I am sure that most all of our readers have read Alabama native Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird or perhaps some may have seen the play at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival based on her best-selling book. There were several fascinating characters in this book and one would be described as a role model. I read an interesting column recently by Rhea Grimsley Johnson in the Montgomery Advertiser which discussed one of these characters. This article made me realize that even lawyers need role models. The courage shown by Atticus Fitch, the fictional lawyer hero in the book, was exceptional to say the least.
I only wish that I had always had the sort of courage exhibited by Lawyer Finch in my life to stand up for right and justice regardless of the odds against me. Having grown up in rural Alabama at a time when few lawyers would have had the courage to take on a case such as the one Harper Lee wrote about, I can fully understand the extreme challenges Atticus Finch faced. Each of us who has chosen the Law as our field of work should reflect on how we would have reacted had such a case been put in our hands for a defense. Here is how Rheta wound up her excellent column:
Atticus Finch has been a role model for a lot of us. … He saw racism as a “sickness,” which it is. And, by the way, it’s still a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Atticus Finch should serve as a role model for all lawyers in the United States – both young and old – as they take on just causes at times when the popular route would be to avoid taking a stand.
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