Before President John Adams appointed him as Chief Justice of the United States in 1801, John Marshall was a soldier, a state legislator, a federal legislator, an envoy to France, and the Secretary of State. He also maintained a thriving practice in Virginia and federal courts, occasionally teaming up with political rival and personal friend Patrick Henry. Forty-five years old at the time of his appointment to the Supreme Court, Marshall has been serving his state and his country for a quarter century before he took judicial office. Marshall is an exemplar of professional excellence for all lawyers and judges. But one looking for life lessons in the law from the life of John Marshall should not neglect his time as a soldier, before he became a lawyer.
Kevin C. Walsh, Glimpses of Marshall in the Military, 50 U. Rich. L. Rev. 69 (2016).