I often lament how infrequently public defenders get to talk about their work and their clients and the cause of justice. I dream up campaigns that if funded would put so many of our public defender heroes into newspaper articles, on TV spots, in front of packed audiences… So many times we get a soundbite or a snippet, and the story – that whole chaotic beautiful story – ends up on the cutting floor.

And then… Prya Murad, a blogger, NAPD member, and my new public defender T-shirt trafficker (sorry Prya, you’re outed!) sent me the link to this podcast, which runs 30|PLUS| glorious minutes of Jennifer Egan, a juvenile public defender in Baltimore, MD, telling it like it is.

And let me tell it like it is too: This is absolutely worth a listen. There’s so much in here. The empathy for tragedy; the matter-of-factness of the day-by-day crushing workload; a discussion of salaries; the resistance to the sterilization of language that try to mask the horror of our justice system; the profound “worth-it-ness” of a kid’s hug; the 5,000 contacts in your personal phone; the difficult relationships with prosecutors and police and parents and circumstances beyond all control; the best practice of vertical representation; the task of working for a 16 year old (or 13 year old or 11 year old)… Long story short: what a great listen!

I encourage you all to listen to one of our colleagues describe what it’s like to be a public defender representing kids in Baltimore, and to send this out to your friends and family as a really fascinating and holistic presentation of what being a public defender is like.

You can hear the podcast here: https://player.fm/series/slates-working/in-baltimore-how-does-a-public-defender-work