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Those Lawyers!

National Portrait Gallery

The Lawyers

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Two Lawyers [painting] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Photographed for: E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc.

Atheneum online collection, 2011.

1 photographic print : b&w, 8 x 10 in.

1 negative ; 4 x 5 in.

Lawyers Before Supreme Court (Hayes, Marshall Nabrit) [3963]

National Portrait Gallery
Leaders in the Fight to End Segregation in the Nation’s Public Schools

On May 17, 1954, civil rights attorneys George E. C. Hayes (1894–1968), Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993), and James M. Nabrit Jr. (1900–1997) celebrated a landmark victory after the United States Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. When the Court agreed to hear legal challenges to the long-held doctrine of “separate but equal” public schools, it consolidated five similar cases under a single name: Oliver Brown et al v. the Board of Education of Topeka. Lawyers for the combined cases included Marshall (center), chief counsel for the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and a lead attorney for Briggs v. Elliott, which sought to end segregation in South Carolina’s public schools. Hayes (left) and Nabrit (right) formed the legal team for Bolling v. Sharpe, which challenged public school segregation in Washington, D.C. This image captures the lawyers’ jubilation when the Supreme Court ruled public school segregation to be unconstitutional.

Costume Design: Three Lawyers, for The Prospect Before Us

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Lawyers Who Make Less Money And Get Worse Grades Are the Happiest

Smithsonian Magazine

What makes a happy lawyer? No, this isn’t the start of an anti-lawyer joke. It’s actually the title of a recent research paper that looked into just that question: what is the best predictor of happiness among lawyers? 

To find out, a law professor and a psychologist got together and asked 6,200 lawyers about how happy they were. What they found was that it wasn’t the prestigious lawyers, or those who did the best, or even those who made the most money who were the happiest. It was actually those who had the lowest incomes and the lowest grades in law school—most of whom were public service lawyers. 

Not only did public service lawyers drink less than their big-wig contemporaries (a measure that was inversely correlated with happiness), they also valued their work more and were motivated less by money and more by how important they felt their work was. The more pro-bono hours somebody worked, the happier they were. The more billable hours they worked, the less happy they were. 

The research then asked whether there was something particular about lawyers when it comes to what they’re looking for in life. “Lawyers,” the researchers write, “whether by nature or through training, may respond differently than other people to psychological and external factors that typically generate happiness.” But when they compared what made lawyers happy with what made the rest of the world happy, they found no real difference. “Thus it would appear that lawyers, and their teachers and employers, should banish any notions that law-trained people are somehow special in this important regard,” they write. 

So, at the end of the day, the study suggests that law students might want to reevaluate their choices. It’s not grades or money that will make them happier after law school, but rather how good they feel about their work. 

Lawyers With Less-Masculine Sounding Voices Are More Likely to Win in Court

Smithsonian Magazine

We have all sorts of inherent biases when it comes to judging the other people we meet. We make assumptions about their personality based on facial features alone. We assume people with deeper voices make better leaders.

But when it comes to winning arguments in court, deeper voices may actually be a disadvantage. According to new research, lawyers with more masculine voices are actually less likely to win a court case than those with higher-pitched voices. 

To arrive at these findings, the New Scientist reports, researchers first asked 200 volunteers to listen to 60 different recordings of male lawyers making the traditional opening statement: "Mister Chief Justice, may it please the court." The volunteers rated a number of factors about each voice, including how masculine, attractive, educated, confident, trustworthy and intelligent they found it.

The researchers then compared the real-world outcomes of each of those 60 lawyers' trials to the various parameters the volunteers had evaluated. After controlling for factors like age and experience, they found that masculinity alone predicted whether or not the owner of the voice would win the case, the New Scientist writes. Surprisingly, those lawyers rated as having less masculine voices tended to come out on top. 

Masculine voices, the New Scientist continues, seems to be yet another bias—like whether or not a judge has eaten before a trial—that makes the legal system far from purely objective and fair. Unfortunately, if this is the case, the researchers point out that there's probably little we can do about it. The only action possible is to educate juries and judges about this inherent bias, and hope that they consider that message when attempting to reach a verdict. 

Lawyers Who Made the Birthday Song Public Domain Take Aim at Civil Rights Anthem

Smithsonian Magazine

“Word for word, the short, simple lyrics of ‘We Shall Overcome’ might be some of the most influential words in the English language,” the Library of Congress writes. “It was the most powerful song of the 20th century. It started out in church pews and picket lines, inspired one of the greatest freedom movements in U.S. history, and went on to topple governments and bring about reform all over the world.” 

Just a few months after a federal judge ruled that the song “Happy Birthday to You” should belong in the public domain, the victorious lawyers behind the case are now training their sights on the Civil Rights Movement’s anthem, “We Shall Overcome.”

This week, a nonprofit group called the We Shall Overcome Foundation sued Ludlow Music Inc. and The Richmond Organization, two publishers who own the copyright to the famous tune. The group, which works with orphans and the poor, was founded by a group of filmmakers who are looking to make a documentary about the song, but were denied the licensing rights for undisclosed reasons, Joe Mullin reports for Ars Technica.

While “We Shall Overcome” became an iconic symbol of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, it has deep roots in American spiritual and protest music. According to the plaintiffs, it was derived from African-American spirituals, but the first printed record of the song (then called “We Will Overcome”) was in a 1909 edition of The United Mine Workers Journal, Ben Sisario reports for the New York Times. By the 1940s, it had become a classic protest song that was popularized by folk singer Pete Seeger. But in 1960, Ludlow Music Inc. and The Richmond Organization copyrighted the song and have been the arbiters of who gets to use it on screen ever since. The filmmakers are arguing that a copyright to the song should never have been granted in the first place.

"This was never copyrightable to begin with," Mark Rifkin, the lead attorney for the plaintiff, tells Joseph Ax for Reuters. "The song had been in the public domain for many, many years before anyone tried to copyright it."

According to the lawsuit, the filmmakers reached out to the publishers to obtain a license to use the song in their documentary, but were rejected.

"WE SHALL OVERCOME is a difficult song to clear," the publisher’s representative told the group, as Mullin reports. "I have been advised by our historians that we will need to review the recording that is intended to be used. The song cannot be cleared without reviewing what’s being sung and the quality of the representation of the song."

The filmmakers hired a singer to record a sample of the song, which they submitted for review. However, the publisher denied them the license and refused to explain why after multiple requests, the lawsuit says. A representative of the publisher declined to comment when Ax asked about the lawsuit.

Now, the filmmakers are looking to form a class-action lawsuit with the hopes of returning “We Shall Overcome” to the public domain, as well as compelling the music company to return licensing fees paid for the song’s use in the past.

Lawyer and Client

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Country Lawyer [photomechanical print]

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
(Printed below image): Copyrighted 1899 by C. Klackner, N.Y.

(Label on back): Library of Congress / Art Division / No. A17531 / 18992 / 44670 / The Country Lawyer / A photograph from the painting by E.L. Henry / Copyright, 1899, by C. Klackner, 7 West 28th St., New York.

The Country Lawyer [photomechanical print]

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
(Printed below image): Copyrighted 1900 by C. Klackner, N.Y.

(Stamped and inscribed on back, upper left): Two Copies Received / Library of Congress / Office of the Register of Copyrights / Mar. 19, 1900 / Division of Prints / A25863 / Mar. 20, 1900.

(Label on back): The Country Lawyer / A photo-engraving from the painting by E.L. Henry / Copyright, 1900, by C. Klackner, 7 West 28th St., New York.

Group of lawyers, scientists, and supporters assembled during the Scopes anti-evolution trial, Dayton, Tennessee

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Lawyers, scientists, and supporters of John T. Scopes, assembled on the steps of "Defense Mansion" outside Dayton, Tennessee, July 1925. Standing at left is Judge John R. Neal, the Knoxville, Tennessee, attorney who represented Scopes; standing at right is Neal's brother-in-law, W.E. Wheelock, superintendent of the Southern Pacific Railroad Terminal in Chattanooga. In back row are Kansas publisher E. Haldeman-Julius, Dayton businessman George Washington Rappleyea, and Science Service journalists Frank Thone and Watson Davis. In the middle row are biologist Maynard Mayo Metcalf, theologian Charles Francis Potter, defense court stenographer Mr. McCleskey, biologist William Allison Kepner, and Scopes defense attorney Arthur Garfield Hays. In the front row are Wilbur Armstrong Nelson, anthropologist Fay-Cooper Cole, biologist Winterton Conway Curtis, Horatio Hackett Newman, and Jacob Goodale Lipman.

42c Lincoln as Lawyer single

National Postal Museum

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

National Museum of American History

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

National Museum of American History

Lincoln the Lawyer [sculpture] / (photographer unknown)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
On photo mount label: L. Taft. Statue of Abraham Lincoln as a young lawyer (1809-1865). Urbana, Ill. 1926. Gift of Lorado Taft. Classification number: 282/T124/760. Accession: 95974. Lantern slide: E47103.

Historical photograph of the sculpture located in front of the Urbana-Lincoln Hotel before it was relocated to Carle Park in 1954.

1 photographic print : b&w, 9 7/16 x 6 3/8 in. (trimmed), mounted on 9 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. board.

Howard Hunt talks to his lawyer

National Museum of American History

Figure Study of a Lawyer [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Photographed for: E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc.

Title supplied by cataloger.

1 photographic print : b&w, 8 x 10 in.

1 negative ; 4 x 5 in.

Archie B Lawyer, Mark Williams and James Reuben ca 1878

National Anthropological Archives
Digital surrogate produced from reference copy print

"Archie B. Lawyer, Mark Williams and James Reubin are all full (blood) Nez Perce Indians. They were commissioned or appointed by the Indian Department at Washington as teachers to Chief Joseph's Nez Perces in the Indian Territory, reaching there in Dec. 1878. "Archie was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Oregon. He, with Mark, were pupils of S. L. Mc Beth. James was a pupil and afterwards a teacher for Indians (Nez Perce) children of Lapwai, Idaho. Mark is six feet in height, and rather slender. Archie is five feet eleven inches, and larger in proportion, James is about the height of Archie." - Note on photograph.

Copy from album loaned by the Indian Office, Interior Department, October, 1936. (page 44)

Black and white copy negative

As identified by Robert Applegate and Diane Pearson (2/14/2007), from left to right the individuals in the photo are James Reuben, Mark Williams, and Archie Lawyer.

Lincoln the Lawyer [sculpture] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Black-and-white study print (8x10).

Orig. negative: 8x10, Nitrate, BW.

copy 1 negative: 8x10, Safety, BW.
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