CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - For the first time in a long time the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office has a fresh new crop of assistant district attorneys. The up and coming 20-somethings who are making their mark in District Court all knew at an early age this was their calling.
"It was a lifelong dream of mine to be a prosecutor," said DeRidder native Bobby Holmes.
Holmes graduated law school in May 2009 and started working at the D.A.'s Office nine months ago.
"The opportunity came open and I wanted to be back near my hometown. It's been great so far," said Holmes.
There is no shortage of work. The majority of their case loads consist of DWIs, petty thefts and battery cases.
"There's a lot of misdemeanors being committed out there. So we get all those files. We are definitely not short on work," said Brett Sandifer.
Sandifer is a native of Baton Rouge and is the newest member of the team coming on board three months ago.
"I knew I wanted to do this after my first year in law school. That summer I worked for a district attorney's office and it was something I really enjoyed. It was a perfect fit," said Sandifer.
Despite thousands of cases that continue to roll in they take comfort in knowing they can count on each other.
"We work together and get it done. We work very well as a team together and we love the action," said Marcus Myers.
Myers is a Lake Area native and has been an assistant D.A. for the past two years.
"When I graduated from law school there was never any question that I was going to work here. I had family members that worked here before and it was very rewarding for them so I knew it was something that I wanted to do," said Myers.
Hope Wyatt also grew up in Lake Charles. Law runs in her family - Hope's father is Judge Robert Wyatt.
"I was raised here. I may have went off for college, but this is home. I'm so glad to be back here working and making a difference. This is where I belong," said Wyatt.
District Attorney John DeRosier said they are an impressive young group of attorneys.
"They are young, energetic and very aggressive. They enjoy what they do and they are doing a very good job for the District Attorney's Office and for the public in Calcasieu Parish," said DeRosier.
In addition to their misdemeanor load, each have been paired with a veteran felony prosecutor. They help select juries and sit in during trials.
"The veterans have taken us in under their wing. Being able to be paired with a felony attorney it gives us the experience to move up at the D.A.'s Office. So standing in the misdemeanor section may be small but it gives us the opportunity to move up," said Wyatt.
"It's been very valuable. It allows us to gain invaluable experience - actually doing motions, probation violations and even 2nd chairing in trials as well," said Holmes.
Before they can step up they know they have to put the time in but they don't seem to mind.
"You get a real sense of gratification from doing this. You feel like you are helping the community and really putting away criminals in jail. It's also very challenging too," said Sandifer.
"Ultimately I want to be a prosecutor, but I do enjoy misdemeanors because you get to help a lot of people. A lot of the people in the misdemeanors are not criminals per say they just did stupid things so you are able to help them and that makes you feel good," said Myers.
None of these are new positions. Each position has been filled as a result of people leaving the office or retiring.