I’m thrilled to share this latest article on Son of a Bitch from the Georgia State University Alumni Magazine.
“My entire life I swore I’d never be a lawyer, and if I did, I said I’d never do criminal defense,” said criminal defense lawyer Jason Sheffield (J.D. ’05). The former actor has been recognized by Georgia Super Lawyers for criminal defense work. He is also a law professor and author.
Sheffield attended Georgia Law after earning a bachelor of science at Clemson in pre-med. He thought he might specialize in entertainment law.
“I changed course,” he laughed. But Sheffield didn’t leave the entertainment industry entirely.
His first novel, Son of a Bitch, was published in July 2017 by Michael Terrance Publishing (London). It’s a legal thriller about the uneven personal relationship between a mother and son (both lawyers) and the upheaval that follows when one is called upon to defend the other in court.
There is some truth woven into the pages. His mother, Linda, became a criminal defense lawyer when he was young, and she was one of few women finding their way into male-dominated courtrooms.
“I have some strong opinions on growing up with a mom who had to endure all that,” he said.
“All that” included his mother’s struggle to be taken seriously and the significant task of breaking the glass ceiling that existed in the late 1970s.
“I don’t think they were ready for her,” he mused. “She was very, very smart and determined to be the best lawyer she could be for her clients. She got pushback.”
Beyond the familial details, Sheffield’s book departs into a novel so he could make a bigger point.
Lessons learned at home inspire a local lawyer’s first novel.
The February issue of Simply Buckhead featured an article about my book written by H. M. Cauley.
Growing up with a single mom who was a busy criminal defense attorney didn’t endear Sandy Springs’ Jason Sheffield to the law. “For instance, as an 8-year-old, I was taught to answer the phone, ‘Sheffield residence. This is Jason speaking. How can I help you?’” he recalls. “I knew her clients were calling from federal prison in the middle of the night. It made me abhor the idea of becoming a lawyer.”
Instead, after graduating from Clemson University, Sheffield spent five years as an EMT, weighing whether to take on medical school. In 1997, he decided to pursue acting and writing, and followed that path for four years until reality set in. “I was acting full-time but living on very little money,” he says. “I was married and not making it. Then my mother suggested law school, and at the time, I thought it would be helpful in the film business.”
At 29, Sheffield found himself at Georgia State’s law school, taking trial classes, where his writing and acting abilities turned out to be an asset. “I suddenly saw that law was something I could do,” he says, “and when the choice came down to boring civil work or exciting criminal trials, well, it was in my blood. I swore I’d never do criminal defense, but here I am.” …
The Northside Neighbor newspaper recently published the following article by Bill Baldowski about my new book.
Many people turn a hobby into a career, like a gardener who becomes a florist or a cook who becomes so skilled at his craft that he becomes a master chef.
Trial attorney Jason B. Sheffield, a Sandy Springs resident, has taken something of a different path, letting his career guide him into yet another vocation as a published author.
In July the married father of two self-published his first book, which has a rather provocative title, “Son of a Bitch” (Michael Terrence Publishing).
“Actually this novel is about two people, a mother, who is a criminal defense attorney who has raise her son through hard and difficult times, only to see her son also become a criminal defense attorney,” Sheffield said.…
I sat down recently with Marcia Jaffe from the Atlanta Jewish Times to be interviewed about Son of a Bitch. We met at the Whole Foods in Sandy Springs and got right to the nitty gritty. Mrs. Jaffe had an uncanny talent for unearthing the core issues presented in Son of a Bitch and pressed me for answers to SOB readers’ most frequently asked questions, in particular, What is true and what isn’t?!
What I found most fun about Mrs. Jaffe’s interview with me (and what she may have found a bit annoying) was getting to know her a bit. (I can’t help it – I love to learn about other people). In short, Mrs. Jaffe has her own very interesting history as a reporter for several decades with the Atlanta Journal and Constitution and came across many of the types of unsavory characters Carter Scales met when she was just a burgeoning attorney in the City of Atlanta back in 1979 and the early 80s. I felt a kindred spirit with Mrs. Jaffe and hope to work with her again in the future.