John Forbes Kerry did not have an extensive legal career prior to entering public office, however, the decorated Vietnam War Veteran turned war protestor and political activist did surprise those who knew him by becoming a prosecutor. Kerry's entry into law was his backup plan: after an unexpected and heartbreaking loss in his run for Congress in 1972, Kerry ultimately decided to enroll at Boston College Law School in 1973. According to The Washington Post, in September of 1973, "Boston College law professor Thomas Carey strode into his first-year torts class and was stunned to see, near the back of one row, 'this tall young fellow I'd been mesmerized by a couple of years earlier testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And there he was, starting off as a regular grunt.'"
Kerry's path to becoming a prosecutor began in law school. Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker quotes Kerry as saying, "I always had a prosecutor's mind and a prosecutor's bent. It was always what I wanted to do, even in law school. There was a rule in Massachusetts that allowed law students to prosecute misdemeanor trials in front of six-person juries, and I got an unbelievable amount of experience before I even graduated."
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