The quintessential fictional Southern liberal lawyer in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch's high morals are a standard by which any man would be proud to attain. Atticus shows great moral courage when he decides to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a white woman. Atticus realizes that taking the case will open up his family to verbal and possibly physical abuse from the townspeople of Maycomb. He also knows the outcome of the trial before it begins: Tom cannot win against the word of a white man in 1930s Alabama. Atticus has nothing to gain and virtually everything to lose--future clients, family safety, political clout and loss of friends. However, one thing he will not lose is his own self-confidence or his perspective of what is right and wrong.
Additionally, Atticus risks his own personal safety when he goes to the jail alone after hearing that a lynch mob plans to take him away, and he stands up to Bob Ewell's insults after the trial.