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What Would People Think?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Interviewing Hell

No, I'm not talking about giving Hell an interview. That makes no sense, silly.

Interviews aren't going too well. Today, I interviewed with the D.C. Public Defender Service. These guys are so awesome. Premier public defender in the nation. Innovative programs to address clients' rights in prison or to help them deal with civil legal issues. Decent pay, especially for a public defender. Manageable case-load.

And I blew it. ALL my experience is in criminal defense, and I still blew it. I was asked one of those "thinking on your feet" questions: I meet a client and realize this is the same client I am representing in another case, under a different name. If the judge and prosecutor know about that other case, there's no way they are letting him out of jail on bond. What do I do?

I have an answer in my head: As an attorney it is my responsibility to look out for my client's best interest. As long as there is no ethical rule mandating that I tell the judge about my client's alter ego, the real issue is what is in my client's best interest. I would argue full disclosure (in this case) is in his best interest, long-term. If I am to plea bargain (which is what happens with most cases) or get the case against him dropped through some pre-trial diversion program, I need the judge and the D.A. to trust me. Of course, I should respect my client's dignity. If I cannot persuade him to tell the judge about his alter ego, I think it would be a betrayal of my client to "rat him out." Again, this is assuming there are no ethical rules requiring disclosure.

Obviously, there's no "right answer" to this question. The interviewer asked to see how I would think...how I would handle it. He even played the role of the client, demanding to get out of jail now because he's got a job and has to feed the kids.

And how did I handle it? I froze. For what seems like an eternity, I said nothing.

Doggone it! I'm better at thinking on my feet than that! Aren't I? I wanted this job so bad.

I need to back up a bit here. I will find a job, somewhere. I will end up where God can best use me. I need to pray constantly and remind myself of that.

But I'm still kicking myself.

In other interview news, the firm that I'm interviewing with this afternoon.....I just found out that their Atlanta office only has 3 attorneys. And they all are in the Life Sciences division. They all have technical backgrounds. One was a Registered Nurse for 14 years. Think I can convince them to hire me based on my math/science concentration in high school?


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