i think its because he doesnt believe in not defending blacks but not sure
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Atticus feels he has a moral obligation to defend Tom with every ounce of intelligence and strength he has. Atticus thinks this is a case about humanity as much as it is about justice. Atticus wants to give Tom Robinson a chance against a bigoted society. I don't think there were many, if any, black lawyers at the time so if a black man had a lawyer, he would have to have been white.