But if you are working today, check out the four on the short list for federal judge in the Middle District.
Or this NRP article on an NACDL report on federal indigent defense:
A tough new report has concluded that the federal government's system for defending poor people needs to change. The nearly two-year study by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said judges who are supposed to be neutral arbiters too often put their fingers on the scales.H/T: AB
The report said defense lawyers for the poor who work in the federal court system need more resources to do their jobs. That means money, not just for themselves, but to pay for experts and investigators.
"Having good, fully resourced defense counsel with access to ancillary services is an absolute must in a society that is arresting 14 million people a year," said Norman Reimer, executive director of the NACDL.
In an adversary system, lawyers for poor defendants say, they need to operate on equal footing with prosecutors. But the study, the first of its kind in more than 20 years, found the source of most concern rests with judges who exercise too much control over the process.
Bonnie Hoffman, a deputy public defender in Virginia, led the task force.
"There's some significant ways we feel the federal system is not measuring up — most importantly, in the area of independence," Hoffman said.
That's because judges are in charge. They have a role in selecting the defense lawyers for the poor clients who appear in court. They act as umpires during a plea hearing or a trial. And then those same judges approve or reject the defense lawyers' fee requests.
"It's a shame to think that somebody agrees to do this work, they do the work that they're asked to do ... to be a zealous advocate for somebody who's accused of a crime," Hoffman said, "and then when they finish that somebody can come back and say, 'I know you did good work ... but we don't feel like we should pay you for all the work that you did.' "
Or, watch this for your moment of zen: