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Life as a Public Defender

The high profile trials of Manuel Noriega, William Kennedy Smith, Timothy McVeigh, OJ Simpson and George Zimmerman are just a few of the important legal stories Kim Segal covered while working as a journalist for over two decades. The law always fascinated Segal so in 2001, while working as a producer for CNN during the day, she began attending law school at night. Segal was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2005 when she also began volunteering with the Guardian Ad Litem's Office and doing pro bono legal work, while still keeping her day job as a journalist.

Segal's career as a television producer took her all over the world. She reported on presidential campaigns, domestic and international hurricanes and earthquakes, and the wars in Iraq and Kosovo.

In 2013, Segal again went back to school, this time to earn a Master's Degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership. It was shortly after receiving that second graduate degree that Segal decided to finally put her J.D. to use. At 46, she made the life altering decision to stop reporting on the legal process and become a part of it. She left her well-paying TV job for a position as a Public Defender in Broward County, Florida.

Segal was hired with 9 other attorneys; unlike her, they were all were all starting their careers straight out of law school. On her first day as a working attorney Segal was handed over 150 clients. Since then she has defended dozens of indigent clients who wouldn't have legal representation if it wasn't for those lawyers working as public defenders.

She writes about her personal experiences as a new lawyer, and her journey through the complicated legal system that has turned out to be nothing like she expected.

(Editor's Note: Kim Segal's blog on Crimesider about her life as a Public Defender will begin Wednesday, July 22, 2015.)

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