“No real-life lawyer has done more for the self-image or public perception of the legal profession than the hero of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.” 97 Mich. L. Rev. 1339. This guy isn’t even real and there are 19 law review articles entirely about him.
Atticus raised two children alone while teaching them to be open minded and judicious to all. Along the same vein, many scholars suggest that Atticus was simply the true advocate, and took Tom Robinson’s case not because of any tremendous moral fortitude, but because he was appointed Mr. Robinson’s representative. Even if that’s true, the guy stood up to a mob to protect a black man in the 1930′s! It doesn’t really get much more badass than that.
* Spoiler Alert *
If you see this guy at opposing counsel’s table, run the hell away. Oh wait, you can’t, because he’s the son of the devil! Not only can you not hide from this guy in hell, but you can’t beat him in court, either. Seriously, you can’t — he’s never lost a case by virtue of being the devils son. Apparently the game is rigged.
This guy is so ridiculously intense that he neglects his bangin’ wife, played by Charlize Theron, because he’s spending his time representing child molesters. When his senior partner suggests that his wife has gone bat-shit crazy and he should take care of her, Mr. Lomax responds with:
You know what scares me? I quit the case, she gets better… and I hate her for it. I don’t want to resent her, John, I’ve got a winner here. I’ve got to nail this fucker down, do it fast, and put it behind me. Just get it done. Then – then. – put all my energy into her.
Oh yeah, she dies from side effects of being literally seduced by the devil. Hard. Freaking. Core.
4. Ray Beckerman
So you thought this list was going to be all fictional characters, huh? Nope! Attorney Beckerman runs a website called Recording Industry vs The People. There are rumors that the RIAA has pictures of him attached to dart boards in their game room, which essentially makes him The Hero of the Internet.
When he’s not litigating cases against the RIAA, he’s on Twitter. He’s following 2500 people and somehow mysteriously manages to catch all of their tweets. I’m pretty sure he’s a robot assembled in upstate New York with a direct feed into the internet.
I could probably just leave this section with the picture and mark it as obvious, but I have all this white space to fill up.
The tagline of this movie according to IMDB is: “One man is Judge, Jury, AND Executioner.” Being that there aren’t really jobs resembling attorneys in this mythos, Judge Dredd is the closest thing. It’s a good thing that we don’t get this kind of hardware or there would be even more attorneys running around.
There are rumors that Govenator Schwarzenegger was offered the role but turned it down because in the original script, the majority of the scenes called for Judge Joe Dredd to wear his helmet. Apparently in the comic book version, Judge Dredd removes his helmet only very rarely. That didn’t stop Stalone’s Judge Dredd, however, who is so badass that he can take his helmet off whenever he damn well pleases.
Like most attorneys, Matlock doesn’t know a lick of evidence. Well, okay, it’s admittedly unclear whether he knows the rules of evidence or he just doesn’t care about them. You can’t really get mad at him though because he looks and acts like your senile grandpa.
Unlike most attorneys, however, his crazy outbursts, lack of preparation, and disregard for the court has won him an almost flawless trial record. No one ever calls Matlock by his first name either — not even judges — and that’s pretty cool.
Ah screw it. I’m going to say it: Matlock is basically the worst attorney ever.
My Cousin Vinny has had an unexpected presence in my life as a law student. We’ve watched clips in two of my classes now, and there was a showing of the movie in the auditorium last semester. My girlfriend also cites the movie as “the reason I went to law school.”
Vincent Gambini barely graduated from law school, and is essentially the guy that flags you to start checking Facebook when he’s cold-called. It took him a while to pass the bar exam, but the sixth time was the charm. True to life, his cases rarely went to court, so his first trial was the murder trial of his nephew, the Karate Kid.
Like Matlock, Vinny doesn’t understand the rules of evidence, courtroom etiquette, or the law, but he manages to put on a pretty great show while ultimately procuring an acquittal. He also wears a funny suit and also has a bangin’ girlfriend played by Marisa Tomei, which makes him pretty badass in my book.