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Two Ala. Lawyers Celebrate Their 100th Birthdays; One Is Sister of Harper Lee

Posted Oct 18, 2011 9:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Alice Lee may not be as famous as her sister Harper Lee, but she is well-known in Monroeville, Ala., where she is still working as a lawyer at the age of 100.

About 60 lawyers joined with local officials to help Lee and another local attorney, Nicholas Hare, celebrate their 100th birthdays last week, the Press-Register reports.

Speakers told of the lawyers’ achievements. A court recorder transcribed the remarks so Lee, who has trouble hearing, could read the comments on her computer.

Lee was the first woman admitted to practice in the state’s 35th judicial circuit, speakers said. Thomas Lane Butts, the pastor emeritus at the Methodist church she attends, told the Press-Register in June that Alice Lee is known for always doing the right thing. “Miss Alice is Atticus Finch in a skirt,” he said.

Hare prosecuted loan sharks, helped update the state’s Rules of Civil Procedure and holds seven automotive patents. The Press-Register says he is a former member of the Army Air Corps who worked on the Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb, although the story does not describe his role.

Alabama lawyer Clark Cooper told of his encounter with Alice Lee in an ABA Journal story about his quest to see Harper Lee. With Alice Lee's help, Cooper presented the author with a copy of a resolution by the ABA House of Delegates recognizing the influence of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Story updated at 12:30 p.m. to correct typographical error.

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