Street Lawyer Essay, Research Paper
The most common tale we hear of lawyers today is one of fast-rising, high-billing, no-feeling type of lawyers. Most people overlook the lawyers that do pro-bono work. (That is work for free for the charity of those who can’t afford it.) Michael Brock started off as another lawyer who was on the fast track to partnership in a large firm with big billing habits. One day his life was changed forever after being held hostage by and seeing the death of a homeless man who was evicted by his firm. He made the drastic change to being a pro-bono lawyer and left behind one million dollars a year (not to mention a wife and an expensive apartment) for thirty thousand dollars a year. John Grisham tells the story of this man in his novel The Street Lawyer.
Grisham has been a long-time favorite author for those interested in court room drama. He changed his style completely for The Street Lawyer to focus on morality and values rather than success stories of rich, young, law students. This novel still appeals to anyone who enjoys Grisham but has also added to his audience the soft at heart. He relates to all Americans who are after success. Grisham believes that in the beginning, most people want to help others. This is why he thinks most endure the long, hard hours of law or medical school and training. The money is just a bonus. By the time one graduates, money has taken over their thoughts and he or she cares little for the client or patient. This is a bold assumption, but one that Grisham makes often. He has experienced this himself as he endured law school. The novel is both morally convicting and makes one think of others. Grisham seems to be saying thank you to all the people who care for the less fortunate. Thank you to those, like Michael Brock, who experience both worlds but give up the money, give up the power, and live for what they know is right and just. It tells of the lives of those who work “in the trenches” and forget about the money and face and endure hardship to help others. Mordecai Green in the novel represents these people well as he defends the homeless. For the real Mordecai Greens in the world, the novel is “a quiet tribute for your work in the trenches.” These words come from Grisham himself.
Though The Street Lawyer does not follow the suspense-filled style of most of Grisham’s work, it sheds a light on all those who work for the good of mankind. Grisham produces characters that should be role models for all Americans. Even though they are not rich, famous, or beautiful, without the Merdecai Greens and Michael Brocks, our world would be a place with more hate and anger than is imaginable. The novel has had a great impact on me and I believe it will also have a great impact on anyone who reads it.