Elinor R. Jordan*
Lawyers are “masters of a science that is necessary, but which is not generally known.” An ordinary person relies on her attorney to comprehend and sometimes challenge the law or the decision of a governmental body. This role of the lawyer as interpreter between government and individual serves as a bulwark of American democracy, and separation of powers, by ensuring that minority voices are heard and given opportunity for redress. Our society also has a general respect for the role of attorneys in voicing the position of the most insular, and sometimes the most hated, minority voices. In the context of war, our nation—like most, if not all nations—has prioritized the safety of the majority above the voice of the minority. However, in the past, the attorney’s ability to serve as a mouthpiece for the minority has remained intact. Lawyers have taken on the responsibility to shine a light on dark shadows of our past and, at times, prevented government action that would trammel minority rights. As Justice Jackson once observed, “[w]hen rights ‘are threatened,’ . . . they are worth only ‘what some lawyer makes them worth.’ . . . ‘Civil liberties are those which some lawyer, respected by his neighbors, will stand up to defend.’” Given this history, a lawyer’s capacity to serve as a diligent advocate for the clientele she chooses to represent is perhaps most important in times of war.