March 10, 2014

"Why is it that you’re closer to the criminal community than most lawyers?"

Slate asks Dan Muessig — the Dan of that "Thanks, Dan" viral ad we were talking about here. He says:
It’s my association with rap music and the hip-hop scene. That’s not to say rap music is inherently criminal — that’s very much not true. But rap put me in touch with a wide variety of people. It had me on the street a lot as a young man. I got to meet a lot of different kinds of people. And going to public school in the city, I formed friendships and associations that the vast majority of lawyers just do not have. That’s how I got into this weird position, where I have a foot in both worlds.
He notes that few law students want to go into criminal defense work, but he "was a really horrible student":
I was a rebel, I flouted authority at every opportunity, and I graduated near the bottom of my class. I had zero respect for most of my teachers.

13 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Good man - go for it, Dude.

traditionalguy said...

He reminds me of the saying that clients usually hire the type of lawyer that they deserve.

Shouting Thomas said...

Rap music is inherently criminal.

surfed said...

Dan da' Man!

David said...

Squirrel Hill.

My dad grew up in Squirrel Hill.

Not a bad place at all, Squirrel Hill.

Bruce Hayden said...

My experience in law school with court room attorneys, and esp. those who ended up in criminal defense, is that they were only in law school to get their tickets punched. They tended to sit in the back row of class, and participate as little as possible. The basic problem is that most of the law is really close to irrelevant to what they are going to do after LS.

SGT Ted said...

I had zero respect for most of my teachers.

Well, they ARE a bunch of lawyers.

rightguy2 said...

Rap music has always sounded like the soundtrack to a crack party to me.

Ipso Fatso said...

I give the guy credit. He knows what he's good at and no doubt understands criminal law. If I need a mouth piece he would be my pick.

Cedarford said...

Just a few days ago, we were having this conversation about Debo Adegbile and whether or not, as a lawyer-advocate, society is obligated to give any lawyer drawn to bettering the fortunes of a black cop killer.
Because....well, society has to Honor such lawyers that come to the aid of odious dregs of society. Even if it is because they share ideology, admire their clients lifestyle, seek money or political power, or attention and fame from such client representation. They are all as great and noble as John Adams and acting as august "servants of the Constitution!"

I do not share in the belief anything a lawyer does for mob figures, terrorists, murderous thugs should get a pass or even an accolade.
Others are drawn into the same sphere for the same reasons - they just don't have a law degree. And thus are more or less reviled. Mob caterers, mob bankers, union people that see their power tied to the mob if the mob is pleased...
Women that are drawn to serial killers and write them love letters and feel as passionately about their "cause" as Debo Adegbile.
And in leftist, terrorist legal advocacy, after 40 years of serving the legal interests of enemies of America, when exactly did Lynn Stewart cross the line??? When in her years of Lawfare, did she change status from a "noble professional serving the Constitution Itself" to a woman deserving the same level of condemnation as a Castro-besotted movie actress, or Columbia history professor in love with the "pure" system of communist governance practiced by N Korea.
Before, or simply because ugly old Lynn got caught breaking a rule in the legal system she hid behind in advancing her radical politics??

Peter said...

"Blind disobedience to authority is no more to
be encouraged than blind obedience. It is far
from pleasant when encountered. Among my
patients are quite a number who admit to having
always had "a problem with authority". They
confess it coyly, as if it were a sign of
spiritual election, when it is no such thing:
it is, rather, a sign of unbridled egotism.

"Unable to apply themselves at school, they are
unable to take orders at work, and their
personal relationships are almost always stormy
and violent. They accept no rules, not even the
informal ones that grow up between people who
live closely together. For people who have a
problem with authority, their whim is law. The
only consideration that moderates their conduct
is the threat of superior, but essentially
arbitrary, violence by others."

-- 'Theodore Dalrymple' discussing "rebels."

Zach said...

I think I'm missing the point on some of this "Thanks, Dan!" commentary. The man defends criminals. He's a criminal defense attorney -- it's right there in the name.

Is the objection that he's pitching directly to criminals? Look at the crimes he mentions in the ad -- murder, burglary, arson, bank robbery, simple and aggravated assault. Is there really anyone who makes a living defending innocent people accused of these crimes? Clarence Darrow died a long time ago, and he wasn't too picky about defending innocent clients, either.

Criminals need lawyers, too.

Jeff Leevan said...

Because it is always easy to get sick but hard to reach good doctors. Similarly criminals are closer to you than lawyers.

-Jeff from Criminal Lawyer McKinney