Losing a trial in court doesn't necessarily mean a lawyer walks away with a weakened reputation. In the 2007 trial against Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery, the accused's defense lawyers watched as their client was sentenced to life in prison. The duo, however, is receiving renewed praise from series viewers for its efforts in the courtroom. So what, if any, effect did the trial have on Dean Strang's and Jerome Buting's careers? Steven Avery's lawyers are still practicing, and while they've taken on many cases since Avery's conviction, they haven't forgotten the infamous trial.
Strang practices criminal defense law in Madison, Wisconsin, as a partner for the firm Strang Bradley, LLC. He's also an adjunct professor, teaching courses in law to students in the University of Wisconsin's Department of Continuing Studies. A number of Strang's written works have been printed in legal journals and the lawyer published a book entitled Worse Than The Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time Of Terror, in 2013.
Buting has also continued to practice law after Avery's sentencing in 2007. He is a partner for the Wisconsin firm, Buting, Williams & Stilling, S.C. with a focus on defense of serious and complex criminal offenses. Buting frequently lectures on forensic evidence at gatherings for state and national lawyers' associations.
It's not surprising audiences of the Netflix docuseries quickly became emotionally invested in the lives of not just Avery but also his two primary defenders. The 10-part series includes hours of footage highlighting the lawyers' claim that Avery was allegedly framed by law enforcement for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. And over the weeks the trial was ongoing, the team had the added pressure of defending a man who had already spent nearly two decades in prison after being wrongfully convicted of rape in 1985.
Even before a social media uproar brought Strang's and Buting's work representing Avery out into the open again, this particular client's trial remained on the minds of his defense team. Strang told PEOPLE magazine in an interview:
It's a case that still keeps me up. At some selfish level, I'd love to forget a lot about it. But you can't and of course I don't really want to.
In 2012, Buting told Super Lawyers that the thought that there were too many unanswered questions in the case of Halbach's murder still sat with him.
He [Avery] continues to maintain his innocence, and I continue to believe the evidence was very suspicious in the case.