It's hard to take seriously the paeans to "equality" and "justice" the courts like to decorate their halls with. Behind their sterile, obnoxious, absorbed self-seriousness is a remarkable record of brutal daily injustices. Today, will another poor person be charged, indicted, and convicted of fifth degree possession of a controlled substance, an incredibly harmless and … Continue reading Equal Justice Under Law?
Working in public defense means working for clients who have been oppressed by multiple systems that are funded, promoted, and perpetuated by our government. Annie Flanagan, 3L Advisory Committee member for Georgetown Defenders, finds inspiration in the myriad ways in which Bronx Defenders challenges these systems: A few weeks into my summer at the Bronx … Continue reading “End forcible unnecessary family separation everywhere.”
Andrea Fenster, 2L Leadership Committee member for Georgetown Defenders, talks about finding her tribe at the Public Defender Service over the past several weeks: This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in the Summer Law Clerk program at the D.C. Public Defender Service in the Special Education division. My first week was so exhilarating … Continue reading Summer at The Public Defender Service
Broken windows policing, a decidedly failed effort to prevent serious crime by cracking down on petty offenses (e.g. public urination, vandalism), often has life-altering effects on the lives of those subjected to it. Kim Kidani, 3L Advisory Committee member for Georgetown Defenders, reflects on how this method of policing prevails in New York City today. … Continue reading Broken Windows in 2018
Meet Alex Douglas, 2L Leadership Committee member and intern at the Arlington County Public Defender's Office. For Alex, this summer has thus far been a lesson in the brutal reality of our criminal justice system: Wednesday afternoon is "marijuana court" at the Arlington County Courthouse. It is the designated arraignment slot for possession of marijuana … Continue reading Wednesdays in Marijuana Court
Juliana Wishne, a member of our 2L Leadership Committee, is spending her summer at the Alexandria Office of the Public Defender. She sent us an update on what her experience has been like so far: "My summer at the Alexandria Public Defender's Office has confirmed for me that this is absolutely the right career choice … Continue reading Summer in Alexandria
Excited to announce that the first episode of our brand new podcast will be released on Friday, October 6th. As a meditation on the role of public defense in our society, “Defenders United” will explore the lives and work of public defense attorneys across the United States from the perspective of a current law student. … Continue reading “Defenders United” Episode 1 Teaser
In the early sixties, the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice Earl Warren decided Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), the case that required states to provide counsel to defendants, in criminal cases, who could not afford an attorney. In a 9-0 decision penned by Justice Hugo Black, the Court stated: "That government … Continue reading You have the right to an attorney*
We hope you all had a great summer! Ours was particularly productive. We're a new student organization, so in addition to working at a variety of public defender offices, we've also been working on developing direction and events for the school year. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, make sure you come to our first general meeting on September 20th in McDonough 207.