Muskegon Jobs - Public Defender

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Kendra Robinson's path to becoming a public defender wasn't a straight line. From running track in college to working in diverse countries, her early life instilled a sense of service and opened her eyes to the world's complexities. This led her to Thomas Cooley Law School and eventually to the courtroom, first in the family division and then, driven by a desire to help those most in need, to the criminal division.

Kendra finds both inspiration and challenge in her work. The chance to stand with those who can't afford their own defense, to witness the impact she can have on lives even when thanks are scarce, and the constant variety of cases with their unique puzzles to solve – these are the rewards that draw her in. But the job also weighs heavily, with limited control over outcomes, crushing caseloads, and the emotional toll of facing clients in dire circumstances.

Yet, Kendra's passion for service extends beyond individual cases. Her office isn't just about providing legal representation; it's about building trust and respect within the community, offering resources and connections, and ensuring that everyone, regardless of means, has access to justice. It's about leveling the playing field in a system that can often seem one-sided.

This commitment to fairness and compassion shines through in Kendra's advice for aspiring public defenders. While she stresses the importance of legal knowledge and hard work, she also highlights the human qualities crucial for this demanding role: respect, trust, citizenship, humility, and kindness. The ability to handle pressure, think creatively, build relationships, and navigate difficult situations are equally essential.

Finally, Kendra addresses the sensitive issue of defending someone she knows is guilty. Her role, she emphasizes, is not to judge but to ensure due process and advocate for the best possible outcome, even in such cases. By mitigating factors and navigating the legal system, she fights for her clients' rights, recognizing the complexities of individual circumstances within the broader pursuit of justice.

Kendra Robinson's story is a testament to the dedication and compassion that drive public defenders. Her work reminds us of the critical role these individuals play in upholding fairness and offering hope in the face of adversity.

The Rotary Club of Muskegon highlights this program as a way to inspire individuals to consider their own contributions to the community. Muskegon Vocational Spotlight series, produced by Rotary Club Of Muskegon, learn more at

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