Whoever thinks TV is bad for kids hasn’t met Amanda Parent.
Parent, assistant state public defender in the Milwaukee Trial Office, was inspired to pursue a career in law by her love for the long-running TV show, “Judge Judy.” Parent said she was around 5 or 6 years old when she began watching the reality show, which features Judge Judy Sheindlin presiding over small-claims cases.
“I loved watching her be the boss in the courtroom,” Parent said. “Sometimes I would play court with my older brother and friends, always insisting on being the judge. I still remember in first grade drawing a picture of myself as a judge when we were asked to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up.
“As time went on I developed an interest in the criminal justice system through things that weren’t daytime TV. My favorite class in high school was criminal justice. My interest really flourished in undergrad at Hamline University, where one of my majors was criminal justice.”
Parent said her job as a public defender gives her an opportunity to meet and work with many different kinds of people. That diversity — the variety of backgrounds, personalities and stories she encounters on a daily basis — keeps the job interesting.
“My favorite way to help clients is through litigation,” she said.
Bridget Krause, an attorney in the State Public Defender’s office, called Parent a “fierce litigator who frustrates her opponents.”
“She continues to amaze me with her litigation skills.”