“I went to law school to do international human rights work, but the more I started learning about the justice system in our country… I realized there is human rights work to do at home.”
Assistant Shelby County Public Defender Melody Dernocoeur presented last month at a conference held in one of the world’s most historic legal venues – the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany – site of the famed Nuremberg Trials.
“This place marks a tragedy, but also, it is a point of progress. You experience these overlapping feelings here. When you’re in that room presenting what is aspirational work, you feel part of a process that has come a long way, but still has a long way to go.”
While at Northwestern Law, Dernocoeur became part of a work group developing an international code for all defense counsel practicing before international tribunals and courts. Her group presented its work at the International Nuremberg Principles Academy for the Fifth International Meeting of the Defence.
Dernocoeur started at the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office in November 2016 and recently transferred to the Juvenile Defender Unit. She came to Memphis specifically to advocate for the defense of children.