Porter and Lake County Prosecutors Give Advice to Students at Valparaiso University Law School

Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel and Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter visited Professor Carter’s Criminal Procedure class on Friday, Oct 28, at Valparaiso University Law School.

The two have more than 50 years of combined experience and both obtained their law degrees from Valparaiso University Law School.

They discussed the role of the county prosecutor and how it differs within their jurisdictions. Both cited ethics and negotiation skills as essential for their jobs. Gensel talked about the importance for prosecutors to focus on facts when dealing with people’s lives and not get desensitized by all the different cases. “Young prosecutors want to go out and put everyone in jail, but you have to learn when it is necessary to exercise mercy,” Gensel said. He pointed out that people appreciate that he doesn’t make it personal in court and focuses solely on the conduct of the individual.

Gensel and Carter discussed how confidence is important to all lawyers. Lawyers should be respectful, and focus on doing their absolute best each time they enter the courtroom.

The discussion was candid and primarily driven by student questions, many of which were directed at the job market and the best ways to get a resume noticed. Both men pointed to the importance of involvement during school and hard work. “Graduating from law school and passing the bar already shows that a person is competent to practice law,” Carter said,” but having worked at McDonald’s shows that you aren’t afraid of a little hard work too.”