Sep 23, 2013
Going Solo Upon Passing the Bar – Guest Lecture with Katie Kizer and Amanda Graham
Here are two exceptional new lawyers committed to representing those charged with or convicted of crimes. They are also passionate perfectionists when it comes to representing those who need legal services. So much so, they realized that the only way they could do the work they wanted to do in the way they wanted to do it was to open their own practice immediately upon passing the bar. I know many experienced criminal lawyers who may question the wisdom to do this. But I dare you to listen to this interview and see if you maintain the same opinion afterward. These ladies are the real deal. And they did it right. All new lawyers who want to go solo… listen and learn.
The audio is about 46 minutes. Listen or download directly below.
Katie J. Kizer is a founding partner of the Law Office of Kizer & Graham. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University College of Law, with a certificate in criminal law. Katie has researched and written about numerous areas in criminal law, including law and media, prosecutorial misconduct, jury voir dire, and ethical issues in criminal defense. She has published work on the continued criminalization of gang membership in the DePaul Journal for Social Justice, and she co-authored the Illinois Post-Conviction Manual, published by the Illinois State Bar Association. Katie has spoken at seminars about Illinois Post-Conviction practice, unjust sentencing laws for federal drug crimes, and the criminalization of gang membership.
Katie’s range of criminal defense experience includes federal and state trials, death penalty cases, appeals and post-conviction petitions, federal habeas corpus petitions, presidential commutation petitions, and U.S. Supreme Court petitions for certiorari. Katie volunteers with First Defense Legal Aid as an on-call attorney for people arrested without a lawyer, as well as the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project, where she assists homeless individuals with expungement and sealing of their criminal records. She is dedicated to criminal defense work and considers herself a fighter against the unjust mass incarceration in the U.S.
Amanda N. Graham is a founding partner of the Law Office of Kizer & Graham. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University College of Law, with a certificate in criminal law. Her defense work experience includes state and federal trials, death penalty cases, direct appeals, and post-conviction and habeas corpus petitions.
In 2011, Chicago’s Federal Defender Program awarded her the Judge William J. Campbell Award for her “demonstrated devotion and dedication” to criminal defense.Amanda researches and writes about various areas in criminal law, including the death penalty, the importance of investigation, effective juror voir dire, and the effect of media coverage in criminal cases. She co-authored the ISBA’s Illinois Post-Conviction Manual. She lectures at CLE programs on post-conviction work, and regularly speaks on panels about starting a public interest law practice in Chicago.
Amanda is a Chicago board member of the National Lawyers Guild. She volunteers with First Defense Legal Aid as an on-call attorney for people arrested and without a lawyer, and with the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project as an attorney assisting homeless clients with expungement and sealing of criminal records. It is Amanda’s hope that her career and personal achievements reflect a dedication to the zealous defense of her clients and to the end of the unjust mass incarceration in the U.S.
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