The United States boasts one of the world’s fairest legal systems, and it’s due in part to the Christian beliefs of many of the nation’s Founding Fathers and first law practitioners. Though we know our justice system doesn’t work without attorneys, they often get a bad rap. Furthermore, Christians often point out the most scathing scriptures regarding lawyers as justification for their disdain.
While the Bible does speak about the wickedness of dishonest lawyers and practices, it also contains a lot of wisdom you can apply to build a lengthy and impressive career. So, let’s see what the “Good Book” has to say about lawyers and law.
(Pr. 31:8) “Speak up … for the rights of all who are destitute.”
As you know, many lawyers get paid a lot of money for their services. Practicing law is so lucrative because people often need a litigator on their side who can skillfully apply the law to protect their rights. People in underserved communities rely on human rights attorneys like Malliha Wilson to notify them of and defend their inalienable privileges as persons.
Malliha realized her passion for protecting the rights of others during the weekends and summers she spent with her grandfather, S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, a human rights activist and lawyer in his own right. Malliha switched her focus while working on her undergraduate degree at McGill University and went to Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, where she earned her law degree. Malliha hasn’t looked back since and is now the founder and senior counsel at Nava Wilson LLP, where she’s still fighting for the rights of the disenfranchised. She’s the true embodiment of Proverbs 31:8.
(Matt. 5:25) “Make friends … with your opponent at law …”
Complex litigation can sometimes bring out the worst in attorneys. However, as a Christian, the Bible advises you to make friends with your opponent at law. After all, wouldn’t it be weird if you and your counterpart spoke venomously of and to each other in the courtroom only to meet later that day in your local religious bookstore?
(Matt. 22:35) “One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him …”
Matthew 22:35 might not speak to you on the surface, especially when put in the context of the entire passage. However, we’re highlighting this excerpt because it teaches a valuable lesson to young lawyers. Some say you should never ask a question in the courtroom to which you don’t already know the answer. So, what’s the point of asking? You ask because each question is a test, and how they answer with their words and body language will tell you a lot about their character.
The first verse of the first Psalm states, “Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.” Many Christians interpret that passage to mean they should only rely on Christian counsel in matters of finance, health, and law. So, whether you’re working on your law degree or running your own law firm, there’s a world of believers depending on you to represent their worldview and best interests. So, it’s important to be true to your faith when practicing law.
If possible, make friends with your opponent in the courtroom. If you practice human rights law, you’re honor-bound to fight for the rights of the overlooked and downtrodden. Also, questioning is a matter of testing your client, witnesses, and others as much as it is about getting answers. Finally, remember to give your clients your all regardless of their station in life. If you apply these scriptures, be it in the Supreme Court or the arbitration room, you’ll represent your clients and your faith well.
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