by their ability to pick up on nuances such as identifying on their own that an issue was probably waived. Meanwhile the other found an evidence code section I didn’t even know existed which was right on point (more on that in a forthcoming post.)

I truly feel that they are bring me life in these dark times dramatic as that sounds. Here’s to the future of this work.

Published by Jenny Brandt

About Me: sociology, african american studies, chicano/a studies, critical race studies, and criminal law scholar. public school kid from kindergarten-J.D. Former public defender. I am a post-conviction guru. Appeals. Sentencing. Withdraw Pleas. Habeas. Published author in the Criminal Law Bulletin and California Defender. "I do it for the joy it brings, because I'm a joyful girl, because the world owes me nothing, and we owe each other the world." Why I started JJC: My PD buddy suggested it. What and who JJC is inspired by: public defenders I have worked for, with, and next to. my clients who have battled things no one should and are still here. innocence and guilt and everything in between. My coworkers, who fight just as hard as the PDs I love, for many of the same reasons. My husband who was once voted "most Christ like" (every Jewish girl's dream). My Corgi who loves everyone. The constitution. Tabloids. My mom, for giving me a voice. My dad, for teaching me what to say. My brother, for teaching me how to say it.

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