God’s Trained Lawyers

When a law graduate passes the state bar exam of his or her choice the ecstasy cannot be overstated – the culmination of nearly three and half years of hard work is filled with joy, relief and anticipation of all that lies ahead. The mantle of responsibility is equally powerful, providing the basis for a future practice of integrity based on a relationship with the Almighty God to be His servant to all people.

Here’s a just a glimpse of all those emotions from Stephen Casey (’08) now Judicial Clerk for the Supreme Court of Texas:

Dear family and friends,

Please give thanks with us to God, and Noreen and I thank each of you for your prayers and support throughout this leg of our life’s journey. I received news that I passed the Texas Bar Exam (while studying at home with kids climbing over me and all the other attendant responsibilities of this season of life—only God’s grace can do that). I thank you all for the love, care, encouragement, wise counsel, and at times gentle rebuke, each of you have spoken into our lives. I pray that each day I recognize and treat this designation of attorney as a mantle of service, a “mask of God” as Martin Luther would say, by which God ministers to people through me—in the same way Jesus is our advocate with the Father. May God bless you all. I reprint below the Lawyer’s Prayer, by Sir William Blackstone, and some lines of dialogue from 1960 movie A Man for All Seasons, about Sir Thomas More. In His Grace and Peace, Stephen

“Ordain’d to tread the thorny ground,
Where very few, I fear, are sound,
Mine be the conscience void of blame,
The upright heart, the spotless name,
The tribute of the widow's pray’r,
The righted orphan's grateful tear!
To Virtue and her friends a friend,
Still may my voice the weak defend!
Ne’er may my prostituted tongue
Protect th’ oppressor in his wrong,
Nor wrest the spirit of the laws
To sanctify the villain's cause!
Let others, with unsparing hand,
Scatter their poison through the land,
Enflame dissention, kindle strife,
And strew with ills the path of life;
On such her gifts let Fortune shower,
Add wealth to wealth, and power to power:
On me may favouring Heaven bestow
That peace which good men only know,
The joy of joys by few possess’d,—
The eternal sunshine of the breast!
Power, fame, and riches I resign—
The praise of honesty be mine,
That friends may weep, the worthy sigh,
And poor men bless me when I die!”
-Sir William Blackstone

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