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Hastings Alumni Mag-Fall 2012

charles smiley ‘97 CoMMUNITY CoNNECTIoNS dSmiley ’97 interned for the Alameda styles. This proved useful when, in 2007, he was Advice corner miley studied judgingsAs a defense lawyer,Charlesuring one law school summer, WHAT ADvICE county public defender’s office, where, he appointed a court commissioner, handling traf- Do YoU HAvE says, he “fell in love with trial work.” fic, family, civil harassment matters, and small For JUDICIAL Then, during his third year, smiley served claims. That experience prepared him for his CANDIDATES WHo as an extern for a federal magistrate. “seeing current job, managing felony preliminary hear- WANT To DEEPEN how professional and dignified she was, i ings and misdemeanor jury trials as a judge on THEIr TIES To THE thought, ‘i wish i could be at a level to do this the Alameda county superior court. CoMMUNITY? someday.’ That experience opened me up to “i love the job,” smiley says. “i get to work the possibility of working as a judge.” with talented lawyers on serious issues that Be involved. As a smiley soon changed his voter status to affect people’s lives.” public defender, I undeclared, signaling that joining the judiciary when smiley is not on the bench, the for- worked on fixing wasn’t simply a pipe dream. “it was evidence mer songwriter and collegiate rower spends problems. I soon that becoming a judge someday was more time with his wife and four-year-old daughter. wondered, “How can of a plan than i wanted to admit,” he says. “i he’s a film and history buff with a particular I get in front of this?” thought it was important to be neutral.” interest in the history of African American I began volunteering After graduating from uc hastings, smiley lawyers and judges. president-elect of the earl for youth programs. became an Alameda county deputy public warren inn of court, smiley also speaks at bar Be connected to the defender, a job that offered “immediate feed- associations and nonprofits, and has taught community that you back on how the justice system is perceived,” trial advocacy at uc hastings. are serving. he says. “sometimes clients left feeling they’d smiley attributes his achievements in part had a fair shake, and other times they felt the to “very good professors who taught me a system wasn’t working, even if they’d won the new way of thinking about how decisions case. i learned that people expect a lot from get made. i left uc hastings with the tools i the branch.” needed to be successful.” 24 FAll 2012


Hastings Alumni Mag-Fall 2012
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