What careers do Atticus and his brother Jack pursue in the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird?
While his younger brother, John Hale (Jack) is a physician, Atticus Finch is a practicing attorney in Maycomb.
In Chapter 12, Atticus has been called to the capital city, Montgomery, for two weeks in order to meet with the state legislature in an emergency session:
The Governor was eager to scrape a few barnacles of the ship of state....
We were surprised one morning to see a cartoon in his Montgomery Advertiser above the caption "Maycomb's Finch." It showed Atticus barefooted and in short pants, chained to a desk: he was diligently writing on a slate....
Jem is proud that his father works while he is in Montgomery because many lawyers attend sessions but get little done.
Lee was also a lawyer's daughter, like the child protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout. Her father, Amasa Coleman Lee, once defended two black men, a father and son, who were accused of murdering a white store clerk. Like Atticus Finch, he was unable to secure an acquittal for his defendants and the two men were hanged. Soon after this disillusioning situation, he left criminal law to become a title lawyer.
Both of the Finch brothers, Atticus and John Hale (Jack), along with their sister, Alexandra, grew up at the Finch's Landing homestead near Maycomb in the Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Alexandra remained at the homestead and married a "taciturn man" who enjoyed an easy life of fishing and napping in his hammock. Meanwhile, Atticus went to Montgomery, Alabama, to study law, while Jack journeyed to Boston to study medicine. Atticus returned to Maycomb to become the town's most respected lawyer, and Jack (who was ten years younger than Atticus) remained a bachelor and "stayed rich" as a doctor in Nashville.