St. Paul, MN criminal defense attorneyDeborah Ellis talks about why she wanted to be a lawyer.
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Well I was a paralegal for a while and I worked in a civil law firm and then I decided well, you know, this was fun I would go to court or go to depositions but I didn’t have the final say in any case and so I wasn’t intimidated by that. I didn’t come from a family of any lawyers and I really didn’t know any lawyers growing up. So when I went to law school I think I had a good sense that I would love the law because I had worked in that law firm for a few years.
And then I say a big turning point for me was during law school I was a law clerk for a Ramsey County judge and I saw many, many trials then. But the most exciting was that I saw Doug Thompson try a murder case and I was the law clerk and you know we selected the jury and I came back at 9:00 at night for the verdict and it was very exciting, much more interesting, and exciting than any of the civil cases. So I wrote Doug a little note, a letter and said you know if ever you’re looking for a law clerk, I would be available. So I needed to leave it was the law clerkship was kind of I had learned what I could learn.
So I had applied a number of places and I was offered a job with the prosecutor’s office where I could have done bail motions and then I was offered part-time work with Doug Thompson doing some law clerk, you know whatever, whatever he wanted. So go to the judge and I said what should I do, you know the prosecutor’s work would have been full-time and better pay and Doug Thompson was just part time. And he said Deborah, are you asking me to make the decision for you? And I said, yes. And he said well, I’ll tell you this, if I could’ve worked for Doug Thompson when I was in law school that’s what I would’ve done and so that just cemented the decision right there. So I went to work for Doug when I was in law school and I stayed with him for 11 years.