I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

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Displeased
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Displeased » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:35 am

Cogburn87 wrote:
Displeased wrote:
Jessuf wrote:I've teared up during sentencing hearings.


This, though I never tear up during major sentencings. I tend to get the most upset by people who are getting 2-5 years for relatively minor things (larcenies, probation violations, forgeries, etc). If my client is expected to get 10+ years or more, they normally have extensive criminal histories and a history of violent behavior, so its tougher to be empathetic.

High IQ clients also sometimes get tears from me. The dumb ones, even the mentally disabled, are a dime a dozen in the criminal justice system, so its hard for them to get special sympathy from me. I know this is probably ugly of me to admit, but I tend to get more upset at the idea of a college graduate spending 2-5 years in prison for a crime than I do at the idea of a mentally disabled person spending equal or more time. I think its just because the high IQ clients tend to be more likable, you joke around with them more in lockup and during court, so they seem more human.


jesus fucking lol


Dude, I've done 300+ sentencings in the last year. Maybe "seem more human" isn't the best way to phrase it, but some clients you empathize with, some you don't. There are some clients I forget about within two hours of their sentencing. Others stick with you forever. The ones that you empathize with and care about the most tend to be the ones most similar to you.

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bruinfan10
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:49 am

CanadianWolf wrote:You can make a difference.

...you've never worked with habeas petitions, have you?
Last edited by bruinfan10 on Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bruinfan10
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:51 am

.
Last edited by bruinfan10 on Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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baal hadad
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby baal hadad » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:51 am

You emotional bros gotta adopt a more javert attitude

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El Pollito
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby El Pollito » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:53 am

Displeased wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:
Displeased wrote:
Jessuf wrote:I've teared up during sentencing hearings.


This, though I never tear up during major sentencings. I tend to get the most upset by people who are getting 2-5 years for relatively minor things (larcenies, probation violations, forgeries, etc). If my client is expected to get 10+ years or more, they normally have extensive criminal histories and a history of violent behavior, so its tougher to be empathetic.

High IQ clients also sometimes get tears from me. The dumb ones, even the mentally disabled, are a dime a dozen in the criminal justice system, so its hard for them to get special sympathy from me. I know this is probably ugly of me to admit, but I tend to get more upset at the idea of a college graduate spending 2-5 years in prison for a crime than I do at the idea of a mentally disabled person spending equal or more time. I think its just because the high IQ clients tend to be more likable, you joke around with them more in lockup and during court, so they seem more human.


jesus fucking lol


Dude, I've done 300+ sentencings in the last year. Maybe "seem more human" isn't the best way to phrase it, but some clients you empathize with, some you don't. There are some clients I forget about within two hours of their sentencing. Others stick with you forever. The ones that you empathize with and care about the most tend to be the ones most similar to you.

this is really fucked up

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:56 am

OP here. Thank you all for sharing. I'm usually very good about separating myself from the cases, especially as a judicial clerk. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who sometimes gets the feels in this job.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thank you all for sharing. I'm usually very good about separating myself from the cases, especially as a judicial clerk. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who sometimes gets the feels in this job.

are you on the d.ct? it's even worse at the appellate level, in many chambers you literally have to stay up until midnight or whenever the execution is scheduled in case last minute filings come in--you're literally just counting down the minutes until the person is killed. i didn't know about that aspect of the job beforehand, it's excruciating for someone who thinks retributive justice is a barbaric stain on our nation's conscience. you're not alone by a longshot, i just hope you've got some decently progressive co-clerks to empathize with you.

jimmythecatdied6
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:04 am

I wonder what OP does with his social security appeals...

BUT THIS GUY IS SOOOO DISABLED... *tear*

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:07 am

jimmythecatdied6 wrote:I wonder what OP does with his social security appeals...

BUT THIS GUY IS SOOOO DISABLED... *tear*

You sound like a charming empathetic type.

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Displeased
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Displeased » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:09 am

bruinfan10 wrote:
Displeased wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:
This, though I never tear up during major sentencings. I tend to get the most upset by people who are getting 2-5 years for relatively minor things (larcenies, probation violations, forgeries, etc). If my client is expected to get 10+ years or more, they normally have extensive criminal histories and a history of violent behavior, so its tougher to be empathetic.

High IQ clients also sometimes get tears from me. The dumb ones, even the mentally disabled, are a dime a dozen in the criminal justice system, so its hard for them to get special sympathy from me. I know this is probably ugly of me to admit, but I tend to get more upset at the idea of a college graduate spending 2-5 years in prison for a crime than I do at the idea of a mentally disabled person spending equal or more time. I think its just because the high IQ clients tend to be more likable, you joke around with them more in lockup and during court, so they seem more human.


ugh, are you a pd? none of my three former offices would have hired you, christ. i really hope you burn out fast--you're taking up space that 50 other probably better qualified, better people could fill.


I'm just saying why I get upset about some clients but not others. I'm not saying that I don't fight for the low iq defendants, or even that I don't care as much an out them. I care a LOT about all my clients, asshole. But the ones likely to provoke tears in court? It's the ones who I have the best relationship with, the ones I could imagine myself being friends with. And those are the ones who are similar to me in background and personality.

I'm not saying this is a good thing. Objectively, I should get more upset about a mentally disabled person going to prison then some privileged twit with a college education. But God help me, on a gut emotional level, I have yet to cry in court about a low iq client. Felt horrible, but the involuntary tears somehow only come out about clients that I can identify with.

And if you are a PD, you know damn well we all get little sleep and angst about just about every client. I'm trying to be introspective and honest about the job, I don't need sanctimonious insults.

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bruinfan10
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:18 am

Displeased wrote:I'm just saying why I get upset about some clients but not others. I'm not saying that I don't fight for the low iq defendants, or even that I don't care as much an out them. I care a LOT about all my clients, asshole. But the ones likely to provoke tears in court? It's the ones who I have the best relationship with, the ones I could imagine myself being friends with. And those are the ones who are similar to me in background and personality.

I'm not saying this is a good thing. Objectively, I should get more upset about a mentally disabled person going to prison then some privileged twit with a college education. But God help me, on a gut emotional level, I have yet to cry in court about a low iq client. Felt horrible, but the involuntary tears somehow only come out about clients that I can identify with.

And if you are a PD, you know damn well we all get little sleep and angst about just about every client. I'm trying to be introspective and honest about the job, I don't need sanctimonious insults.

i apologize for calling you out. i understand what you're trying to say. you're being honest/human and i was being a dick.

jimmythecatdied6
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:35 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
jimmythecatdied6 wrote:I wonder what OP does with his social security appeals...

BUT THIS GUY IS SOOOO DISABLED... *tear*

You sound like a charming empathetic type.


My clerkship has turned me into a cynic... Thankfully, I will not be a PD.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thank you all for sharing. I'm usually very good about separating myself from the cases, especially as a judicial clerk. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who sometimes gets the feels in this job.

are you on the d.ct? it's even worse at the appellate level, in many chambers you literally have to stay up until midnight or whenever the execution is scheduled in case last minute filings come in--you're literally just counting down the minutes until the person is killed. i didn't know about that aspect of the job beforehand, it's excruciating for someone who thinks retributive justice is a barbaric stain on our nation's conscience. you're not alone by a longshot, i just hope you've got some decently progressive co-clerks to empathize with you.


OP here. Thank you for your response.

Yes, I am on a district court. I can't imagine what that was like at the appellate level. I did talk to another clerk, so that definitely helped.

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sundance95
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby sundance95 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:54 pm

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Last edited by sundance95 on Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:03 pm

I've seen judges tear up (in a happy way for once) when finalizing an adoption or removing all state intervention from a kid/family's life because the family has sorted their shit out. In an adoption hearing, pretty much everyone in the courtroom has happy tears.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby sd5289 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:07 pm

Displeased wrote:
Jessuf wrote:I've teared up during sentencing hearings.
High IQ clients also sometimes get tears from me. The dumb ones, even the mentally disabled, are a dime a dozen in the criminal justice system, so its hard for them to get special sympathy from me. I know this is probably ugly of me to admit, but I tend to get more upset at the idea of a college graduate spending 2-5 years in prison for a crime than I do at the idea of a mentally disabled person spending equal or more time. I think its just because the high IQ clients tend to be more likable, you joke around with them more in lockup and during court, so they seem more human.


Seriously? I tend to have less sympathy for them because they at least had a chance at life, and just completely fucked it up.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:09 pm

It's pretty sick, but I think I'd assume they'd care less about being in prison since they can't take care of themselves anyway.

Dunno why we'd put them in jail in the first place though. Seems like there are better options.

Though a lot of defense attorneys are just claiming that stupid people are mentally disabled now. They game an IQ test and pretend the person is retarded.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:16 pm

I should mention... I did tear up at a naturalization ceremony. Those things are awesome.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:12 pm

I teared up just reading the record / briefs in a couple of the 100+ cases I've worked on at a court of appeals. The most memorable was a capital murder of a fifteen-year-old girl; it was a witness retaliation murder. They killed her because she was a witness to another murder and had spoken to a detective about it. They lured her out of the house right before bed. She was wearing pajamas. They drove her to a parking lot and shot her in the back. I think what really got me about that case is that she was killed in a very premeditated way simply because she was trying to do the right thing.

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bruinfan10
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:28 pm

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Last edited by bruinfan10 on Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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CicerBRo
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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby CicerBRo » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:35 pm

Just stopping by to make a pointless post.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby ggocat » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:53 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:.

Too bad you had to delete this. It was sobering.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:56 pm

One guy's story always bothers me. I met him after he was charged with felony harassment, when he was in his mid/late-20's. He had grown up in a project and was removed from his single mother after she was stung trying to prostitute him for drugs. He then went to an orphanage, at about age 8 or 9. He grew up there with no contact from his mother or father, or any of their family members.

He did well in school at the orphanage and was accepted into a very good college in the Midwest. He was doing well there, until he was arrested for possession of marijuana during his sophomore year. He lost the financial aid that had allowed him to go to school, so he dropped out. He stayed in the area and worked odd jobs (this was at the worst point of our economic recession). He then found out his girlfriend, who he lived with, was cheating on him. He sent her some dumb texts, not threatening to kill her or anything but making some mild threats against himself and to damage property, etc. Her new boyfriend was a deputy, and my client was promptly charged with felony harassment.

He had nowhere to live, no family to go to, and he was in jail in a place where he had no connections facing felony charges over 90 seconds of dumb texts to a woman who cheated on him.

Our system helped this guy a few times when he was a child, but it also failed him so many times. Instead of having a college graduate, we have a guy in the criminal justice system all because we cut off government financial aid over weed busts and our state code is written so rigidly (and interpreted the same way by judges) that it doesn't allow for the application of common sense to felony harassment charges. This guy, who is a nice and intelligent guy with an incredible life story to tell, has nowhere to go, nothing for him in this world, and will be trying to get jobs as a convicted black felon with no education.

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:34 pm

I'm a fed appellate clerk. I have never actually cried at work, though I've often wanted to. But mostly out of anger/frustration at all the injustice I help perpetuate (admittedly, a lot of the time it's just terrible law that we're stuck with, nothing can be done).

My judge and I are generally not philosophically aligned on almost anything (yes, this clerkship was a mistake -- but to be fair, it's hard to gauge some of these things ex ante). So that makes it harder, because my judge often doesn't get why I find it upsetting.

Anyway, our "justice" system is pretty messed up, and I think clerking really drives that home. But hey, prestige!!!

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Re: I teared up at work today; I'm not in BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My judge and I are generally not philosophically aligned on almost anything . . . So that makes it harder, because my judge often doesn't get why I find it upsetting.

Anyway, our "justice" system is pretty messed up, and I think clerking really drives that home. But hey, prestige!!!


OP here. Thank you for your response. I'm in a similar position with my judge, so I can't really discuss it with him.




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