I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

On my first day as a calendar deputy in misdemeanor court, I remember sitting at the long table and texting my fiancee “we are about to start and I have no idea what I’m doing.”  I had done a weeks work of training for the job but I still had no real clue what I was getting into.  I had the basics down: I knew generally that I was supposed to keep track of what was happening in each case; I knew that if a trial came up that I would get it; and I knew that I was supposed to argue against motions brought by the defense.  But that was about it.  My strategy on the first day was to hope that no one asked me any questions.  People did, of course.  It was very discouraging to watch everybody else in the courtroom realize that I have no idea what I’m doing.  But little by little I’ve been piecing it together for the last three weeks.  And now I’m at the point where I know just enough to say things that might be right and might be wrong.  The little knowledge I now have is just enough to increase the annoyance they cause exponentially but not enough to actually change legal outcomes.  I’m going to keep going; what else can I do?  Maybe by the end of my rotation I’ll just be annoying to the public defender and no one else.

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