There are 327.2 million people in America. 1.3 million are lawyers. Only .004% of the population – less than one half of one percent – have a law degree. With 67% of Americans identifying as Catholic or Protestant, at best there are 870,000 Christian lawyers and we know the profession does not mirror the general population in matters of faith. So what does it mean to be a Christian Lawyer?
When someone has been given much, much will be required in return (Lk 12:48)
One can easily argue that a Juris Doctorate is the most powerful degree on earth. While not every attorney is wealthy, the opportunity to work in any industry with a law degree is secure. Lawyers fill the halls of power in America. Lawyers hold a monopoly on the judicial system. To whom much is given, much is required.
And what is required of a Christian lawyer?
The Bible says, “And what does the Lord require of you? To do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” Mic. 6:8. Lawyers are generally not associated with humility. They aren’t associated with kindness or justice either. Only 19% of Americans think lawyers are very ethical or honest. We have the opportunity to change that perception.
One reason to say yes to legal ministry
Today 66% of lawyers in states that require reporting of pro bono hours report 0. It is likely Christian lawyers are part of that percentage. Lawyers cite a lack of subject matter knowledge, time, support and malpractice as top reasons for saying no to serving. I am certain there are others.
There is one reason to say yes. Jesus told us to. He made it clear that whatever we did for ONE of the least of these we did unto him. Mt. 25:40. God gave you your law degree for a reason and it was not so you could advance your interest or the interest of your family – it was so you could advance His kingdom by serving one of the least of these.
Dee wrestled with these issues. How about you? Do you identify with her story in this video?
You are the only Jesus some people will ever see
Jesus tied our salvation to the loving service of others. While Jesus made it clear that salvation was by grace alone through faith alone in him alone, He also made it clear that faith without works was dead. Loving God compels loving neighbor – especially the poor and vulnerable.
Lawyers hold great power and privilege. When you leave your office to enter a neighborhood to serve low-income neighbors you set aside your privilege and use your power to help others. You reflect Jesus. Jesus had all the power and privilege of the universe. He willingly set all that aside, left the corner office of heaven, and entered our neighborhood. He set aside privilege and used his power to heal and restore the poor and oppressed. Serving the poor is serving Jesus.
Explore the opportunity to use your law degree for life-changing impact
Every Saturday across America lawyers step out of their comfort zone to serve neighbors in need. Hundreds of lawyers serve thousands of neighbors through 91 neighborhood ministry locations. Visit our locations page to find the nearest location to serve. If one is not close, download our guide on how to have life changing impact through legal ministry and we will start a conversation to open a no cost center in your neighborhood.
If you are in the Chicago area join us in August to explore the ethics of serving, receive 1 hour of free ethics CLE, and join a team making a difference. We have all the tools and resources you need.
For more read our blog on the Truth about Faith and a Lawyer’s Professional Duty.
If you know a lawyer share this post with them. Maybe you are not a lawyer but you join God’s passion of justice for the marginalized. Join us. We need you. There is a role for everyone. If in Chicago attend the training or reach out to Carissa@gji.org so we can get you involved.
Open the Gates of Justice and Hope
On Friday, October 4 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace we will be launching a major campaign to open the gates of justice and hope for all. God cares about justice and He invites all of us to do justice. Find your part. Register now and bring friends to this important fundraiser and campaign launch.
Dr. Tony Evans is joining us and recently recorded a message for our table host who agree to bring some friends. There is no cost to host a table. We just want you to bring friends. If you agree with Dr. Evans and want to bring others contact Kris@gji.org.
We all have a part in doing justice for those in need. Lawyers have a special role and Christian Lawyers an even greater responsibility. But they do not do justice alone. Join them and together we will do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.