Today I was talking to a friend of mine who is also a public defender in a different area than me. She said she had been talking to the state public defender about me.
The way the public defense system is set up is that there are 10 judicial districts in the state. Each district has a chief public defender, so 10 chiefs (actually 11 if you include the appellate office). The chief hires assistant public defenders to cover cases w/in that district.
Above the chiefs, there is the state public defender. That is the top position w/in the public defense system. The state PD is the head honcho. I have only met him a couple of times in the entire time I have been in public defense, including when I was an intern. I know him bc he was a chief before he was the state PD & everyone knows the names of the chiefs. But I have never had a conversation w/ him.
So, my friend was talking to him about me & he said to her that he had heard my name before & had heard good things about me. He said, "She's got a good reputation, doesn't she." My friend told me this today & I was floored.
I'm just a line attorney in some middle of nowhere land, doing my job. I haven't made the news for any big cases or taken down some poorly-run crime lab or represented some high profile case. I wouldn't expect the state PD to have any idea who I am, let alone have heard specific opinions about me.
I think it's really neat that he knows about me & that my reputation is a good one. I am just surprised that I even have a reputation in the legal field beyond my little area of the state.