Law is life. This bit of wisdom was shared by an instructor speaking about his, and hopefully our, passion for the practice of law. I believe that we should have a passion for our chosen profession and that without it we will not serve our clients as effectively as we should. My opportunity to attend law school and enter the practice was, literally, a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I hope I never take for granted. This past weekend, my mind was once again turned to this comment, and I thought, “Is the law really life?”
Before I go any farther I should share with my readers a personal note. My view on the practice of law is driven by my faith. I have the privilege of serving as music minister for my church and I tend to view the teaching I receive in law school from a Christian perspective. I am always excited to learn the concepts of law and later find those same concepts laid out in the Old Testament scriptures. I hope to share some of those discoveries with you throughout the year but today’s thoughts go back to the claim that law is life.
As previously stated, I believe we should have a passion for the law and for representing our clients as energetically as possible. Lawyers are called to follow strict ethical guidelines and we should embrace those rules as the protector of our profession and reputations. But when compared to other priorities in my life, I realize that even though I have been given a wonderful opportunity and will do my best to be successful in it, the law is not life. The law is a profession. One, in my opinion, of the most honorable professions, but a profession nonetheless.
So what is life? Life is my family, my wife, my children, and my grandchildren. It is my service to my church and my community. It is time spent with friends and it is quiet time alone reflecting on all these things. And yes, to a certain extent it is my law career. Most of all it is the definition of life given in John 14:6 in which Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Before I started law school I had to answer this question. Would I be a lawyer who was a Christian or a Christian who was a lawyer? Once I satisfied myself that I would be the latter, I was ready to pursue my dream.
To my classmates and peers, I encourage you to keep your priorities in order. Our education is important and we must put forth our very best effort in the classroom. But don’t accomplish your educational goals at the expense of family, friends, and faith. Finding that balance is a very fine line but the rewards are worth the effort.