As the unofficial conscience of Maycomb, Atticus takes all of these titles seriously. As a lawyer, Atticus is willing to accept cases he never hoped to take, such as in the trial of Tom Robinson. He was handed the job by Judge Taylor, who knew Atticus would provide Tom the best defense possible; and Atticus took the case knowing that it might bring him enemies--for both himself and his family. He represents men who cannot pay in cash (Walter Cunningham), but he has enough faith in humanity to know that he will be paid in some manner at some later time. As a father, Atticus does his best to raise his children in a single-parent household. Though the family has few luxuries, his children are never wanting for the necessities of life. He gives his children a great deal of independence, and he serves as the best possible role model in the hopes that they will trust him enough to come to him with their problems.
"I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough."
Atticus is color-blind when it comes to the races, and he considers just about everyone he meets (aside from Bob Ewell) as his friend. People come to Atticus when they need advice, and they hand over their biggest problems to him because they know he is the right man for whatever job may arise. According to Miss Maudie,
"... there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them."