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11 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 83 (2003)
The Difference in Criminal Defense and the Difference It Makes

handle is hein.journals/wajlp11 and id is 87 raw text is: The Difference in Criminal Defense and the
Difference It Makes
Abbe Smith*
In 1894 I opened an office and went into private practice ....
When I began, it was with the intention of trying only civil
cases .... I had never had anything to do with criminal cases,
and, like most other lawyers, did not want to take them....
--Clarence Darrow1
Strange as it may seem I grew to like to defend men and
women charged with crime. It soon came to be something
more than winning or losing a case .... [It] meant more than
the quibbling with lawyers and juries, to get or keep money for
a client so that I could take part of what I won or saved for
him: I was dealing with life, with its hopes and fears, its
aspirations and despairs.
--Clarence Darrow2
I. INTRODUCTION: REPRESENTING MANNY
Last year, I undertook the representation of a young man I will
call Manny. He called the clinic4 after he shot a man in the chest in
* Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and E. Barrett
Prettyman Fellowship Program, Georgetown University Law Center. I thank Vanessa Merton,
Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Ilene Seidman, and Michael Seidman for helpful conversations, and
Allison Sgroi for excellent research assistance. I also thank the Fordhan University School of
Law for inviting me to present an earlier version of this piece at a faculty works-in-progress
workshop.
1. CLARENCE DARROW, THE STORY OF MY LIFE 74 (1934).
2. Id. at 75-76.
3. The names and some of the details of the case have been altered to protect my client's
privacy. He has given me permission to write about his case.

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