Posted Jul 15, 2013 02:37 pm CDT
George Zimmerman was once accused of being a wannabe cop, but the neighborhood watch volunteer may have different legal ambitions after his acquittal in the shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman’s lawyer and a friend tell Reuters that Zimmerman may be interested in law school. According to friend Leanne Benjamin, she and her husband had dinner with Zimmerman recently, and he said he would like go to law school to help people who are wrongly accused of crimes.
Zimmerman had pursued an associate’s degree in criminal justice at a community college and “he’s interested in law,” Benjamin told Reuters. “He sees it as a potential path forward to help other people like himself.”
Zimmerman lawyer Mark O’Mara agreed that Zimmerman has talked about going to law school, but said he may be interested in prosecution. “He has a real interest in the law and … prosecuting appropriately—not like what he got—is something he’s very interested in,” O’Mara said. “His dad was a judge, and he wants to be a prosecutor or a lawyer.”
ABA Action News says Zimmerman’s father had served as a magistrate in Virginia from 2000 to 2006. A spokesperson said magistrates in the state are judicial officers, but they are not considered judges and don’t have trial jurisdiction. According to the state’s judicial system website, magistrates issue warrants and conduct bail hearings, among other duties.