In To Kill A Mockingbird what does Atticus Finch do for a living?

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kcoleman2016 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is the sage and philosophical of the narrator, Scout Finch. Atticus' occupation is that of a lawyer. What is interesting about Lee's characterization of Atticus is that he does not fulfill any of the stereotypes that plague lawyers. Rather than being greedy, sleazy, or snobby, Atticus is reflective, calm, and objective. 

His occupation in fact leads to one of the main conflicts of the novel; Atticus chooses to defend a black man in court who has been accused of raping a white woman. In the historical context of the novel, this would be considered a heinous crime, and the fact that Atticus chooses to defend this man through the trial is seen as a "race crime", for which Atticus is repeatedly defaced with the nomination "nigger lover".