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Can You Be a Feminist and a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
American Criminal Law Review  (IF3.455),  Pub Date : 2020-09-01, DOI:
Abbe Smith

Young people in the current cultural generation seem to like the word “literally.” They use it often and with great feeling, though not necessarily accurately. Law students will exclaim, for example, that the length of reading assignments is “liter-ally killing them.” Young public defenders will complain that judges and prosecutors are “literally driving them crazy.” My son sometimes claims that he is “literally starving to death.” I can’t help replying to each, “Well, maybe not literally.” But the answer to the question I pose in this Essay is literally self-evident, for I am both a feminist and a criminal defense lawyer. I have been both of these things for more than thirty years. So yes, of course, one can be a feminist and a criminal defense lawyer: here I am. Moreover, I have answered this question many times in nearly everything I have written since becoming a law professor. Both my scholarly and more popular writing are from the experience and perspective of a feminist criminal defense lawyer.