Law librarian, comic book fan sees superhero personalities in lawyers

For those who don’t know, I have been a fan of comic books pretty much my entire life. And much like anybody who is a fan of any type of fiction, be it Harry Potter, Twilight or D.C.’s line of comics, you begin to pick up on the character archetypes and see them appear in your world. So it’s not at all surprising that I would see different types of superheroes everywhere I go. So here’s my take on the lawyers I have met and which superheroes they reflect.

  • Green Lanterns
    The rules are there, they just need to be enforced! Work within the system; deal with the criminals directly. Green Lanterns are, literally, cops. But in the lawyer’s world, they are prosecutors. Green Lanterns are driven by sheer will power to uphold the law. And the law is the law, fair or unfair. “Believe in the system” is the Green Lantern’s mantra.
  • Green Arrow and Black Canary
    Direct action, advocating social change. Social justice isn’t created by following the laws that are on the books but by changing those laws to reflect what is right. Both Green Arrow and Black Canary practice public law. They might be public defenders or they might work in-house for nonprofit organizations like the ACLU, PETA or the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
  • Superman and Supergirl
    Supes is a big deal. Justice is of utmost importance. S/he is a shining example of how a superhero should behave. Meet strength with strength, meet gentle with gentle. The bad guys are born bad guys, and they should be locked away. Forever. But supes does not work with or for the police. Oh no! Supes is a shark who normally works defense but has been known to represent plaintiffs.
  • Batman and Batgirl
    The Bats want you scared straight. Bats work with the police but are not trusted. The Bats are district attorneys who believe that being a criminal, for most, is a choice. Batsie wants to help you make the right choice and will even cut you a break if you seem scared enough. However, there are a few out there who are sick and cannot make the right choice. So they get put into a hospital where doctors work to cure their illness.
  • Wonder Woman and Wonder Man
    The Wonders are that indeed! Physically and mentally powerful individuals who are willing to fight to the death. They are passionate about what they do. But their first line of attack? Alternative dispute resolution: mediation, negotiation and arbitration. They want to come to an agreement and understanding first. Words before weapons. They are expert negotiators and will do what they can to make sure everyone gets what they need before dragging cases through a lengthy courtroom battle, which they are fully capable of.

So what kind of superhero lawyer are you or do you think you would be? Do you have any to add? Leave a comment or email me! I’d sure like to know!

W. Blake Wilson, Instructional & Research Services Librarian