Former drug dealer becomes attorney after judge gives him a chance to change

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CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A convicted drug dealer was given a second chance by a Michigan judge after he challenged the man to turn his life around.

Sixteen years after Edward Martell first appeared in Judge Bruce Morrow’s courtroom, he was officially sworn in as an attorney.

Morrow said he immediately saw something special in Martell from the beginning.

“With everything that had gone wrong in his life up to that point, he had this optimism that was contagious,” said Morrow. “And for him to still be able to have a positive attitude about himself, I thought it was remarkable. I said to myself ‘This is somebody who can team me something.’”

Morrow believes there generally isn’t much of a difference between someone sitting on the bench, and someone appearing before a judge.

“It’s just that God placed us in different situations,” Morrow added.

Many don’t realize it’s possible to become an attorney with a criminal record.

“It’s still surreal, you know. When people call the firm and say ‘May I speak to Edward Martell?’ It’s still just so surreal,” said Martell. “I’m very thankful, I’m very humbled, and I’m thankful God put Judge Morrow in my life.”

Martell said when he turned in his 1,200-page application there were 35 arrests, 19 convictions and two felony drug convictions since the age of 13-years-old.

Martell is licensed in state court and said he’s hoping to be licensed in federal court soon.

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