If national and international attention establishes a definition of fame, the case of Shannon Faulkner fighting to be admitted to The Citadel may very well be one of the most famous cases ever to come out of South Carolina.
This personal account of the first women at The Citadel uses Faulkner’s and veteran women’s lawsuits filed in the early 1990s to write about the good ole boy way of life in South Carolina. It is as much about how the state operates as it is about the litigants and a failure of leadership at The Citadel. Faulkner’s suit is notable as a high-profile advance in women’s equal protection under the law, but it makes sense only within a larger context of political, economic, and social life unique to the state. During litigation, The Citadel often described itself as the last dinosaur for its efforts to preserve an ancien régime in its male-only admissions policy to the Corps of Cadets. Local Counsel is the day-in-the-life story of the eight years of a sole practitioner's dinosaur hunt.
The book is also an account of an attorney’s personal reasons or motives for entering protracted civil rights litigation and the price paid for zealous representation. It is written to serve as a historical record from the point of view of a participant who had a unique point of view. Within a range of legal issues and strategies, the book raises the kind of questions that lawyers deal with everyday ⎯ questions shared by the general public: When, if ever, does a case become no longer just the client’s, but the lawyer’s as well? What are the bounds of civility within a fierce defense?