Criminal attorneys are forced to take cases that could test their ethics

I believe it’s easy to overlook the challenging parts of your career when you’re having fantasies about the future every day. I thought that being a journalist would be the most exciting career I would have, but all it did was leave me with a case of post-traumatic disorder and the need to stay away from print media. In my years of desiring to be a journalist, I never stopped to consider how I would react on those days that would test my resolve. There are a lot of murders, horrible accidents, and terrible criminal acts that must be reported regardless of how you feel about it inside. I reached my breaking point when I was asked to interview the family of a college student on Christmas morning after he died in a tragic accident the day before. I was selected to write the featured story for the local newspaper. After I was chased away by the family, I realized that I wasn’t meant to be a journalist. It tested my morals and values too much, so I became a production assistant instead. My best friend Mary was a criminal attorney for the state for years before she reached the point where she couldn’t take it much longer. Like me, Mary has strong ethics and values and is deeply bothered by injustice and by seeing people suffer emotional pain. Since everyone—even criminals—have the right to legal representation, she had to represent too many criminals, more times than she could handle. After a few years of crying herself to sleep while working as a criminal attorney, she switched practices and became a family and estate lawyer. She makes more money as a family attorney, and she feels fulfilled knowing that she’s doing something good with her time every day.

 

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