The Lawyer: The Lawyer: The Accidental Advocate

May 15, 2002, was Donna Newman's day to serve as a public defender at the federal courthouse for the southern district of New York. For lawyers in private practice like Newman, 54, it's the legal equivalent of being an on-call trauma surgeon at the local ER: if somebody needs a lawyer, she is it. "All I knew was, I had this assignment," she says, "and I had to come in that day." As it turned out, on May 15 somebody needed a lawyer very badly indeed. That was the day that Jose Padilla--former Chicago gang member, alleged would-be dirty bomber for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!