||Yes, I am a Street Lawyer ||
He was looking at me. I was looking at the papers in front of me. I couldn’t lie. He was crushed. Every decent trial lawyer takes a guilty verdict personally. Forget that we weren’t there when events happened and the evidence gathered, the statements made and the fingers pointed. It all happened without us, and we had no say in how strong a case it was. We don’t show up until all the stars are aligned, and then it’s our job to realign them to the extent possible.
I don’t want total contributions. Don’t put me and my people in the same class with the symphony and the synagogue, and all your pretty elite folks clubs where you auction every bullshits and autographs . I’m talking about food. Food for hungry people who live here in the same city you live in. Food for little babies. Right here. Right in this city, with all you people making millions, we got little babies starving at night, crying ’cause they’re hungry. How much for food?” Despite our most persuasive presentation, we can’t change societal bias or individual ignorance. No matter how strongly we believe that we can pull this one out of the fire, Nobody can mount the good fight licking his wounds from the last fight. They ask me , you gonna mad , ” You are on different pursuits . ” Yes , of course . Because I need balance. How can i best serve Thy ? Thy will , not , mine , be done . I exercise my will power along this line. It is the proper use of the will. All of us know lawyers who seem unhappy, unfree, directionless, and dis-integrated, who seem to be following paths they haven’t consciously chosen, leading them to places they would never have chosen to go, seemingly locked in lives they haven’t freely chosen to live. Some would characterize this reality as a manifestation of a spiritual crisis, a crisis of meaning and value in the law, rooted in the difficulty lawyers have integrating the practice of the law into the whole of their lives. This article argues that the spirituality flowing from the life of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, offers resources for addressing the spiritual crisis afflicting the contemporary legal profession. Ignatius shows us how to pay attention to God calling us to freedom and wholeness in the ordinary experience of our daily lives. This spiritual understanding of God as one who labors, who struggles with hard work to bring all things to life, wholeness, freedom, and integrity, may well resonate with people whose lives are given over to the hard and rigorous work of practicing law. Spirituality understands God as one not distant from our labors in the law. Instead, we are working in the trenches alongside God who is always already at work in our midst, giving a “religious density” to our lives as lawyers, and the challenge for us is to try to discern more clearly how God is at work in us and around us, so that we can more fully align our labors with God’s. If lawyers today experience a spiritual crisis because there is a compartmentalizing wall between their faith and their work, the Spiritual understanding of God might spark the renewal this crisis calls for, by bringing a new depth of meaning and integrity to our labors in the ordinary practice of the law. Thy will , not mine, be done.