Our legal aid duty ends today. Though it’s been 3 month, it seems that it’s been a long time.
It was a very enjoyable experience. We were able to meet many types of people, criminals especially. The first few sessions were hell for us, none of us got proper training everything ran on trial and error. Nice scolding from Magistrates and even bullied by men in uniform.
We have to dress in black and white when attending court.
In the beginning, we pitied the criminals. They lived in horrid conditions, abused and some didn’t have proper shower for weeks. But after weeks of exposure, our sympathy towards them is almost zero.
One of the most important rules we learn is never trust our clients. Many have lied to us and eventually exposed in court. It was embarrassing sometimes to find our “client” with 2 pages worth of previous convictions and we already told the court that our client is a first offender!
A shy criminal..
It’s actually frank..hehehe
Throughout our 3 months, we encountered grateful clients, ungrateful clients, difficult policemen, irritating people, HIV positive clients and even child molesters. Sometimes our clients cry and sometimes client’s relatives cry.
Eager relatives waiting for their love ones to be unloaded from the police truck
Today our client’s elderly aunt cried.
It was just a small theft case whereby our client wanted to post bail. Since the old lady couldn’t walk much and doesn’t understand Malay well, we assisted her throughout the whole process. There were 8 of us, dressed in suits, helping out an old lady.
We felt sad that our session is coming to an end. Hence, Kevin, Der Lin and I brought our cameras to take pictures. We took loads of picture ranging from our fellow colleagues to fellow prisoners. While waiting for the elderly lady’s application to be processed, we hung around the Court area and took pictures. Loads of pictures until we heard a man from behind saying, “eh..these people are students ah?”.
All good things must come to an end, I dread that this Dock Brief session has come to an end. I will miss the smelly prisoners, my fellow colleagues, the fun and laughter of the Friday Day Brief Batch 41 group. I doubt this would happen again in this legal life. To all new dock brief students, please enjoy every moment of it!