YOUNG ATTICUS. We learn that even fresh out of law school, Atticus Finch was a generous and respected man. Despite making little money during his early years as an attorney, he helped finance his brother Jack's medical school education.
He liked Maycomb, he was Maycomb County born and bred; he knew his people, they knew him, and because of Simon Finch's industry, Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in town. (Chapter 1)
ATTICUS THE TEACHER. After Scout's disastrous first day at school, in which she was spanked by Miss Caroline and then fought with Walter Cunningham Jr., she wanted never to return. But Atticus knew that her actions were those of a young person, and that she needed a few lessons on the tolerance of others. Although Miss Caroline had insisted that Atticus not read to Scout anymore, he agreed to continue reading (without the teacher's knowledge) if Scout would promise to return to school.
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." (Chapter 3)
ATTICUS THE ATTORNEY. Atticus didn't seek out the Tom Robinson case--he was handed it by Judge John Taylor. He knew it might bring trouble to both himself and his family, but his conscience wouldn't allow him to turn it down.
"... do you think I could face my children otherwise? ... I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb's usual disease... I just hope Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough..." (Chapter 9)