Fictional Attorney of the Month: Portia

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice  is the tale of Antonio, the titular merchant, who lends Bassanio money to pursue Portia. Antonio lacks the money at the moment and borrows it from Shylock, who agrees to lend it only on the condition that if Antonio fails to pay on time, Shylock may collect a pound of flesh from Antonio.

Antonio fails to pay, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. And then enters Portia, "dressed like a doctor of laws," as Shakespeare tells us (and as depicted in this nineteenth-century portrait by Henry Woods), and interprets the contract at length.

PORTIA: A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine:
The court awards it, and the law doth give it. 
SHYLOCK: Most rightful judge! 
PORTIA: And you must cut this flesh from off his breast:
The law allows it, and the court awards it. 
SHYLOCK: Most learned judge! A sentence! Come, prepare! 
PORTIA: Tarry a little; there is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are 'a pound of flesh':
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, they lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.

And even though one member of the Supreme Court has called Portia a "terrible judge," she's the Fictional Attorney of the Month.