Kathryn Gravely shares her experiences:
After working for the Public Defender Service (PDS) here in Washington, D.C., I am now working for a PDS alumni who went out on his own as a private criminal defense attorney and founded the Law Offices of Jon W. Norris. Mr. Norris is rated by his peers as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the District of Columbia, as reported in Washingtonian and Super Lawyers Magazine. Mr. Norris’ practice is unique in that he does not advertise his services, but rather receives his client’s through referrals from clients and other attorneys. He also takes a number of pro-bono cases, as favors to D.C. Superior Court judges, and represents indigent individuals who are in need of a defense attorney. I had the opportunity to witness Mr. Norris’ most recent pro-bono case, a Felony 1 sexually abuse case, where the jury hung 11 to 1 not guilty. The government decided to dismiss the case the following week.
My job consists of law clerk and investigative duties. As a law clerk I am responsible for organizing case jackets for trial and making sure that the appropriate motions and discovery letters are filed. I work with two other law clerks in the Law Offices and each of us is assigned particular cases to work on. My investigator duties include serving subpoenas, finding and interviewing both government and defense witnesses, and taking statements from government witnesses.
In the end, I get to second chair any trial involving one of my cases and act as Mr. Norris’ assistant throughout the proceedings. This is an exciting opportunity that provides a lot of experience both inside the courtroom and within the Metropolitan community. It certainly has opened my eyes to a demanding world of anticipation, pressure, and skill as a trial attorney.