High on the list of things I never gave a bit of thought to before I started working in the office at Sumpter & Gonzalez: the way criminal defense attorneys were portrayed in the media. I wasn’t among the camp who thought they were Bad People Who Get Criminals Off (I believe that’s an official […]

Criminal Defense and Social Work: Makes Sense, Right?

I would argue that all crimes committed- however harmful, illogical, misguided, or seemingly senseless-  were intended by the people who committed them to serve some kind of good in their lives.  The factors and variables that contribute to criminal behavior in any given individual are convoluted to say the least.  Law violations can not be explained away […]

Fixing the news

Convicted child killer Raul Meza is fired for the second time in as many months. It’s been 28 years since eight-year-old Kendra Page was raped and murdered in Southeast Austin. The man convicted of the crime, Raul Meza, is currently attempting the transition back into society. It’s what Page’s big sister, Tracy, has been dreading, […]

Civil law vs. Criminal law: Differences in relationship building

The State Bar Annual Meeting brought up the need to clarify a few distinctions between lawyers that the general public may not know. Criminal law is a repeat player game based upon relationships of trust, integrity, and reputation. You have to work with the same prosecutors and judges on different cases week after week.  We […]

Public Interest vs. Private Practice: S&G is the Third Way

More conference. More distinctions between lawyers. The State Bar conference is comprised mainly of private practice, large firm lawyers. When you hear about starting salaries of $150,000 fresh out of law school, this is what you think of. (However, few of those starting associates are at this conference. It’s hard to do anything else when […]

Reflections on money, the practice of law, and changing demographics

The general public believes that all lawyers are very wealthy, drive luxury automobiles, and work tirelessly so they can greedily earn more money. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially lawyers that work in the criminal justice system. Criminal justice often involves a confluence of problems relating to substance abuse, mental health, and poverty.  […]