There is no doubt that I have the utmost respect for any attorney that involves him or herself in a criminal case. There are pages of heartbreaking testimonies to review, disturbing DNA samples to evaluate, and autopsy photos that can cause even the strongest of the strong to have sleepless nights. These attorneys know what comes with the territory and yet they do it day after endless day.
With my job with these attorneys, there are days that I want to throw in the towel after pulling out each and every strand of my hair. Those days are sometimes accompanied by the ones that I’m convinced every ounce of my listening capability has been drained from me and I silently promise to break my office phone if it rings one more time. And let’s not forget about the days that with every swing of the door comes a big attitude and an even bigger complaint as opposed to a smile and some appreciation.
But then there are days when I am pleased…I am gratified. Days in which I witness families hold one another together, figuratively and literally, during a trial. Days where I have never seen a district attorney so passionate about getting a point across to the ladies and gentlemen of a jury. And most importantly, days where a victim or victim’s family looks at me in the eyes and says, thank you. Whether it’s a thank you for calling them back due to countless voicemails, or for offering them a cup of coffee after a long day in a cold, cold courtroom, everything stops for a moment and I put myself in their position. I put myself in the shoes of a daughter who has lost her mother to the hands of a vicious man. I put myself in the shoes of a person who gets the news that her best friend has been raped and beaten to death. I put myself in shoes that I hope to never be in….
Then I look right back into that person’s eyes who has thanked me, I smile, push away my “problems” and complaints and I simply say, “you’re welcome”.