The Street Lawyer

Topics: Homelessness, Homeless shelter, Saint Francis House Pages: 5 (1515 words) Published: March 2, 2010

The Street Lawyer
Social Work 3040-01I
Apr. 30, 2008

John Grisham’s The Street Lawyer tells the story of Michael Brock a married wealthy attorney who has it all. Michael, a graduate of Yale University, works at Drake & Sweeny, one of the top and well respected firms in Washington D.C. While there he is making the money and rushing relentlessly to the top of Drake & Sweeny. He is only one step away from an early partnership. Until one rainy winter afternoon at Drake & Sweeny. An angry homeless man who only wants to be called “Mister” holds Michael and eight other lawyers hostage in an office at Drake & Sweeny. “Mister” demands the tax records be brought to him. After the tax records arrive he orders Michael to tell him what each lawyer including Michael has made in earnings for the year and how much of their money is donated to charities and the homeless. After several hours the hostage stand off is over leaving one man dead and another reborn.

“Mister” is shot in the head by a sniper policeman as he opens the office door to receive the soup he wants delivered from a local shelter. “Mister’s” blood and bodily fluids cover Michael’s entire face since he is standing directly behind him. The police escort Michael to a small gym in the building where doctors examine him and he is able to shower. After his shower Michael returns home.

The next morning he returns to work at Drake & Sweeny. After reading an article in the Post he learns more about “Mister” whose real name is DeVon Hardy. After paying a visit to Mordecia Green the director of the 14th Street Legal Clinic, where “Mister” was a client, Michael begins to rethink his career as an anti-trust lawyer for Drake & Sweeny and his life as well. Leaving Drake & Sweeny to become a street lawyer would have profound affect on his home life and marriage as well.

After telling his wife he will take a job with less money and no benefits the couple separate and eventually file for divorce. Michael moves to a smaller apartment on the rough side of Washington D.C. and begins working at the 14th Street Legal Law Clinic with Mordeci Green. While working there Michael is harboring a dark secret: a confidential file. A confidential file from the law offices of Drake & Sweeny which contains information about the illegal eviction of “Mister“ and the other homeless people. Now Drake & Sweeny know their file is missing and want it returned immediately no matter what. Even if it means Michael losing his license to practice law. His former partners have become his enemies and Michael is now the most dangerous man on the streets of Washington D.C.

Populations-at risk are the homeless in John Grisham’s The Street Lawyer and the environment that which they live in are considered the social environment. Populations-at risk are defined as populations or groups of people who share some identifiable characteristics that places them at greater risk of social and economic deprivation and oppression than the general mainstream of society. The social environment involves the conditions, circumstances, and human interactions that encompasses human beings. People are dependent upon effective interactions with their environment in order to survive and thrive. The social environment includes the actual physical setting that society provides. This involves the type of home a person lives in, the type of work that is done, the amount of money available, and the laws and social rules by which people live.

“Mister” and the other homeless who were illegal evicted from their makeshift apartments are to considered members of a social environment. In reference to the social environment the actual physical setting that society provided to the homeless were homeless shelters. But once the homeless shelters do not begin to taken in borders because they are over crowded the homeless are forced into the streets in hopes of finding a safe and...
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