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Mishpacha Junior Interviews a Lawyer

Bassi Gruen

Hi there! In this issue, we speak to Mr. Sternberg, a defense attorney in Chicago. A defense attorney is the lawyer who represents the defendant (the person being tried) in court. Let’s see what Mr. Sternberg has to tell us about what this job entails.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MJ: Hi Mr. Sternberg. We’d love to hear more about your job. Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

Mr. S: Actually, my first dream was to be an architect. I appreciate beautiful buildings and design. But when I learned that you had to be good in higher levels of math in order to go into architecture, I decided it wasn’t a good idea.

I also wanted to be a musician, but even as a young kid I realized that you had to make it to the top or you can’t make it at all, and that worried me. So I learned how to play the trumpet, and I still play, but I didn’t count on that for a profession.

By the time I was in college I decided to go into law. I thought that standing before a judge or jury and trying to defend someone accused of a crime would be exciting and challenging. And feeling like your job is exciting or fulfilling is important. If you’re happy with how you spend your day, your happiness will spill into other areas and it will be easier to serve Hashem with happiness.

I knew I wanted to go into criminal law. I practiced in other fields, but I felt that it was the most important area of law because you’re dealing with and protecting people, their freedom, and their lives, as opposed to dealing with property rights, business issues, or other money matters.


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