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Maybe, during a year when this nation celebrates the sesquicentennial of important milestones from the Civil War and the golden anniversary of pivotal events of the Civil Rights Movement, it is fitting that, just before it ends, Nelson Mandela died. Rightly heralded as one of the world’s greatest leaders of this century and the last one, Mandela helped usher in freedom in South Africa and made real a democratic government, just as President Abraham Lincoln did 150 years ago and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did 50 years ago. Mandela’s passing provides a time of reflection, not just for political leaders around the world, but for lawyers and everyone else who care about the rule of law anywhere.

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