Monday, December 16, 2019

Teenage prisoner grows up to be lawyer

Twenty years ago, Robert W. VanSumeren, then 19, stood in a Michigan courtroom as Hillsdale County Circuit Court Judge Michael Smith sentenced him to six years in prison for a string of local robberies. "I was terrified," VanSumeren remembers. "I thought my life was finished. I really felt lost and wondered how I'd ever get through it." After he finished his sentence, two former teachers who visited him in prison helped him enroll in junior college.

                                                                                                                          Washington Post 
From there he went on to college and then law school, and on November 22, VanSumeren, now 40 and married to a school teacher, returned to the same courtroom and stood again in front of Judge Smith. This time he asked the judge who sentenced him as a teen to swear him in as a new attorney. He hoped to give back to the community he once stole from. "I didn't know if the judge would go for it, but I thought it was worth asking," said VanSumeren, who passed the Michigan state bar exam on his first try. Judge Smith went for it....with pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment