Ellen Brotman is an attorney at Griesing Law, LLC. Her practice focuses on white-collar crime and government investigation. Ellen is also a speaker on criminal defense and professional responsibilities. Ms. Brotman attended the University of Albany where she obtained her B.A. She obtained her law degree at Albany Law School.

(Photo Courtesy of Ellen Brotman)

(Photo Courtesy of Ellen Brotman)

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What sort of education is needed to secure a good job as a criminal justice attorney?

“To become a lawyer in Pennsylvania, one must earn a Juris Doctor degree from an American Bar Association-accredited law school and then pass a bar exam.”

What is the most challenging aspect of being a criminal justice attorney?

“The most challenging aspect of my job is persuading prosecutors to decline or defer prosecution. Usually, prosecutors have their investigations begun and their minds made up about how a case should be resolved well before an attorney is retained to represent the company or individual under investigation. The task of changing the prosecutor’s mind requires a thorough counter-investigation and presentation of context and facts that mitigate, explain or rebut the allegations at issue. In these circumstances, prosecutors can be a very tough audience.”

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After graduation, how hard was it to transition to the actual working world?

“After graduation from law school, I clerked for a judge in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. After the clerkship, I worked in a very small, but very busy boutique litigation firm in New York. I had the opportunity to try cases, argue federal and state appeals and represent clients from all walks of life. It was stressful and difficult for a brand new lawyer, but I learned a great deal and soon found my feet as a trial lawyer.”

What advice would you give someone looking to start a career as a criminal justice attorney?

“For those pursuing a career in criminal justice, my advice is to be very sure this is the right path for you. All legal careers have important issues at their heart, and all have clients who care very deeply about their causes, but in the criminal justice system, liberty is at stake. As a prosecutor, you must be prepared to send people to jail; as a defense attorney you must be prepared that your client, no matter who they are, may serve time. On the other hand, the rewards are also great: having your hard work and skill result in a victory for your client can provide the professional and personal fulfillment that can last a lifetime.”

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Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at http://firstsendmedia.com/