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Iraqi Lawyers Watch ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to Learn Trial Techniques

Posted Dec 21, 2010 7:29 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Mayer Brown partner relied on To Kill a Mockingbird when he traveled to Iraq this fall to teach trial techniques to lawyers who advocate for the legal rights of victims of domestic violence.

Matt Rooney used movie excerpts to show how Atticus Finch delivered opening and closing statements and interviewed witnesses, the Chicago Tribune reports. "This movie is the perfect teaching tool,” he told the newspaper.

Rooney believed the Iraqi lawyers could relate to Finch because they also represent people shunned by society. He went to Iraq in October as a volunteer for a Chicago human rights group called the Heartland Alliance.

It’s not the first time Rooney used lessons from the movie, the story says. He traveled to Cambodia earlier this year to teach law students through an ABA program that promotes the rule of law.

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