Readers and lawyers around the country are feeling the loss of author Harper Lee, who died in her sleep this morning at the age of 89. Harper’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Dallas attorney Talmage Boston—who has extensively presented and written on Lee, Mockingbird, and Lee’s recently released Go Set a Watchman—told the Texas Bar Journal that Lee gave lawyers the greatest possible gift by portraying her small-town attorney father, Amasa Lee, as the character Atticus Finch, thereby creating a role model who embodied the nobility of the legal profession.

Having studied her and her father’s life stories, as well as the contents of her two books, what happened to Amasa Lee through the eyes of his daughter Nelle Harper Lee during the 1950’s in the aftermath of Brown vs. Board of Education is the essential story of American enlightenment in race relations, which culminated with President Lyndon Johnson’s legislative achievements beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” said Boston. “The American people, in general, and lawyers, in particular, owe a huge debt of gratitude to Harper Lee for her game-changing insights into race relations that turned on our collective lights about the meaning of Thomas Jefferson’s magic words, ‘All men are created equal.’”

The Texas Bar Journal has assembled a list of its past coverage on Lee, Mockingbird, Atticus, and more.