A recent grad of the 3-week program tells an inspiring story of how the TLC methods are helping him connect with his clients, judges, and juries, and how he is consequently getting more justice for his clients:
“This course came at just the right time for me. I have been struggling so long with my career and my direction. I was able to get past so many internal roadblocks. Learning how to think about my client’s story and developing the case from that point of view has freed me in so many ways. I have already employed the tools I learned at TLC during several meetings with clients and learned so much more about them and their cases. I currently have three first degree murder cases that I have been appointed to. I’m using these tools now.
Last week, I argued for one of my clients before a Judge about his competency to stand trial and about the State’s motion to prevent us from putting on a defense of mental disease and defect (the client is mentally retarded and charged with felony murder). After the State finished their standard bs about us not having met our burden and their expert being all over it, I got up to argue. In the past, I would likely have tried to refute their argument point by point, relying heavily on my left brain and the facts. This time, I stood at the podium and paused. I reached deep inside and tried to figure out what I felt and what I was scared of. I felt anger that the State would persecute my client, that they would dismiss his lifelong disability for their obscene desire to blame the wrong person for a crime, and I was scared that a jury would not be able to hear the story of who he was, where he was from, and why they needed to care about him and see him as a person.
Then I started: I dont know what it’s like to be the kid in class who can’t keep up. I don’t know what it’s like to be the kid that, by the time he’s in second grade can only finish work with the teacher’s help. To be teased and taunted by all the other kids for being stupid. But my client does. My client sat in his first grade classroom
I went through his story, which encompassed all of the facts that we had put on anyway. I have never experienced a reception like it. First of all, there were about 50 people in the courtroom, DA’s, PD’s etc, probation officers, and people in the gallery, and no one talked during the whole time I told the story. Everyone listened. The Judge, who usually looks down and takes notes, watched me the whole time, only glancing away for seconds to write notes, then looking back, shaking her head in affirmation as she recalled all the testimony that supported my story for my client. I felt like I connected directly to her. I showed her the villains and who betrayed him all of his life. And I helped her see how she could help render justice by letting my client show the jury who he was so that they could find justice in this Courtroom.
It was a heady feeling. I was so in the moment, I didnt think about it at the time, but afterward, in the hall, I was actually trembling with energy. I could not have done this without the help of all the instructors and faculty at TLC. So, I thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.”