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->''"It's only natural for living creatures to fight to protect their own lives. But what makes us human is that we fight for others. But who do you fight for? How hard must you fight...? That's the true measure of what human life is worth. We defense attorneys are warriors who are constantly challenged by that question. Even when the battle is over, and the bonds that connect us are severed... We always return... Time and time again."''
-->-- '''Phoenix Wright''', ''Franchise/AceAttorney''
%% Only one quote per main page, please.

Some lawyers are in it for the money. At best, they don't care who you are or what they are represent at court as long as the bill gets paid. At worst, they are [[AmoralAttorney amoral attorneys]] who will do anything to win, regardless of the broader impact and with no concern for what's "right."

And then there is the other kind of lawyer: the Crusading Lawyer. This one is sympathetic to your problems and '''will''' help you, though they may need some prodding or [[CharacterDevelopment screentime]] before taking your case. Whether suing a MegaCorp because they poisoned the water supply or defending a client's innocence in a murder trial, that's the lawyer you want. Money will be a decidedly secondary worry for this type, and if you can't afford a crusader's services, there is always ''pro bono'' work[[labelnote:*]]They'll take your case for free. In civil suits, they may waive fees but be entitled to part of the settlement and/or to ask for attorney's fees from the other side.[[/labelnote]] In some cases, a Crusading Lawyer becomes a prosecutor who takes on the most hopeless cases so that justice can be served and will never forget that they serve the people, the law, and the victim.

In legal dramas, TheProtagonist usually fits this trope given that he is also TheHero. If you're in a CrapsackWorld or the protagonist is an AntiHero, they may have ''started'' as a Crusading Lawyer before turning into the WellIntentionedExtremist version of an AmoralAttorney. If the character happens to be "quirky" as well as a competent lawyer, you have a (literal) BunnyEarsLawyer. The two tropes aren't mutually exclusive, and a BunnyEarsLawyer may turn out to be a Crusading Lawyer underneath the CourtroomAntics. If the crusader loses and goes beyond the bounds of the law, they've crossed the line and become a version of the WellIntentionedExtremist. This can be permanent, a form of CharacterDevelopment (particularly when done in reverse), or temporary.

Compare to GoodLawyersGoodClients. A Crusading Lawyer can appear outside of criminal cases -- civil litigation is ''hugely'' expensive, so the crusader may decide to fight for a nobody in a police brutality case. In criminal law, crusaders may defend the obviously guilty to uphold the right to a fair trial, if the [[ToBeLawfulOrGood letters of the law do not fully suit the situation]], or because of broader issues related to the case. Depending on where the work in question falls on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, it's possible to see two crusaders in head-to-head battle.


* ''{{Anime/Monster}}'': Fritz Verdemann is devoted to [[GoodLawyersGoodClients defending people he believes to be innocent]], due to his conviction that his father was wrongly accused of being a communist spy. Hired by [[spoiler:sympathetic former patients]], he ends up defending [[spoiler:the neurosurgeon Dr. Kenzo Tenma]], who is accused of crimes he didn't actually commit and is [[spoiler:hunting for the true perpetrator]].
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Ran's mother Eri Kisaki is a lawyer and, when she's actually shown at her work, she has strong traces of this. i.e., a {{filler}} case has her defending a guy who's been accused of murder because she's sure that not only he isn't the culprit, but because she believes he's TakingTheHeat. [[spoiler: She's right.]]

* From Marvel:
** [[Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} Matt Murdock]] brings the same sense of work ethics and morality into his [[SecretIdentity day-job.]]
** Comicbook/SheHulk too.
** And as hard as it is to believe [[LetsYouAndHimFight (given how much the good guys seem to love fighting each other in comics]] it took ''until 2014'' before the two [[http://marvel.com/comics/issue/49124/she-hulk_2014_10 opposed each other on opposite sides in a case.]]
* The latest, pre-Comicbook/{{New 52}}, incarnation of ComicBook/{{Manhunter}} (No, not the [[ComicBook/MartianManhunter green one]]) shows one of the more extreme versions of this trope, as she is a prosecutor willing to bring criminals justice as vigilante if it isn't found in court.
* [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Harvey Dent]] was a District Attorney in Gotham City and ally of Batman before a Gangster throws acid in his face and he becomes ComicBook/TwoFace.
* ''Hard Time'' has Julius and Truth Rosenberg, a pair of these portrayed in a ''bad'' light -- as the DistantFinale reveals, they were only interested in Ethan's hot-button case as a way to grab headlines. The second they thought associating with Ethan might reflect badly on them, they abandoned him. [[spoiler:Ethan never heard from them again, and ended up serving his full 50 year sentence.]]

* Edward L. Masry in ''Film/ErinBrockovich'', though more on the "ending there" than "starting there" side. Also in RealLife.
* Similarly Joe Miller from ''Film/{{Philadelphia}}''
* Fred Gailey in ''Film/MiracleOn34thStreet'' (renamed Bill Schaffner in the 1973 version and Bryan Bedford in 1994 one) is this; after his law firm tells him to drop the case in fear of bad publicity, Gailey quits, claiming he'll start his own simply to help guys like Kris.
* Alan Isaacman in ''Film/ThePeopleVsLarryFlynt''
* When superheroes were started to be sued and banned by the government in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', daytime-lawyer/nighttime-hero Gazerbeam fought as hard as he could for the rights of his masked compatriots.
* Like in the comics, [[Film/TheDarkKnight Harvey Dent]].
* John Travolta's character Jan Schlichtmann in ''Film/ACivilAction'' was this type of lawyer. He ended up [[spoiler: going bankrupt]] because of his dedication to the cause.
* Ari Josephson in ''Film/TheChase'' was this for Jack Hammond pre-film, though he failed at it (the one crucial piece of evidence for his defense was disallowed). He tries to talk Jack out of running, but is unsuccessful. By the end of the movie, he's rooting for Jack to get away.
* Craig, from the film ''Film/InThisOurLife'', doesn’t make much money with his law firm, but he’s willing to to help his clients whenever he can even if they don't have to money to pay him. He even rejects Uncle Fitzroy’s offer to help with the legal side of his business (something that would bring him a lot of money) because he disagrees with Fitzroy’s practices. He even gives Parry Clay, the Timberlake’s African American helper, a job as a clerk because he wants to become a lawyer (this being the 1940s, it was a rare and very progressive gesture.)
* In ''Film/{{Spotlight}}'', Mitchell Garabedian is the only lawyer in Boston who will bring cases of sex abuse against the Catholic Church in court rather than settling them quietly.
* James Donovan in ''Film/BridgeOfSpies'' becomes this, taking the case of accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel because he believes even those working against the United States deserve protection under the Constitution.

* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'': Atticus Finch didn't want the case but works to the best of his abilities anyhow.
* In the ''Literature/XWingSeries'' we have Nawara Ven. While a Pilot for Rogue Squadron he was originally a lawyer defending non-humans in the very [[FantasticRacism humanocentric]] Galactic Empire. Later he defends one Squadron mate who is accused of killing another.
--> "You would have hated me if you were trying to make a case against one of my clients ñ whether he was lying about his innocence or not."
* Margareth [=McPherson=] a.k.a. Maggie [=McFierce=] in the Literature/MickeyHaller novels is a prosecutor who is more interested in justice than winning cases.
** Her ex-husband, Mickey himself, fits the trope in a roundabout fashion. He spends the majority of his career as a criminal defense attorney, and his clients are usually guilty of something, if not necessarily the crime they're accused of. While he isn't above hunting for lucrative cases and cashing in on publicity his usual clientele comes from the lower echelons of society and he views himself as standing up for the little guy against a large, unwieldy and often flawed judicial system.

* ''Series/DropDeadDiva'' has the lawyers of Harrison & Parker particularly Jane and Grayson.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'' veers into this some times, as they go to some lengths to win their cases, like firing a sub-machine gun in the courtroom.
* In ''Series/BostonLegal'', most lawyers at Crane, Pool & Schmidt, given the right case. Especially Alan Shore (after some CharacterDevelopment), who is always willing to stand onto his soapbox for the underdog, bends this and AmoralAttorney together into a nice pretzel.
* Series/{{Ally McBeal}} and John Cage are also often emphatic to their clients troubles and determined to help.
* ''Series/TheCloser'' has Peter Goldman, Brenda Johnsons attorney in the Turrell Baylor lawsuit.. At first he won't work without pay while at the end he is willing to work ''pro bono'' (and publicity).
* Series/EliStone ends up as this after some CharacterDevelopment.
* Who can we get on the case? We need Franchise/PerryMason.
* Series/{{Matlock}} as well, him beeing the CoolOldGuy version of Perry Mason.
* ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' has its share. A lot of them tend more towards the morally gray area of this trope, skirting into KnightTemplar or AmoralAttorney territory sometimes.
** Jack [=McCoy=] is probably the most prominent of them, with his methods letting him skirt into AmoralAttorney territory occasionally.
** Alex Cabot from ''[[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]]'' is also willing to interpret the law somewhat creatively in order to bring justice.
*** Also from SVU: Casey Novak slips off the slippery slope in her crusade against a child-raping police officer and violating due process, ending with her getting censured and losing her license for 3 years (getting disbarred before a {{Retcon}}). There was also a famous incident where she subpeonaed [[RefugeInAudacity the US Secretary of Defense]].
*** Also from SVU is Kim Greylek, who had the in-universe nickname "Crusader" while working at the Department of Justice. However, this (at least during her tenure at SVU) turned out to be more of an InformedAttribute.
*** Rafael Barba is this as well, though much more pragmatic than any of his predecessors.
** On the defending side we have Danielle Melnick, whose belief in the right to have counsel goes to the point where she (a Jewish woman) defends a neo-Nazi in court.
* ''Series/RaisingTheBar'' shows lawyers from both sides, showing this trope from both sides in the same series
* In the first episode of ''Series/BlakesSeven'' the titular Blake has this kind of lawyer as representation, which got executed for his troubles.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', we have Marshall Eriksen, a man who seems completely devoted to the idea of saving the planet by becoming an environmental lawyer... Some day.
** To the point that, as stated by Future!Ted in narration, ''[[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome he succeeds]]''
* Laurel Lance from ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' works for a legal aid office and seems to take great delight in taking on cases where people have been abused by the system.
-->'''Laurel:''' If we can't win a class-action suit against a man who swindled hundreds of people out of their homes and life savings, then we're not fit to call ourselves a legal aid office.
* The obscure 1970-71 series ''[[http://www.tvobscurities.com/spotlight/the-storefront-lawyers/ Storefront Lawyers]]'' (later retooled into ''Men at Law'') took the trope UpToEleven.
* In ''Series/Daredevil2015'', being this trope is a prerequisite to working at Nelson & Murdock. Matt Murdock lives his double life as a lawyer and as a vigilante with the interest of making Hell's Kitchen a better place. And even though she's just a secretary, Karen Page's investigating and exposing Wilson Fisk through the law and the press drives the plot just as much, if not more, than Matt's work.
* Both the prosecution and defence in ''Series/ForThePeople'' often see themselves as fighting for justice, though Sandra takes the cake as she gets very emotionally invested in defending the downtrodden.

* Werewolfes born under the Half Moon, called Philodox, in ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' tend to be this, if following a legal career.

* The female protagonist of ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' is shown in deleted material (which can be brought back by mods) to have a streak of this, getting ready to defend a client that she knows is innocent of what he's being accused of.

* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** VisualNovel/{{Phoenix Wright|AceAttorney}} might be one of the best examples of this trope. Yes, he is the universe's ButtMonkey, and his methods [[CourtroomAntics may sometimes]] [[IndyPloy be unorthodox]], but he ''will'' fight for a client he knows is innocent no matter the odds, and he ''will'' make sure [[ThePerryMasonMethod that the guilty pay for what they did]].
** Phoenix's successor, VisualNovel/{{Apollo Justice|AceAttorney}}, follows the same path.
** His mentor, Mia Fey, might even be more of a crusader than Phoenix. In what [[MentorOccupationalHazard little time we see her alive]], we find that she dedicated her career to taking down villains such as [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne]] and [[spoiler:Redd White]]. The latter of these led to her death.
** [[VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Miles Edgeworth]] used to be [[AmoralAttorney a ruthless prosecutor]]. One particular case and some CharacterDevelopment later, he evolves into the prosecutor version of this.
* ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'''s Jayjay Falcon works out to be this [[spoiler: in all but one ending]]. The player can choose repeatedly to have him want to abandon a case when it gets dangerous, or refuse one, ButThouMust. Aside from those moments he tries to be entirely valorous, ''especially'' in 4C (Fraternité). His rival Severin Cocorico is a lot less friendly and rarely sympathetic, and ''used'' to be an AmoralAttorney, but now pursues justice, not punishment.

* Celia from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is technically still at law school, but shows hallmarks that this will be the kind of lawyer she'll be.
* Laurel Olsen from ''Webcomic/{{Rhapsodies}}'' is a quixotic idealist and believer in "legislation through litigation". She's toned it down a bit since the free legal clinic she was working out of got it's funding cut and she found a more stable position.

* TruthInTelevision: Many, many law students and recent graduates begin their careers with the intention of becoming a CrusadingLawyer. Many famous names fit this trope, with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Cochran Johnnie Cochran]] perhaps being the Ur-example. It's not unheard of for legal firms (of any size) to take on civil cases ''pro bono'' as a way to give back, do the right thing, or otherwise help those who would never be represented.
* Quite a few notorious dictators started out this way:
** UsefulNotes/MaximilienRobespierre before the Revolution was known to have often catered to poor clients, helping in particular single mothers who had children out of wedlock, campaigning for the rights of eccentric would-be inventors, and helping in other civil cases. A lot of these cases were done by him pro-bono and it led to his election as a Third Estate representative in the Estates Assembly. Until [[ReignOfTerror the final year of his life]], he had a solid reputation as a principled man who helped the poor, known for standing up to the little guy, with even his friend Camille Desmoullins noting that in law-school he had a reputation as a BullyHunter. Which [[KnightTemplar somehow both explains everything]] and leaves many questions unanswered.
** UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar in ancient Rome was an ImpoverishedPatrician living in the slums of the city, and he began his practise and his political career by helping poor Romans and challenging the abuses of corrupt governors and officials. Caesar as a politician was a populare, committed to helping and relieving the poor, but this also, as his critics noted, gave him a platform for grabbing power.
** UsefulNotes/FidelCastro also started out as a lawyer who crusaded in favor of civil liberties against the Batista government. As UsefulNotes/NedKelly said, [[BecameTheirOwnAntithesis Such is life]]...
* It's common to paint UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln as this and there are a few instances of him helping out poor clients and doing pro-bono work (celebrated in Creator/JohnFord's ''Film/YoungMrLincoln''). But for the most part, Lincoln was a careerist lawyer, who wanted to build a successful practise, and he often worked as a corporate lawyer defending the interests of wealthy railroad clients. Thaddeus Stevens the most famous abolitionist of his day was likewise a career lawyer and in one ironic instance, actually successfully campaigned for the return of a runaway slave to its master under the Fugitive Slave Act (which he later considered his OldShame). Which proves that crusading politicians even if they start out in law, aren't fully formed at the outset.
* The [=ACLU=] (American Civil Liberties Union) is built around this trope. In one instance, the [=ACLU=] represented a pedophile -- and won -- due to the fact that the case hinged on an issue of free speech. They also defend or otherwise work to protect the rights of those harmed by racism, sexism, or over-zealous (or just flat-out corrupt) law enforcement.
** They've readily defended people from all ends of the political spectrum in advocating civil liberties, even the free speech rights of the KKK.
** Burton Joseph, an [=ACLU=] lawyer who advocated to the [=ACLU=] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Party_of_America_v._Village_of_Skokie they defend the Skokie Nazis]]' right to march through the Jewish community of Skokie, is one such example. This move was costly to the ACLU in alienating supporters, but probably was worth it in the long run in showing that in defending constitutional rights, the ACLU really means it. Allowing the demonstration also let the Nazis inadvertently show their true nature (i.e., kind of pathetic) instead of making neo-Nazism into ForbiddenFruit.
*** Bonus Points: The head of the ACLU at the time was not only Jewish, but a Holocaust Survivor and fully supported their case.
* Amnesty International's involvement with major human rights cases also falls under this trope. As with the above, both groups are non-profits, so attorneys working for them are likely making considerably less than they could in other jobs.
* Thurgood Marshall, the great American civil rights lawyer and Supreme Court Justice said that his mentor inspired him with the statement, "A lawyer is either a social engineer or he is [[AmoralAttorney a parasite on society]]."
* Lawyers who work for organizations which fight for causes of any stripe generally support the cause and think of themselves as helping crusade for it.