Our blog offers short, accessible, reflections on important and urgent issues for Christian lawyers, and anyone else involved in law. Here you’ll find quick, stimulating reads created to help and encourage you as you practise your legal vocation – and, indeed, as you live all of life – as a follower of Christ.
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.
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.
An important aspect of the creation in Genesis chapter 1 is the process of God bringing order out of chaos, and clarity out of flux. A lot of the work lawyers do is about bringing about order. I suspect that many of you, like me, who have practised law for some time have become jaded.
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