Annette Lee says that she didn’t know whether to believe Junior when he said that he was only 15. An intense, young criminal defense lawyer, Lee knew that most of the teens who pass through the Bronx County, N.Y., arraignment court think that claiming to be under 16 — a juvenile — means getting a walk.

But Junior (her client’s street name) begged her to believe him. Lee, who works for an indigent criminal defense group called the Bronx Defenders, decided to do some digging, and not only kept Junior out of jail on a drug-sale charge, but helped rebuild his entire life.

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