What I love most about solo practice is that, to quote Forrest Gump, it’s like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. And as this article, Big Case for Fledgling Lawyer, Don Thompson, AP (3/19/06) bears out, you just might get the case of your life eighteen months out of law school. That’s what’s happened to Wazhma Mojaddidi, a young Muslim lawyer of Aghan descent, who’s now representing Hamid Hayat, on trial in U.S. District on charges that he attended a terrorist training camp and lied about it to investigators.
From all accounts, Mojaddiddi is holding her own, though the judge “is impatient with her for her evident inexperience in cross-examinations and rules of evidence, frequently schooling her on how she should phrase questions to a government witness.” But that kind of on the job experience is the best way to learn, far better, than Mojaddiddi’s peers at large firms buried under stacks of documents. And Mojaddiddi isn’t entirely on her own – her client’s father is also standing trial for similar counts and represented by a more seasoned attorney who shares his substantive experience while Mojaddiddi brings her familiarity with cultural and Muslim issues to the table.