“And of some have compassion, making a difference.” – Jude 22 (KJV)
This guest post is from Regent Law rising 2L Hannah Hempstead:
This summer I have the opportunity to intern in a general practitioner law firm. Since my interest is family law, the attorney I am working under assigned a contested divorce case to me. “My first real case,” I thought. “This is going to be exciting!” He wanted me to go through the documents, piece together what had happened so far, what needed to happen, and what questions we needed to ask the client during an interview. “No problem,” I thought. “I can do that. Sounds like a piece of cake.” Over the next few days, I looked over everything and made several notes.
Yesterday, I briefed the attorney on the important issues and documents essential to our case a couple hours before we were to interview the client. When the client walked into the room for the interview, I stood, shook her hand, and smiled as the attorney explained I would be helping him on the case. I am not sure what I expected from the interview, but as I watched the attorney and client interact and listened to the questions being asked, I understood for the first time just how much influence attorneys have on their client’s lives, on their freedom, on their money, and on their future happiness. She began to cry as she spoke of her kids. “If something happens to me, what is going to happen to my children?” At that moment, I realized – these are real people with real concerns, real problems, and real issues. They are not just names on paper. This is real life.
I entitled this post “Ministry? In a law office?” because that is exactly the opportunity I have in these individuals’ lives. I get to have a ministry – to try to make a difference for their best interests and for eternity. In the future as an attorney I will have the responsibility and privilege to be there with clients in some of their darkest hours. I will have the opportunity every day to be the hands and feet of Christ to those who are hurting and struggling. Ministry is not just in the church; ministry can also be found in the unlikely setting of a law office.
To learn more about how an attorney can make a difference in a troubled marriage or in a potentially broken family see Understanding Realistic Reconciliation in an Age of Divorce and Tracing the Foundations of the Best Interest of the Child Standard in American Jurisprudence. Both concepts of marital strength and the best interests of children can help families toward restoration. At Regent, law students just like Hannah learn how to make a real difference in the world right away.