« on: November 23, 2005, 06:03:18 AM »
Why should one go to law school?
That's a fair question, so I'll try to give a fair response. For me, I am not going to law school for the paycheck. I could stay in law enforcement, work 40 hour weeks, top out at $85,000/year and retire with a fat pension if I were money motivated. I got into law enforcement to make a difference. I know that sounds really trite, but it is as honest as I know how to be. I wanted to solve crime and put bad guys behind bars.
In the four years since swearing my oath to serve and protect the people of the state of New Jersey, I have solved my fair share of crimes but, unfortunately, have not put as many bad guys behind bars. Even though the people I have criminally charged, with everything from CDS possession to sexual assault, were done by the numbers, the prosecutors in my county still managed to "f" most of those cases up.
I want to be a criminal prosecutor because I know what it is to work the first half of Law and Order. I know what it is like to have a convicted murderer threaten to kill my family and I, criminally charge him for terroristic threats and have the prosecutor tell me that he wasn't going to prosecute because "you work in a jail." My response to him was "so, when this guy is lurking around my house and I shoot him, will I be indicted because you guys didn't protect me and I have the incident documented?" The prosecutor's response was "yes, I would seek to indict you." I also was assaulted by an inmate in the facility because I committed the unthinkable act of telling him he couldn't have an extra dinner tray. The prosecutor asked me "what did you do to him that made him want to hit you?" Like its my fault that this sociopath, with a history of violent assault on law enforcement, assaulted me. Of course, he caught the wrong end of the exchange, but that's irrelevant.
To sum up, I want to work as a criminal prosecutor because I have personally experienced what happens when a cop works with a prosecutor who has no concept of what it is like to strap a bullseye on your back and go to work. I think that if more prosecutors had law enforcement experience, you'd have a lot less of the monday morning quarterbacking that goes on. Are there dirty cops? Absolutely, and they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for violating a sacred public trust. But, are there cops who get screwed everyday and sacrificed at the alter of Civilian Review Boards and cowardly prosecutors who don't want to upset their buddies at the ACLU? Yes.
That is why I'm going to law school. Not for money or fancy things, but to do my little part to ensure justice in our society. I can think of no greater or worthwhile pursuit.