Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The General Awesomeness of My Job

So, I've had a few posts recently about how I feel about this new thing I'm doing called juvenile PD work. And I feel like I'm just repeating myself here, but it has really been consuming my thoughts lately, so I wanted to share. I really, really like what I'm doing. I can't even express all the reasons why. I just feel great about it. I truly like my clients. And by "like," I mean that I have a genuine affection for a lot of them. I love the opportunity I have to help them. I love the variety of issues that I get to deal with. I like the fact that, most of the time, they are very appreciative of what I am doing for them, and that they actually express that. Now, to be sure, there are downsides, too. When I lose something big like I did last week (I had a kid sent to adult court), it hurts even more. The parents of some of these kids can be absolutely horrendous in many different ways. Some of the kids are in such dire circumstances because of abuse, mental illness, and other issues that I don't think they'll have any kind of decent life at all, which tends to depress the hell out of me. These are the really hard parts of the job. But, the really good things about the job really do outweigh the bad parts, and lead to a general awesomeness about it all.

Today was a good example of what I get a chance to do. I started off this morning at the trial calendar, getting continuances on all my cases. I spent the rest of the morning reviewing my cases set in the coming weeks to see what investigation needs to be done, what witnesses need to be interviewed, etc. Then, in the afternoon, I successfully argued that the judge should not put my client in detention for some non-existent violation of his conditions of release. I counseled a client about what he can do to deal with his alcoholic and sometimes physically abusive parents, and he actually listened to me, and thanked me, and told me how good it was to know someone was on his side. I spoke with a client's mother about getting her counseling to help deal with the abusive dating relationship she is in. I had two office appointments with clients--one of whom we strategized on his trial and the other we talked about everything we could do to position him for a favorable sentencing decision. Nothing earth-shattering happened today, but it was just one of those really good days where I feel like I really helped a lot of people, and it was just all in a day's work. How awesome is that?

When I started here, I anticipated that I'd do my time in juvenile until a spot opened up in adult felonies. But now, I don't know. I don't think I'd want to move unless they made me. I may not feel the same way in a year or two, but for now, I would actually be really disappointed if they wanted to take me out of juvie. And that is something that I never would have predicted before I started this gig.

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