Sunday, January 3, 2010

PD Bill of Rights

A top ten list from a thirteen-year veteran (recruit?) to the public defender bill of rights.

10. An Office with walls (windows and not a cubicle a plus but not strictly necessary)
9. A computer with internet (preferably high speed) and programs 2006 and newer.
8. A current set of jury instructions, statutes, and the occasional cool accoutrement (like a wipey board or projector for presentations).
7. A library or quiet place to crank out that ten page brief that was due yesterday.
6. Case load limits.
5. Continuance is not a dirty word.
4. A holistic approach where everyone in the office is working for the clients and is dedicated to the betterment of our world through zealous advocacy for our clients.
3. A place you can laugh or cry, depending on mood…and an atmosphere that will tolerate both.
2. Someone running the organization that can balance the need for bureaucracy (aka $) with the need to foster and support independent-minded warriors for justice that can be occasionally unruly in fighting the man.
1. Adequate Funding for which we get extraordinary results.

1 comment:

S said...

At my office, I not only have walls, a window, and a door, but I was allowed to choose the color of my walls. And not from some pre-selected list of 10 institutional neutrals, but from any of the hundreds of choices in the Sherwin Williams catalog. (Our building is managed by a private company who footed this bill.) All of our individual offices now reflect our individual personalities and are well-suited to our work styles. It's amazing how this little thing has made me not care so much about the mismatched furniture, the lack of statute books, and a tolerable case load.