Former Drug Dealer Sworn In As Attorney By Judge Who Challenged Him To Change His Life
A former drug dealer was recently sworn in as an attorney, while standing before the same judge who asked him to do more with his life.
Sixteen years ago, at the age of 27, Ed Martell, from Inkster, Michigan, was in a much different situation. As he stood in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow, he expected multiple years behind bars.
However, the judge didn’t hand him the sentence he expected. In addition to three years probation, he challenged Martell to change his life for the better. Now, that inspiration brought him back to the same place under much better circumstances. Morrow has now sworn him in, both as a judge and mentor, believing it’s his duty to help everyone who comes into the courtroom.
‘I fell victim to my environment, I guess I could say, and then it became a trend. I started hanging around with the wrong crowd, I got intertwined with the drug culture,’ he told Fox 13.
‘He challenged me, and he said, ‘Mr. Martell, I dare you to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, instead of out here selling drugs‘,’ he explained.
From there, Martell got stuck in. After going back to school at Wayne County Community College, he got a scholarship to law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy. Martell was already sure of his career choice, ‘but when you come from a place where I came from, I didn’t grow up knowing any attorneys’, he said.
While past convictions can cause difficulties becoming a qualified lawyer, the State Bar of Michigan allowed him to become an attorney after Martell recounted his story. Now, he’s been sworn in by the very same judge from way back when, now working at Perkins Law Group in Detroit.
‘He’s like so many of the other people that come in front of us. They are talented, they’re brilliant, they have abilities and skills that, if you were not looking to make people’s lives better and connect with them, you were only going to see the person and the offense that they’re charged with,’ Morrow said.
‘I tell them you were sent to me – this isn’t random, you’re not in a place by coincidence, you’re here for a purpose… it doesn’t matter what your past was, it doesn’t even matter what your present situation is, I would say just shoot for the stars,’ the judge said of others he’s helped.
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