On the Fence about Law School?
Written by Jonathan Rosenthal
Attending law school is not a spontaneous decision. There is much time spent balancing on the fence, trying not to fall prematurely on either side of the decision. Well, let me nudge you a little. If you’ve been thinking about going to law school, then go.
Spiritual warfare comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they take the shape of legal battles and Christian lawyers are on the front lines. A law degree opens the door to glorifying Jesus in an extremely fruitful way. There are not many careers that provide better opportunities to spread the Gospel than through law. Legal and spiritual needs often come hand-in-hand. For instance, when someone seeks legal action or is brought to court, this is an indication that something has gone very wrong in their life and left them out of options. Legal problems tend to bring people to their most vulnerable and rattle them to their core.
As a lawyer, you will become familiar with your clients’ spiritual needs from a position of counsel. As it says in Matthew 13:16, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear.” Clients in need of legal help are often ready to hear with their ears. They are wandering around the darkness searching for the light. If you want a stable career where you can prodigiously spread the Gospel, then law is right up your alley. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Matthew 9:37. The fish will jump into your boat.
As Matthew 6:33 reads, “seek first the kingdom of God.” Pursue the practice of law as a means, not as the end. As in all things, the end goal should be Jesus. Go to law school for him. Many law students want to be lawyers because it’s a respectable job and they take their job title on as their identity. But as Christians, our identity is Jesus; practicing law is merely a way in which we glorify him.
As my pastor once explained, life is like a playground in which God offers us opportunities. We can play on the swings, the monkey bars, or the slide, but whatever we choose we should do it for His glory in a way that’s honorable to Him. The reason I chose to attend law school was not because I heard God specifically call me to it, but after much prayer I discerned that a career in law could be honorable and glorifying to Him. God might not explicitly tell you that it’s His will for you to go to law school and that’s okay. Most of us don’t have specific callings like becoming a pastor or an international missionary. But if you are interested in law school, then go. And do it for Jesus. What better reason to do anything?
There are many areas of practice in the law that you can choose from. Although they all have the potential to lend themselves to glorifying God and spreading the Gospel, some aid the body of Christ more directly. Constitutional law often deals with First Amendment rights cases, including the freedom of religion and speech. As a lawyer, you can protect evangelists’ rights to preach in a park when city authorities want to kick them out. Divorce attorneys are in a position to counsel and guide married couples in a way that is honorable to God. An attorney practicing estate planning can help people craft their wills in a way that blesses their family and prevents disputes after they pass.
A law degree is a key that opens doors to opportunities. As a Christian whose goal is to pursue Jesus and glorify God, a law degree is the fishing permit to a lake full of fish ready and willing to jump into your boat. As the disciples caught so many fish in John 21:6-7 that they couldn’t haul the net into the boat and knew that it was a gift from the Lord, so is the fruit of ministry in law that you will thank God for the abundance. Go and proclaim the only name under which we are saved.
Jonathan Rosenthal is a Paralegal at Mauck & Baker and a part-time student at DePaul College of Law. His legal interests are Christian non-profit and Securities Law. Jonathan came to the firm through affiliation with the Christian Legal Society. His duties include, but are not limited to, legal research, memorandums, trial briefs, assisting attorneys for hearings and trials, and administrative support. Jonathan enjoys working at Mauck & Baker because it provides the opportunity to render legal support to the Church.