Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Real Lawyer"

Real Lawyer, is a musical written and performed by members of the Public Defenders’ offices of the State of Connecticut.  From the CDBaby website, this is the composers’ description of this CD:

Real Lawyer was a very unusual undertaking. The music in this soundtrack was created by a public defender and investigator in the State of Connecticut. This is an original soundtrack from the production performed for all the public defenders in the State and the cast and voices are of individual public defenders, social workers, investigators, and secretaries all working within the division. These are not professional singers, but nonetheless individuals dedicated to the noble, though often difficult task of defending the indigent. The show itself is about a fictitious robbery-double murder where an innocent African American is arrested and faces capital murder charges and the death penalty. The show explores through the soundtrack the workings of the criminal justice system. It focuses on the pain of the defendant (My World is One), the defense lawyer's family (What About Me), the victim's mother (The Life I Left Behind) and the ironies surrounding the death penalty (Thousand Ways to Die). It captures the always exhausting work of the overworked staff (Docket Blues), (Hey Donna), and the overwhelming desire to always accomplish a just result (Change the World). The soundtrack is a living monument to the work of public defenders and their staffs throughout the country who work so hard to defend the rights of each of us. It also seeks to correct the inhumanity to man that the death penalty almost inevitably imposes by its mere existence. This is truly a remarkable CD.

I have designed various assignments around this CD and it has consistently resulted in the most suprisingly insightful reactions from my students.  Thanks to former Connecticut Public Defender, Bob Field (now happily retired in Florida and looking for a job teaching law - if anyone has a position) and investigator Stephen Smith who have created a powerful medium for learning.

Robert Field & Stephen Smith : Real Lawyer
Click HERE to get to the Real Lawyer download site (also available on i-tunes and other music download services)

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