As Christians called to the ministry of law, we are guided by the following model.
Scripture identifies The Spirit of God as our Counselor – that is, one who stands alongside. (Jn. 14:26, Is. 9:6.) The first role of the lawyer is to provide knowledgeable advice. The complexity of the law seems a barrier to success or a minefield strewn with hidden dangers. Whether entering business, buying real estate, preparing an estate plan or dealing with personal injuries or relationships in crisis, you need counsel. This involves identifying issues and potential solutions and charting a way through. We seek to guide our clients with professional skill, personal integrity and sensitivity to the best solution for their situation. In all instances, it is the rule of the Christian lawyer to be motivated by love, which seeks the true best interest of the client with wisdom and prudence.
Scripture identifies Christ as our Mediator – that is, one who stands between. 1 Tim. 2:3. The Christian attorney has the unique opportunity to enter a person’s life at a time of turmoil. Typically this turmoil involves others, a crisis in relationships, rather than only an internal struggle. We recognize that the legal issue is often in the broader context of a broken relationship. Fighting a legal battle for a client at the cost of their long-term well-being where relationships are destroyed, may not be best, ultimately. Consequently, we look for creative ways to solve disputes. This may involve interposing ourselves as professionals between the parties to bring the opportunity for peaceful, reasoned discussions. Or, it may mean bringing in an independent mediator to serve in this role. Peacemaking and the healing of relationships is a ministry we take very seriously.
Scripture identifies Christ as our “Advocate” – that is, one who stands in our place. (1 Jn. 2:1.) In this role, He intercedes on our behalf where we are completely undeserving. Our guilt is not a barrier to His representation; indeed, it is the condition of it. So, as Christian advocates, we are called to advocate the cause of the needy, to stand in their place and seek justice on their behalf where they could not do so on their own. We are not hired guns; we will evaluate the justice of a cause and zealously advocate the cases we accept within the bounds of the law and morality. By training and calling, we are uniquely able to serve in this fashion. We recognize, however, that another is the final judge, both as to earthly entanglements (the civil courts) and eternal issues (God Himself). Ultimately, it is our role to petition for justice and that of the judge (temporal or eternal) to determine it.
Christ has identified us as neighbors to each other. (Luke 10:27 ff.) In the remarkable account of the Good Samaritan, He pictures us as the helpless victim needing rescue and calls us to be like the benevolent rescuer. Above all our relationships, whether with clients, staff, adverse parties or attorneys, we seek to make our rule the rule of love. We recognize both the profound nature of our own need and the duty and call to help others. For, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Pet. 3:9.) We recognize we are imperfect representations of Him on Earth, but our pledge is to work to evidence these principles in our professional and personal lives.