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Meet Ohio Civil Rights Attorney Michelle Martin

Personal Injury | Juvenile Law | Based in Columbus, OH

Video Transcript:

My grandfather said, “You talk so much—” and I didn't think I talked a lot, but he obviously thought so. He said, “You talk so much and you speak so well; maybe you should consider being a lawyer. Or since you speak so fast, maybe you should consider being a DJ.”

I really liked dancing, so I thought the DJ route might be the better route for me, because I thought, I don't want to go to school for what seemed like a million years to be an attorney. I would rather host parties and DJ.

So I really didn't start my path to the legal field until entering college and finding out that I was not a very good DJ. At Morehead State I actually received a degree in paralegal studies. I figured that I would be doing a lot of public speaking if I was going to be a lawyer, and I wanted to understand the inner workings of the law, and I felt like getting it from a paralegal's perspective would really show me what the work looks like.

You know, I am a trial lawyer, so I believe that sitting on a jury and having the right to a trial by jury is one of the most important rights that we can exercise. The reason why I'm so passionate about the restoration of civil rights is because they disproportionately affect black and brown people. I've seen a lot of my classmates and a lot of people in our community who don't have the right to sit on a jury, don't have the right to vote, and don’t have the right to bear arms, and they don't have those rights because those crimes that they were convicted of back in the ‘90s and 2000s disallowed for the restoration of those rights once they had completed their punishment.

I find a lot of interest in this area because I think that it allows us to go back to an original charge and an original conviction that we think may have been unfair, and undo everything that's been done in what I now consider an equitable court.

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