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The Rainmaker Essay, Research Paper

The Rainmaker

In layman?s terms a ?rainmaker? is a legal case that brings in a huge sum of money for the lawyer and the lawyer?s client. John Grisham uses this term in The Rainmaker to mark the highest point in the main character?s previously troubled life. The word ?rainmaker? characterizes the success of Rudy Baylor?s rollercoaster ride through the legal profession. Along this bumpy road Rudy, the main character, grows as an individual. Rudy adheres to his beliefs and morals, which relates to the statement that a lawyer must create his own legal style and persona in order to become successful. Because he lives by his beliefs, Rudy Baylor has strong personality traits that make him unique as a person and a lawyer.

Rudy Baylor?s compassion towards his clients and people in general separates him from the sharks in his profession. Through a class called Legal Problems of the Elderly, Rudy meets and befriends a little, old lady named Miss Birdie. He realizes that she is incredibly lonely, so he often goes out of his way to keep her company. Rudy also meets Dot and Buddy Black, another couple from this class, and discovers that they have a son, Donny Ray, suffering from leukemia. When the Blacks tell him their insurance company did not cover his treatment, Rudy begins to loathe the Great Benefit Insurance Company because of Donny Ray’s deteriorating condition and appearance. He vows to bring the insurance company down for what it is doing to Donny Ray and his family. Rudy also shows his compassion towards others when he tries his best to help a young woman, Kelly Riker, deal with the pain of being abused by her husband. Because he cares for Kelly, Rudy puts his own well being in jeopardy when he saves her from her husband?s next assault.

Another trait that distinguishes Rudy from the rest in his field is courage. When looking for a job, Rudy is continually turned down from one firm after another, but he somehow finds the courage to keep trying. Rudy?s bravery is displayed most when he agrees to take the Black case. In this case, not only is he the single lawyer for the Blacks; but it is also his first case. The only help he has is an ambulance chaser who has failed the bar exam on six separate occasions. The insurance company that Rudy is suing has a team of lawyers from the biggest law firm in Memphis, Tinley Britt. The first lawyer Rudy has to face in the courtroom is one of the best lawyers in the state of Tennessee. Rudy?s gallantry helps him rise over his initial fears of trying the case and in the end aids him in his victory over the corporate lawyers. A young, small-town boy who has paid his way through law school as a bartender forces a rich insurance company to file bankruptcy from one case. This astonishing statement shows Rudy?s courageousness.

Rudy?s motivated spirit is another trait that forms his sound personality. Rudy works as a bartender, goes to law school, works as a paralegal, and studies for the bar exam all at one time. Keeping two jobs, going to law school, and studying for one of the toughest exams in the country basically defines the word motivation. Rudy strives to become a successful lawyer. Throughout his law school days there are devastating instances in which any other person would have quit; but not Rudy. He keeps working as hard as he can to achieve his goals. For example, he has to file for bankruptcy near the end of his law school days. A snobby, cold-hearted law student blows up the newspaper article that mentions Rudy?s bankruptcy and hangs it all over the school. Rudy does not allow the article or his bankruptcy affect his work negatively; both only make him work harder showing his strong motivation.

At the end of the Black trial, the jury rewards over fifty million dollars in damages to Dot and Buddy Black due to the death of their son. Rudy?s perseverance in the courtroom swayed the jury to favor the Blacks over the insurance company. This devastating loss forces the Great Benefit Insurance Company to file for bankruptcy. Rudy was supposed to receive one-third of the rewarded money, but the company?s bankruptcy allows them to not pay. This avoidance of paying once again makes Rudy broke. His personality emerges again when he states that his forcing a corrupt insurance company to go bankrupt for what it did to Donny Ray is far more important than any amount of money.


Grisham, John. The Rainmaker. New York: Dell, 1995.

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