David McIlroy explores the contours and goodness of what it means to be finite in this instalment of the Soul Care for Lawyers series.
David McIlroy points us to the spiritual disciplines as a way to open ourselves to intimacy with God and fellowship with others.
The day-to-day practice of law can feel like a further weight of brokenness, selfishness, disingenuousness and compromise. Cases revolving around people’s abject failure to love each other even vaguely like Jesus commanded… Yet, in a sense even our discouragement can be an encouragement to us.
Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer to show us how our prayers should be concerned about God’s glory, our needs and our relationships with others.
In reality we are all pretty dispensable at the end of the day. Legal workplaces keep going when lawyers leave, and clients can always find another lawyer fairly easily in the competitive legal market. This might make us feel discouraged. No matter how talented or successful we might be, the legal world will likely barely register a shudder when we leave. If we are so dispensable, what is the point of all of the hard work that we put in, and all of the stress and pressure that we endure?
I’d like to suggest that being dispensable should not discourage us, but actually help us to enjoy our work.
Love may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of lawyers. For most people, love and lawyers seem distant companions. But for Christian lawyers this should not be the case.
The Hebrew Scriptures insist that God’s commitment to justice is as fundamental to His character as is God’s holiness, love and faithfulness. What does this mean for us as Christian lawyers?
What does success look like for a lawyer? If you’re a solicitor like me, there are a number of ways to measure it. We could consider promotion, financial earnings, successful networking, among other elements. The question is, how should we as Christian lawyers measure success?
More than information alone, lawyers need judgement in order to know what to do with it all. It is no small feat to assimilate a lot of information, and then advise a client how best to use that information in their case… All of these complexities point to the need for something deeper than knowledge, and which finesses judgement. The Bible calls this “wisdom” – knowing how to respond well to the people and situations we face.
Lawyers are perhaps not the best at pacing themselves or deciding when enough is enough. The profession is renowned for its long hours, punishing workloads and unending demands. And outside of “proper” work, there are a large number of demands. We lawyers need to reorient ourselves toward our busyness.