Volume 60

Progressive Prosecution or Zealous Public Defense? The Choice for Law Students Concerned About Our Flawed Criminal Legal System

by Abbe Smith

This Article addresses a question asked by many law students concerned about our flawed criminal legal system: should they become a prosecutor in an office run by a progressive prosecutor, or a public defender in an office devoted to zealous, client-centered (or holistic) defense? The Article starts with an anecdote about Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s road show to recruit law students and young lawyers, and then proceeds as follows: First, this Article makes the case for progressive prosecution; then, it makes the case for zealous indigent defense; then, it identifies the obstacles and challenges for both kinds of lawyers and offers a brief comment on prosecutor and defender personalities;finally, it offers thoughts on who, in the end, has more power to make meaningful change.

Read More

Subscribe to ACLR