Public Law

Public Law Journal: Fall 2014, Vol. 37, No. 4

Remarks of the 2014 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award Recipient Wendy Patrick

By Wendy Patrick

The following are Wendy Patrick’s remarks after receiving the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award on September 12, 2014, at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting in San Diego.

It is both an honor and a privilege to accept this award. I would like to thank the Public Law Section, and immediate past Chair Jodi Cleesattle who has been supportive, encouraging and a true leader in the public law arena. And speaking of encouraging, I also want to thank my boss District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, her Chief Deputy Summer Stephan, and also recognize the two biggest encouragers in my personal life, my mother Elizabeth and my sister Jenn, a San Diego attorney who also is president of the National Law Center for Children and Families.

Some people think that being a public lawyer is a thankless job. Overextended, overworked, and underpaid. "Glorified pro bono work" joke of some of my colleagues in the private sector, who have been enjoying six-figure salaries straight out of law school. But having worked as both a public defender and a district attorney over the last 20 years, I can tell you that in my view from both sides of the aisle, the satisfaction of changing the lives of so many people is in a word, priceless.

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