Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

First Advisor

Dr. St Louis


The basis of this paper will be to discuss my chosen career path following graduation. The career path that I will be exploring is that of an attorney. After I finish my athletic career, my next goal will be to enroll in law school and graduate in three years with my Juris Doctorate. My father is a partner at a law firm that handles many different cases, from malpractice allegations to criminal charges. My sister is also a public defender in Pittsburgh and represents individuals who can not afford to hire a private attorney. As a public defender you may encounter and acquire many different cases, such as criminal or wrongfully accused, to name a few. It would be easy to say that this is the family business, but that is not the reason that I would like to become a lawyer. I would like to become a lawyer to help all of the people who are falsely imprisoned or given harsher sentences than deserved and end up losing their life to the criminal justice system. In this paper, I will be discussing that research that I have compiled from my two family members, one as a public attorney and one as a private attorney. I will discuss career related topics such as the hiring process, education requirements and more. Finally, I will explore the processes of lawyers around the criminal justice system, and three policy issues that relate directly to them. I will explore issues involving overworked and underpaid public defenders, which will lead into a dissection on the mental health of lawyers. That will lead into the main focus of this paper which is wrongful convictions. As many know wrongful convictions are a huge proponent of our country's criminal justice system. So, it may be hard to understand why such miscarriages of justice are still 3 happening in the year 2022, in this paper I will explain my research and provide proper reasoning and suggest ways that we as a country can work to counter act wrongful convictions.