Why Young Lawyers Maybe Shouldn’t Have This Position of Power
Hiring young law school graduates to act as prosecutors can sometimes cause issues. In days past, a law school graduate would have to work under a senior attorney for a period of time in order to learn the ropes before being able to receive a full license. This is no longer the way, however, and anyone who receives a law degree from an accredited school and is able to pass the bar exam can become a licensed attorney. Sure, everyone needs a start, but giving young lawyers this power can be problematic.
The main duty of a prosecutor is to pursue justice, but there has been a pattern of prosecutors feeling an overwhelming pressure to win their cases and be hard on criminals since this is often how their jobs are evaluated. For many young prosecutors, the missing link is having the proper experience in both their professional lives and personal lives. For example, how should a privileged, young adult understand the circumstances that a struggling single mother finds herself in when she is caught stealing food as opposed to the circumstances professional thieves find themselves in when it is their way of life?
All individuals deserve fairness along with justice – fairness, known as equity in the legal system, is not treating every criminal the same but instead being able to put different situations into the right perspective based on the circumstances, facts, and life issues surrounding the suspect as well as the case. Just as young puppies are trained not to bite people, young prosecutors should be treated no differently – they often need to be trained in situations in which they should be hard on suspects they are trying and when they should show compassion to those who have just made a mistake.
Often times, career prosecutors who have not been married, do not have any children, and do not have a lot of life experience can seem out of touch with how individuals live their day-to-day lives and the struggles they often face balancing their professional, personal, and family lives. The truth is, this understanding of the human condition cannot be taught to young prosecutors in a classroom – they simply have to experience it. Those young law school graduates who have morals often have a head start, but this is still not a guarantee they will have the ability of dole out justice correctly.