Marcia Clark is best known for being the lead prosecutor for the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The former Heisman Trophy Winner was accused and found not guilty of the June 1994 death of Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Lyle Goldman in a trial that captivated the country. Thrust back into the spotlight by “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” miniseries, a new generation is now fascinated by Clark, the discrimination she faced during the trial, and the writing career that followed.
In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, hosts Fabiani Duarte and Sandy Gallant-Jones sit down with Marcia Clark, most notably known for serving as the prosecutor for the trial of O.J. Simpson, to discuss her new novel “Blood Defense.” Marcia provides deeper insight into the motivation behind the creation of, and the personality differences between, her long running character Rachel Knight and her new protagonist, Samantha Brinkman. She also speaks briefly about her experience writing through the prosecutorial lens and the catalyst behind her recent shift towards writing from the perspective of the defense. The focus of the discussion then pivots toward an analysis of her experiences during the O.J. Simpson case and her prosecutorial experience. Marcia reflects on the adversity she faced during the trial as she balanced raising a family, fighting a custody battle, and the sexism she experienced in the courtroom and the office. She closes the interview with advice on helpful skills that law students can develop while in school, such as discipline and persistence, and how those experiences can be applied to their work in the profession.
Marcia Clark has been a practicing criminal attorney since 1979 and served as prosecutor in the Los Angeles DA’s office for 10 years. There, she served as a prosecutor for the trials of Robert Bardo, convicted of killing actress Rebecca Schaeffer, and, most notably, O.J. Simpson, tried for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman. Marcia wrote a New York Times best-selling book on the Simpson case titled “Without a Doubt” which was re-released as an e-book, coinciding with the debut of the hit FX series “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” For nearly a decade, Clark has been a prolific novelist authoring four legal thrillers featuring Rachel Knight, a driven and gritty city prosecutor. On May 1st, Clark flips to writing from the perspective of a defense attorney in the launching of her fifth novel “Blood Defense,” the first in a new series featuring an ambitious and hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney named Samantha Brinkman. Marcia is a California native and received her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law.