I had an interview today for an internship doing legal research and trial prep for a defense attorney. It’s unpaid, but it’s the kind of thing that will look good on my resume and applications for undergrad and law school.
The interview went really well, and he offered me the job on the spot. He asked me to come observe/take notes on a discovery motion tomorrow.
For a rape case. Defending a cop.
Sound familiar? Yeah, it did to me too. Uncannily similar to my story, though I know it won’t actually be my father.
I told the attorney I would come.
I think partly I said yes because I didn’t want him to think I couldn’t handle it, and partly because I didn’t want to think I couldn’t handle it. And some of it may just be my familiar masochistic tendencies.
For all I know, the cop really could be innocent. It surprises me that I am able and willing to consider that as a possibility. After all, my heart still races every time I see a cop or a squad car. But as the lawyer was telling me about the case, I didn’t assume the cop was guilty. It wasn’t until later I realized how remarkable that was, given my history.
I do have some ethical qualms in that I’ve always considered myself someone who would side with the victim. I know the statistics: very few people make false rape allegations. But I also know the importance of a vigorous defense. We’ve all seen the stories where DNA evidence exonerates a prisoner after 20 years on death row and so forth.
I really have no idea what I’m getting myself into. If it gets too bad, I can always leave. For instance, I don’t think I could handle it if my boss were bullying the victim on the stand. But I’m going to try it, if for no other reason than to test my ability to cope with it. Tomorrow will just be an evidentiary hearing, so probably not as intense as the actual trial. But he did say ther “could be fireworks.”