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Recent Grad Profile: Lucas Hirsty ’17 Offered Post Bar Clerkship with San Diego Public Defender’s Office

May 26, 2017

1.   Where did you attend undergrad?

I attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

2.    When did you decide to go to law school and why?

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at the age of 7 and because as the youngest of 5 I quickly fell in love with the art of winning an argument. Then as I got older I realized that there were inequalities in the criminal justice system and wanted to fight against them by serving as a voice for the voiceless. 

3.    What State Bar Exams do you plan on taking?

My main focus is on taking the California Bar and maybe one day I’ll consider taking the Indiana bar too. 

4.    Private Practice, Solo, Government Agency, Other?

Throughout law school I have interned at the San Diego Public Defender’s Officer and have fallen deeply in love with the organization and would love to work there after passing the bar exam. 

5.    What type of law do you plan to practice and why?

I am extremely drawn to criminal law because the nature of the cases are very exciting and I am a big believer in upholding the constitution and that every defendant is “Innocent until PROVEN guilty”.

6.    Do you feel Thomas Jefferson School of Law has adequately prepared you for success after graduation?

Absolutely! From my very first day of law school I have felt welcomed and that my success mattered to the members of the faculty. Without their mentorships and advice I don’t think I would have the amount of success that I have had. 

7.    Any fond memories that stand out for you about your time at Thomas Jefferson?

I will never forgot the bounds and friendships that I have made during my time here. More importantly I will forever be grateful for my time spent on the school’s National Trial Team and the 4 competitions I had the privilege of competing in. 

8.    What type of internships did you work during school?

I did 1 internship with a private criminal defense attorney in the summer after my 1L year and since then I have worked 4 consecutive internships with the San Diego Public Defender’s Office.

9.    What community or volunteer work did you participate in?

 I have volunteered for the Justice and Re-Entry Society and the Clean Slate Program, helping previously convicted individuals properly fill out their paperwork so they can successfully earn their expungement. Additionally, I volunteered at the San Diego High School Mock Trial Competition as a courtroom monitor and at the Law School “TYLA” regional competition my 1L as a volunteer witness.  

10.   What do 1L Students need to know?

The key to securing a job after graduation is to network all throughout law school. Additionally, it is extremely important to get internship/externship experience to learn the practical skills that can be applied in the real world that our law school text book won’t ever teach you. If you know your career aspirations go after them full throttle and if you don’t thats ok, but get experience in different area to find out what best interest and suits you. 

11.   What do 3L Students need to know?

You clearly have the drive and work ethic to be successful. Making it to your 3L year is no easy task and is a huge accomplishment so congratulations. I wish you all the best of luck on whatever Bar Exam you decided to take and hope you end up on the career path that you love. 

12.   What are your 5-year goals?

Within the next five year I have aspirations to pass the California Bar Exam and start my career working at the San Diego Public Defender’s Office. Additionally, I would love to work as an assistant coach for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s National Trial Team. 

13.   Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my father. Since I can remember my father was one of the first people to suggest that I should become a lawyer and throughout my life there has never been a time where he has doubted me. When I was 13 years old my parents got divorced and since then I have witnessed my dad tackle being a single parent to 5 of the most rambunctious children I have ever encountered. However, my father has never been phased by adversity and that is a characteristic that has been instilled in me. Growing up my father would tell me: “When faced with adversity there are two choices, 1) Let adversity win or 2) Find a way to overcome the adversity” The road to being an attorney is not an easy journey and along the way I have faced numerous moments of adversity including the passing of my mother during my 2L year, but my father’s words of wisdom have always stuck with me and I have always chosen the latter of the options. Thanks Dad for always being my inspiration. 

14. What is the Post Bar Position at the San Diego Public Defender’s Office

The Post Bar Position is a job with the San Diego Public Defender’s Officer as a graduate law clerk. The position is similar to a certified legal intern, however, the post bar position is designated to those who have successfully graduated law school and have sat for a bar exam. Additionally unlike the certified legal intern position, the post bar position is a paid job. As a Post Bar, I will have the responsibilities of working directly with 15-20 attorneys who are assigned to the Central Misdemeanor Unit (CMU) at the Downtown Office and Downtown Superior Court. While working with the attorneys I will: draft and argue motions, speak on the record on behalf of clients, assist with trials, conduct legal research, and receive my very own case load in preparation for the Deputy Public Defender Position after passing the bar.