This week, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates held her own while testifying before a Senate subcommittee. Her composed performance generally received rave reviews, especially on social media outlets such as Twitter.
Earlier this year, she also made headlines when she took a stand against her very powerful boss. Yates questioned the legality of President Donald Trump's immigration ban barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — and the move got her fired, though ultimately, federal judges seem to have agreed with her and have kept two versions of the ban from being implemented.
Regardless of your politics, developing the principles that enable you to stand up to the leader of the free world, and to maintain calm while being interrogated at length by senators, isn't something that happens overnight. Here's a look at the family background and career that helped form Yates' steely resolve.
Growing up in Georgia
Yates' grandmother was one of the first women admitted to the Georgia Bar, she recalls in an conversation with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"She would have been a heck of a lawyer. But women weren't hired as lawyers back then. It just wasn't done," says Yates. "So instead, she was a secretary, first to my grandfather, who was a lawyer, and then for my father and his brother and their practice."