In 2014, a global survey of university students was conducted. Based on applicants from 24 countries, participants were asked to rank world history leaders as heroes. The top 10 in order were: Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Isaac Newton, Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln and Buddha. The list includes scientists, aid workers and religious figures. Abraham Lincoln is the only lawyer/politician on the list. At a recent NACDL meeting, I had an interesting conversation with a former NACDL president about whether some traditional legal heroes, Clarence Darrow and Atticus Finch, who led by example, resonate with law students and young lawyers just starting their legal careers. Darrow is revered by many not only as one of the greatest lawyers of all time, but also as a radical. He wore his political views on his sleeve. He argued for cases and concerns that corresponded to those views. If his ethics could be questioned, the sincerity of his convictions and his effectiveness as a lawyer could not. Finch is revered for exactly the opposite reasons. He did not aspire to represent Tom Robinson. He did it because the court appointed him – and because no one else wanted to.
Finch wore nothing on his sleeve. He gave a silent example. Although he didn`t portray Robinson very effectively, it was the act of defending him, the act of defending someone when no one else would, that anchored Finch as a hero. My legal hero is Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall used his intelligence and the law as a tool to fight injustice even as he faced intolerance, violence and hatred. His perseverance and experience motivate me on a daily basis. On the other hand, Monique Pressley is my modern heroine. Ms. Pressley is an attorney in Washington, D.C.
Their presence in front of the camera is incredible! I am influenced by her “litigation style” and admire the way she uses her intelligence and wit to zealously defend her clients. Tell us about your legal hero and the qualities that make him such an inspiration. A 2016 Gallup poll listed the following 10 most admired men and 10 women, each in order of popularity: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Pope Francis, Bernie Sanders, Rev. Billy Graham, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Mike Pence; Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Elizabeth, Malala Yousafzai, Condoleezza Rice, Elizabeth Warren and Sarah Palin. These lists reflect the political divisions in this country and include leading figures in politics, religion, business and entertainment. While the lists include a handful of law-graduates, neither list reflects many likely legal heroes. In fact, Elizabeth Warren is arguably the only person on both lists who has come to light for her work as a lawyer. The first appearance of the hero of the law is in an introductory dream sequence of the protagonist, in which he is crucified by a clothed man and released after the player chooses his name. He reappears in a second vision, ready to take control of the Echo building alongside the protagonist`s group, before being seen in the real world in a cell at Kichijoji Hospital, after being arrested for trying to save his girlfriend, who was captured because she had the same name as the heroine. He then joins the protagonist and hero of chaos to save Tokyo from destruction.
Of course, the absence of a lawyer in the White House doesn`t mean law students and young lawyers don`t have potential legal role models and legal heroes. But who do young people admire most these days? My first boss, Carlo Coppo, who sadly passed away two months ago, is my legal hero. He was and still is the smartest person I`ve ever worked for. His mantra: “To be truly a great lawyer, you have to have the intellect to understand the law. But you need passion just as much. Passion will connect you with others. Don`t lose it. If you do, find another concert. Two different models, but both have been legal heroes for generations. But can they appeal to future generations of lawyers? There are no YouTube videos in which Darrow makes a final argument. Finch only appears in a book or on a black and white screen.
If the message is the medium, they are simply outdated. Beyond the medium itself, there are other fundamental questions. Are white men of a bygone era talking to the young and increasingly diverse lawyers emerging from today`s law schools? Who are the modern equivalents of Darrow and Finch? Or has the mere idea of a hero lawyer simply become jaded? “The best thing I did was pick the right heroes.” – Warren Buffett What does all this mean for legal heroes for law students or young lawyers today? Your hero probably won`t be Darrow or Finch. It may not be Thurgood Marshall. Who the heroes are, however, is far less important than the fact that future generations of lawyers have heroes. The new hero could be a young activist lawyer. He or she may be a lawyer who leads both on social media and in the courtroom. In fact, the opportunity for lawyers to lead, be heroes and inspire law students and young lawyers could be greater than ever.
Each year, Minnesota Lawyer recognizes a group of new lawyers who have a quick start in their legal careers and the lawyers who work to get the job done. “I think a hero is anyone who really wants to make this place a better place for everyone.” – Maya Angelou Later, after helping to save the heroine from a public execution orchestrated by Yuriko, he leaves the protagonist`s group and decides to go to Ichigaya to save his girlfriend.