Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Criminal Defense - Brooklyn

Last week, "Criminal Defense - Brooklyn" debuted on the National Geographic Channel featuring clients and staff of The Legal Aid Society's Brooklyn Criminal Defense Office. It airs again on Tuesday, September 25 at 8:30 PM. The theme of the upcoming show will be about the investigation of a crime scene to help a client charged with gun possession to prove his innocence. Dan Holton-Roth, Brooklyn Law School Class of 2011 and Academy award nominated documentary film maker, developed the show and served as co-producer with Jayson Haedrich. Adam Heyman, a staff attorney in the Society's Brooklyn Criminal Defense Office, appears in the series and was the inspiration for the program. Last year, Heyman spoke at a BLS Public Service Office event designed to introduce students to public defense work and to encourage them to seek out internships in that area of law. His talk was part of a series by the BLS Public Service Office to offer students an opportunity to meet public service practitioners in a small group setting and learn about careers and hot topics in the law.

"Criminal Defense - Brooklyn" takes viewers inside the world of The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice and presents a real picture of the criminal justice system and the Legal Aid staff members who provide legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers. Most TV shows on the criminal justice system do so through the lens of the prosecution, but this one shows the defense side of the story. Clients who participated in the series voluntarily signed waivers because they wanted their stories to be told. Only completed cases are used in the show.

On the subject of public interest law, the BLS Library has in its collection Building Your Practice with Pro Bono for Lawyers by Nelson P. Miller (Call #KF336 .M55 2012) which explains 10 pro bono opportunities to broaden, deepen and strengthen a law practice and legal career. An experienced pro bono practitioner, Miller offers practical advice about helping underserved populations such as veterans, prisoners, immigrants, needy children, the homeless, and people with disabilities.

1 comment:

jack heght said...

The defense side certainly doesn't get enough play. In seeing people every day charged with a criminal act, many of whom cannot afford an attorney, I see the need for more Legal Aide attorneys. Many of those coming to us are coming to us based upon simple lack of communication with their legal aide attorney. They still cannot afford a private hire, but we try to assist them in understanding the system and how better to control their own situations. There is a need for the public schools to teach children the justice system, how it works and what are violations, misdemeanors and felonies? I know they touch on it but I believe it should be taught from 6th grade all through 12th grade.
I hope " Criminal Defense - Brooklyn" makes a splash and that it starts a trend in people wanting to know more about the defense side.