Nelson Mandela and the Lawyer as Agent for Social Change

The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 22 No. 2

Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper 2014-6

6 Pages Posted: Last revised: 22 May 2014

See all articles by Justin Hansford

Justin Hansford

Howard University School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center; Saint Louis University - School of Law; University of the Witwatersrand Law School; Harvard University Chalres Warren Center

Date Written: March 12, 2014

Abstract

On December 5, 2013, a preeminently honorable man, perhaps the most admired in the world, passed away. That man was Nelson Mandela, and he was a lawyer.

Mandela’s surpassing prominence came not from writing a groundbreaking law review article, or from dazzling court watchers with a brilliant closing argument in a high profile trial (save the historic “speech from the dock” that he gave at his own). Mandela’s singular gift to civilization – his inspiration and leadership of South Africa’s peaceful transition from Apartheid rule to multi-racial, constitutional democracy – will not be known by most people as the provision of a “legal service.” Indeed, relatively few among the millions who revere Mandela will perceive the formidable legal mind at work behind his history-making achievements. But as much as anything, it was Mandela’s mastery of the lawyer’s art that enabled him to build a case that changed the world.

Mandela was a lawyer’s lawyer. And his story is a lesson to all that living the lawyer’s life, at its best, engenders the skills and character traits that can empower people to make a difference in their community, their nation, and beyond.

Keywords: Nelson Mandela, Social Justice, South Africa

Suggested Citation

Hansford, Justin, Nelson Mandela and the Lawyer as Agent for Social Change (March 12, 2014). The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 22 No. 2; Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper 2014-6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2407857 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2407857

Justin Hansford (Contact Author)

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States
202-806-8083 (Phone)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.justinhansford.com

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.justinhansford.com

University of the Witwatersrand Law School ( email )

1 Jan Smuts
Johannesburg
South Africa

Harvard University Chalres Warren Center ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.justinhansford.com

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
182
Abstract Views
1,034
rank
166,949
PlumX Metrics