Getting to Know Leah Henderson
Attorney Leah Henderson joined Burke Law and immediately focused her practice on criminal defense in Southern and Central Vermont. Attorney Leah Henderson successfully defended hundreds of defendants in Windsor, Rutland, Windham, Brattleboro, Washington, Chittenden, Orange and Caledonia counties. Attorney Henderson hard work in the courtroom has resulted in numerous jury trial wins and the successful suppression of key evidence.
Outside of the practice, Leah is vibrant and fun-loving. Let’s get to know Leah Henderson.
- Favorite Legal TV Shows: The Good Wife, The Good Fight, Suits, For the People, Law and Order: SVU, All Rise.
- I knew I wanted to be a lawyer when….I was in high school. I went into an abandoned dentist office during a Sunday afternoon (I was too scared to go at night) with my friend because we heard it was haunted due to experimental dental procedures occuring there resulting in people dying. The police were called and I was detained until my parents could pick me up. I didn’t get charged with a crime that day, but the owner of the property sued my parents alleging that I (and I alone) broke a door with a “boulder” to gain access. My parents didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer, so we represent ourselves. Myself and my father, who is an accountant, researched the law and we were able to win at a bench trial. We argued that the building was an attractive nuisance, as well as, stating that there was no way that I physically could have thrown a boulder through a door as the complainant alleged. It was that day that I became fascinated by the law. I remember thinking that I had found my passion and I wanted to help people like me who could not afford an attorney.
- Most memorable legal moment: Winning my first jury trial. It was a felony Aggravated Assault. I was just out of law school and was terrified to be trying my first case. Especially scary was that it was a felony and my client, due to being held without bail on a non-life offense, was requesting a speedy trial. We had the case ready to go within 60 days. I had prepped for weeks, especially familiarizing myself with medical knowledge, as that was going to be a huge piece of the state’s case. At trial, the State failed to provide a medical expert. I remember being furious about it because I was so ready to destroy them on cross-examination. However, it all worked out and I was still able to significantly undermine the State’s case by using the victim’s own statements against him and was able to show that it was possible he got a brain bleed, not from my client punching him, but from a fall he had at his house days after the alleged assault. I learned that no matter how much you prepare for a trial, there will always be curveballs and being a great attorney is knowing how to roll with the punches and not getting bogged down with details when things don’t go exactly as planned.
- What I like most about criminal defense: There is pressure, excitement and responsibility in being a criminal defendant’s only protector and support – so what’s not to like? I also enjoy connecting with my client’s on a personal level and getting to know them beyond what they are accused of. It is an aspect of criminal defense that I believe attorneys in other practice areas don’t get access to. Criminal defense is interpersonal – between getting to know the client, the State’s Attorney’s, the police, DCF, DOC, medical professionals, and the jurors – it is one of the only professions where you truly familiarize yourself with everyone in your community regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
- What I do outside of work: Watch too much TV; rewatch all the Star Wars movies (except Episode I); hike with my dog, Ahsoka; Ski – both cross-country and downhill; taste test local restaurants and Vermont beers, and drink wine on my deck.
- Favorite thing about working at Burke Law: My co-workers. They’re like family.
Thanks for getting to know Leah Henderson. For her full bio or to set up a free criminal case review, click here.