Holistic Defense

Topic Introduction Holistic Defense/Representation is about addressing the needs of the whole client rather than just focusing on their immediate legal needs. The purpose of this approach to criminal defense is to address issues in a client’s life that may be a contributing factor to their involvement in the criminal justice system. By providing resources to this vulnerable population we as a society can help reduce recidivism rates while simultaneously making our communities stronger. There are many resources that may be directed towards a client based on their individualized needs. For example, some public defender offices have full time social workers that are available to provide guidance on available community resources such as housing, food, and treatment assistance. These crucial resources can help provide stability for members of the population that are struggling in one way or another. Another important part of holistic defense is the role of an investigator in a public defender office to help gather evidence that can be used to advocate for the interests of the client. The state attorney has an investigator gathering evidence for their position on the case to prosecute and it is only fair that the defense should have an investigator as well looking for things that could help the interests of the client. This practice can help provide transparency and justice by ensuring that all relevant facts are put forward in any given case. Next, is the role of an immigration attorney as part of the holistic defense model. This is important when clients may face immigration consequences as the result of criminal charges. By consulting an immigration attorney, the criminal defense attorney can then tailor his strategy based on the needs of his client’s individual situation. The United States has been an immigration destination for hundreds of years and it is important to remember that when meeting with a client to inquire about their immigration status in order to represent them in the best way possible. Additionally, it may be beneficial to consult a civil lawyer as part of the holistic representation process. This can be especially important in instances where there are cases in both criminal and civil court regarding the same incident or situation. By consulting with a civil lawyer the criminal lawyer can have a better idea of the bigger picture and how to best advocate for his client taking in to consideration the parallel civil case. As a criminal defense lawyer practicing holistic defense, a lawyer can help address the needs of the whole client rather than just the current legal issue. Ultimately, this will result in a better community with the vulnerable members of the society receiving the resources they need for success.

This page was researched and designed by Andrew O’Dell

Stuffed Elephant as Mascot

The Elephant is our mascot. Around the world, the elephant is a powerful symbol of strength, social bonds, wisdom, dignity, grace, wisdom, confidence, patience, commitment, peace, gentleness, discernment,  intelligence, compassion, collective consciousness, and the removal of obstacles.  This particular elephant is a creative depiction of the Blind Men & the Elephant story. 

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