Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Law Is Boring - Sep 30

It's real late as I write this post (just before 4:00 a.m.) but I just had a two hour nap and I feel pretty invigorated. For those precious few that bother to follow this blog (Thank you!), you may be aware of my ambition to become a paralegal. Why then do I say that the law is boring? And if that's the case, why am I persisting in this particular field?

I like the ad shown recently advertising for the state of California. Many well-known celebrities appear and toss off a couple of bon mots. Somewhere in the middle of the ad is one of golf's fan favorites, Phil Mickelson. In his cameo, we cheekily hear Phil say, "We're just a bunch of pencil pushers" whilst recording his score on a putting green. As any golfer will tell you, it's absolutely critical to keep an accurate scorecard. Failure to do so would lead to disqualification (and therefore loss of prize winnings) in any tournament. But do golfers live to write down numbers on a scorecard? No! They live for the game and the physical challenge that every golf course brings. It is precisely this interaction with the game, especially in front of a cheering Sunday crowd, that really drives a golfer.

So it is for those who enter the law field. We too have to do lot of paperwork, probably much more than Phil will ever see in his lifetime! But it's that interaction with people, be it clients or others whose job it is to help in administering justice. I'll tell you another secret: Money is boring too. But it's that interaction between people and money that fascinates me. By all accounts, entering into the legal field is a lucrative one. If you work hard and play by the rules (and there are many!) you can make yourself a pretty penny. Forget the Hollywood version of what lawyers do. The reality is that being in the legal field means being heavily regulated in how we conduct our business. But that does not translate into boring. No sir! It's that interaction between ordinary people and the justice system that keeps us happily employed.

The Christian Angle

People aren't going to remember you by the clothes you wear or the car you drive. Neither are they going to remember every word spoken to them. What people will remember is how you interacted with them. Did you meet them at a point of need or did you take advantage of them while they were in a vulnerable position? Did you treat them with respect as a human being or did you regard them as just an impersonal source of income?

I'm reminded of the story of how Jesus knelt before His disciples and washed their feet. At first, Peter recoils before acquiescing to Jesus' request. Jesus responds:

"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
(John 13:13-17)

No one ever said meeting people's need was going to be easy or clinical. Jesus' ministry wasn't about laying down God's law. It was always that personal touch he brought to His disciples that made Him effective. What an excellent servant we become when we set our sights on Him!

Johnny Cash

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