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For many it’s hard to imagine what drives a person to become a public defender, but “True Believers in Justice,” a new Op-Doc released by the New York Times, tries to give us an idea.
Travis Williams begins the film, saying, “I always knew I wanted to be a public defender even before I knew what a public defender was.”
Growing up he says he was constantly harassed by police and knew that when he got older he wanted to be someone who prevented it from happening to others. Now, he works seven days a week to keep his clients out of prison. Despite the long hours he says it’s not busy work for him.
“I feel, severely, the amount of time and the people’s freedoms that are on my shoulders everyday,” he says, “knowing that, on any given case, if I don’t do everything I need to, someone’s going to prison. I think about that.”
The short documentary, produced and directed by Dawn Porter, tries to give us a glimpse into the mentality that it takes to do work that is often an underpaid uphill battle.
Check out the video on the New York Time’s website.