Lem Schofield, a lawyer in a one-time small-town turned industrialized big city, runs his firm on examples set by Abraham Lincoln and is a friend to the poor. Clay Clinton, his late partner's son joins the firm but is anxious for fast success and considers Schofield's old-fashioned principles antiquated. Being in love with Schofield's daughter and impatient for success he moves to offices supplied by the city's most powerful industrialist, J.T. Tapley, who has plans to use Clay's good family lineage as a stepping stone to political power. The unscrupulous Tapley precipitates a strike in his factory mill which causes a rupture between the former partners. Schofield sets out to bring Tapley and his political henchmen to justice.