Author . . . Esquire?


a title appended to a lawyer’s surname.


a young nobleman who, in training for knighthood, acted as an attendant to a knight.

We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice. – Sonia Sotomayor

Why did I become a lawyer?

In an earlier post, I talked about how I grew up poor. We didn’t have television until I was a preteen. As early as six, I remember going to my grandparent’s house, who lived next door, and I would always watch Matlock and “Merry Mason” (I couldn’t say the word Perry).

The idea of a person fighting to protect someone else fascinated me. I knew that it was what I wanted to do with my life. As we grow up, people ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer never really wavered. I wanted to be a lawyer. I was the weird twelve year old who watched every minute of the OJ Simpson case. Johnny Cochran was my hero.

It’s strange, but I can’t remember when exactly I decided to be a public defender. The answer is: as long as I can remember. I truly believe everyone deserves an attorney to protect their rights, to fight for them, no matter how much money they can pay. The Constitution protects us all, no matter our race, gender, or economic status.

Esquire is typically used, especially in Europe, as a surname for an attorney. But, I think the second definition fits too. Knights don’t wear shining suits of plate mail, but now, wear suits made of fabric. We fight with words, not lances. We charge into battle armed with zeal and honor, the banners made of paper. And even if we are knocked off our horses, we get back up, refusing defeat, until one of us must yield. Public defenders are a differing breed of knight and our sheen comes from within, from a need to protect the underrepresented. Our armor isn’t as shiny. It’s not polished or expensive but the protection we afford our clients is the strongest of the modern day knights.

Why did I become a lawyer if I wanted to become an author? I love writing, and I didn’t just want to be a crafter of worlds, I wanted to be a knight, fighting for justice in this world.


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