Top legal firm uses Oscar movie to teach Iraqi lawyers

Bosses at U.S. legal firm Mayer Brown have created a school for budding legal eagles in Iraq and they’re instructing wannabe attorneys to watch the Oscar-winning film adaptation of Harper Lee’s tale of racism and injustice, so they can better serve future clients.

Mayer Brown partner Matt Rooney tells MSNBC, “I took movie clips from To Kill A Mockingbird in order to show what (Gregory Peck’s character) Atticus Finch was doing… and then I critiqued Atticus’ performance in terms of the lawyering skills.

“I was convinced that it was a really good teaching tool to use, because, when I thought about who these people were, these are lawyers that are very similar to Atticus Finch – they represent women who are battered women in the justice system, juveniles, people caught up in sexual trafficking… That was what was going on with Atticus representing (character) Tom Robinson.

“They appear in front of hostile forums just like Atticus Finch did, they’re in front of an all-white jury, the community they’re in is not necessarily supporting of them. A lot of these lawyers are women in an all-male judicial system… in front of hostile judges. They’re sometimes scorned for representing the people that they represent.”