Their styles and career paths differ, but Oklahoma City criminal defense lawyers Kent Bridge and David Slane and Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Adam Kallsnick share a desire to serve their clients.
Kallsnick could have followed in his older brother's footsteps and become a doctor.
But he didn't care much for the hours his brother kept during his residency.
“I'm not a morning person,” said Kallsnick, a prosecutor in the Oklahoma County district attorney's office. “There's not a courtroom that's open at 4 a.m.”
The Tulsa native decided instead to become a lawyer like his father, a federal administrative law judge.
Growing up, Kallsnick peppered his dad with legal questions.
Kallsnick said his father tried to talk him out of being a lawyer, but it didn't deter him from choosing the profession.
“I've always kind of been fascinated by the law,” he said. “In my mind that's kind of what keeps society functioning.”
Now in his fourth year as a prosecutor, Kallsnick, 29, handles everything from property crimes and DUIs to assaults and murders.
“I think the variety makes it nice; it kind of keeps you on your toes,” he said.
“It's always entertaining.”
Kallsnick considers himself to be an advocate for crime victims and finds it rewarding to gain a conviction or reach or plea deal that is favorable to the state.
“I think it's very important,” he said. “I definitely want to seek justice for victims and make sure other people don't suffer the crimes, as well.”
The price of success
David Slane also loves what he does. But for the first time in 20 years, he is getting hate mail.
A caller recently told the Oklahoma City defense attorney he was sick for trying to get a judge to overturn the state's age of consent law.
Slane is representing a former high school basketball coach accused of raping a female student.
“Sometimes it makes me feel bad because people hate me for doing my job,” he said.
Scorn comes with the territory when your client list includes about 400 sex offenders.
“One of my neighbors said the only thing worse than a sex offender is someone who helps them,” Slane said. “I said ‘Good morning to you, too.'”
Slane, 46, makes no apologies for whom he helps.
“Representing the popular guy is easy, it's representing the unpopular client that's difficult,” he said. “No one cares. The media is against you, the public is against you, hell, half the courthouse is against you. But it doesn't mean their side's always wrong.”
There's nothing abstract about my job. I shake their hands and look in the eyes of the family members I help.”