Just Keep Swimming… 

Sometimes amidst all of the chaos and self-doubt, you must remember that there is always hope. There is always something to be thankful for; to look forward to. And it’s important to remember to just keep swimming ❤️

In Depth

The roots of a tree are the reason the tree exists in its strong form, but rarely do we see these roots. They are embedded deeply in the darkness of the earth. And from the earth emerges a beautiful creation, nurtured with strength and endurance. Everyone has experienced a dark chapter in their lives, and within that darkness always emerges something so powerful and so beautiful: our strength. That is the motivation behind this painting.
“In depth” 2016


The painting reads a quote by myself: “In the depths of your heart; in the core of your soul… There you will find it – there you will find your strength”

What is Success? 


This quote says so much, and has always been meaningful. But since I have become a public defender, it means so much more. 
We don’t choose our clients, who to defend, or what fees to charge. We don’t choose to defend the rich versus the poor, the clean versus the dirty, or the educated versus the ones who didn’t get the opportunity to learn… But for every smile I can put on one of my clients’ faces, for every genuine “thank you,” and for every time justice is truly served, I remember: I have succeeded ❤️

WE Are Public Defenders

You can only understand it if you’re “in it”

It’s a family

A support

An understanding – where no explanation is necessary or will even suffice.

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It’s the look on your face that reflects the emotions in your heart when you get your first guilty verdict,

It’s the mutual understanding that doesn’t require words from the person in front of you, your colleague, your friend – who just “gets it”

They’ve been there too

They understand.

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It’s the hug from after a well-deserved victory,

Letting you know they believed in you all along,

It’s the pat on your shoulder,

Letting you know that there is always tomorrow.

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It’s the feeling of happiness each time I walk in the door.

I’m thankful – I’m tired…

But I’m grateful

Thank God I’m here.

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It’s the late nights and the early mornings,

Coming to work on the weekends, and walking into the office knowing there is always someone there

To help

To advise

To sympathize.

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It’s the gift to do what I love

With the people I love

To share the same sorrows that broke our hearts,

To rejoice in the same joviality that cost our tears and persistence,

To understand the little victories are just as important as the big ones,

The hung juries, the granted motions, the cases that get dropped.

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And sometimes, it’s that one client out of the hundreds that looks you in the eyes and thanks you,

For listening,

For making that one call,

For being the first person to give a shit about what they had to say

For defending them –

Because WE are Public Defenders.

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This is what we do – WE defend,

Their rights

The Constitution of the United States

The people.

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We balance the scales of justice,

We give the unheard a voice, freedom.

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In the land of the overworked and underpaid,

We have a gift, an ability,

We can change lives,

We can be victorious,

And those victories are so much sweeter.

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In the battle for justice,

We often sacrifice,

We invest,

We give our heart & soul.

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WE are Public Defenders.

-leerdalia

An Open Letter

“It’s exciting to live fully, and be conscious for it.” 

A quote from a portion of an email from one of my favorite clients. Yes, I have favorites 🙂

As tears beat slowly down my cheeks, I ask myself why the hell am I crying. And then, I realize that for the first time in my career, I truly helped change someone’s life. Not by using the law necessarily, but by using my heart. 

Addiction is a disease that lives in the shadows of many lives. And often times, it lingers over these people and never leaves. To be thanked for helping someone who has faced those shadows and lives in the sunshine, is something so humbling and beautiful. It feels magical. 

While I don’t think I did much more than just being a good advocate and believing in him, he did most of the work. He believed in himself. 

You may think I changed your life and helped you, but it is people like you that change my life and remind me that I am exactly where I am meant to be. 

I’m so proud of you. 

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 

Fluffy Love 

 

Alfred Kensington

 

Oliver Franklin

 

Kaya Penelope

In a world full of false ideologies of what “love” means, I think dogs have it  right.

Their love is unconditional. Their hearts beat for you, you are the apple of their eye.

The highlight of my days are coming home to 3 wagging tails and unlimited kisses.

At the end of the day, dogs don’t care what you look like, how much money you have, what your level of education is.. All they want is to love you & for you to love them in return. That’s unconditional to me.

-leerdalia

Heart in the Ocean


Take me to the ocean,

The pure & calming sea,

Cleanse my heart, please,

& wash my pain away from me. 

Take my hurt away,

In the soft & crashing wave,

& vanish if from my soul,

for to pain, I have been a slave.

Come with the deep, still waters,

that flow silently in peace,

& float upon my heart,

Please come back to me. 

Wrap your love around me,

In a wave hugging my being,

Be my arms, my eyes, my smile,

Bring me back to that feeling.

When you left with the waves,

My heart was in your hands,

My heart floated beside you faithfully,

You leaving with my heart as I just stand.

I couldn’t fight that wave,

The tide was just too strong. 

But I know my heart is safe with you,

For you are my heart’s song.

& as you floated with the ocean,

& I am still here with my feet in the sand,

But I can still feel your sea of love around me,

Holding my heart in your hands.

The waves keep coming & crashing,

& the water’s pain is long,

The waves, they come & go,

But our wave is going… going… gone…

-leerdalia, February 3, 2009