I am an attorney by profession. Primarilly, I practice as a civil litigator, which means that I represent people who are involved in lawsuits. Usually, I represent defendants, which means that someone is asking the court to require my client to pay money to them.
As a Christian, who happens to also work as an attorney, I try to practice law in a way that brings God’s new way of life (what Jesus would call “the Kingdom of God”) to the people and institutions that I encounter. This works out pretty well sometimes, and not-so-well other times. But thats okay. I still consider myself a learner.
My main responsibilty is to give a voice to my clients. I’m not arrogant enough to think that my clients are always the ones that are completely in the right, but I am charitable enough to think that – regardless of who is at fault – my clients ought to be fully heard by the judges and juries that consider their cases. When their viewpoint of the dispute – their side of the “story” – has been fully heard, I feel like I’ve done my job.
Beyond that, as much as possible, I want my clients foremost, and everyone else thereafter, to experience shalom – a type of peace that is only possible when God is present. This may sound strange to some of you – but it is possible to have a trial of a lawsuit involving a lot of money where shalom is, nevertheless, present to some degree. When that happens in a place where you would otherwise expect only anger and bitterness to be present, I consider that a sign that God’s new world is present.
I don’t write about the practice of law frequently because my clients expect me to keep their affairs confidential, and because judges don’t like me talking about the cases that I handle outside of the courtroom. Also, most of the people who read this blog aren’t lawyers. However, if you are a civil litigator who is interested in conversing about how the whole Jesus/law thing works, I hope you’ll send me an email.
I have also written a series of posts on my journey in Christian lawyering. I’m pretty sure it is rather dull stuff for a lot of folks, but if you’re a young or aspring lawyer, or interested in one believer’s perspective on the civil litigation system, you can find the series at the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.