The Servant Lawyer: Facing the Challenges of Christian Faith in Everyday Law Practice – Richard F. Cochran Jr.

The Servant Lawyer: Facing the Challenges of Christian Faith in Everyday Law Practice by Robert F. Cochran Jr.
Published by IVP Academic on February 20, 2024
Genres: Academic, Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Work, Social Justice
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Most lawyers, from Wall Street to the county seat, spend their days drafting documents, negotiating with other attorneys, trying cases, researching the law, and counseling clients. How does this everyday law practice relate to Jesus' call to follow him in servanthood?

With decades of experience in the law office, courtroom, and classroom, Robert F. Cochran Jr. explores Jesus' call on lawyers to serve both individual clients and the common good. Cochran pulls back the curtain with stories from his own career and from the legal community to address a wide range of challenges posed by law practice, including counseling clients, planning trial tactics, navigating tensions with coworkers, and handling temptations toward cynicism and greed. This honest and accessible book

shares wisdom from an experienced practitioner and master teacher
addresses real-world situations and relationships experienced by most lawyers
charts the way toward a truly Christian practice of everyday law

For students considering a career in law as well as for seasoned attorneys, The Servant Lawyer casts an encouraging vision for how lawyers can love and serve their neighbor in every facet of their work.

This thoughtful, well-written book explores how lawyers can integrate their faith with their work. Richard F. Cochran Jr. writes from the perspective of an attorney and a law school professor, and he shows that even though some Christians view the law field as inherently suspect because of the potential for cynicism, deception, and greed, it is a field in which people can serve others and accomplish great good. Cochran shares helpful perspectives on a variety of issues, and he outlines several important roles that lawyers play in society, including lesser-acknowledged opportunities for being advocates and peacemakers. He also engages with tough questions about prosecutors and defense attorneys, and he writes about ways that they can justly serve both individual clients and the common good.

Cochran incorporates Scripture throughout, exploring the biblical precedent for different types of legal work and showing how someone can draw on biblical wisdom when they are faced with tough professional situations. He also illustrates his points with engaging stories, sharing anecdotes from the courtroom, the classroom, and his wider network. These stories give both positive and negative examples, supporting the author’s points in clear and memorable ways.

Throughout The Servant Lawyer: Facing the Challenges of Christian Faith in Everyday Law Practice, Cochran speaks to both currently practicing attorneys and to people who are currently in law school or considering a career in this field. I appreciate that he spent so much time writing about different types of law practice, instead of just focusing on criminal law, and he includes specific applications and encouragements about how Christians can resist some of the “moral and spiritual challenges” that they will face in law school and law practice. He also reflects on ways that Christians can challenge injustice within the legal system.

Although legal writing is notorious for being dry and convoluted, Cochran writes in an engaging, down-to-earth style. Throughout The Servant Lawyer, he organizes topics in a way that is easy to follow, and his analysis is always clear and easy to understand. I really enjoyed this book, and I appreciate how well Cochran handles a variety of complex topics without oversimplifying them or getting into the weeds of different debates. This is a wonderful primer for people who want to think more deeply about law practice, whether they are currently in the field or not, and I highly recommend it.