The Servant Lawyer

by | Apr 29, 2024

John Inazu, a long-time friend of mine from church and a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, graces us all with his books on legal topics (especially on the First Amendment). Unlike so much of the material put out in the academic realm, his writing is accessible to both “the academy” and normal people. You also may have seen his articles in places like the Washington Post.

John also maintains a blog (called a substack, I believe – I’m not sure what the difference is) for shorter pieces. Today I came across his latest entry, where he promotes a book by another Christian legal scholar, Bob Cochran. John wrote the foreword for Professor Cochran’s book, “The Servant Lawyer,” and John provides an except from that foreword on his substack. Normally I wouldn’t quote from a “mere foreword,” but I thought John’s summary of Professor Cochran’s main thesis warranted a shout-out. It epitomizes how I think lawyers of faith like myself should practice law. John’s post can be read in full HERE. You can purchase “The Servant Lawyer” HERE.

Loving God anchors lawyers in their vocational purpose to pursue the things of God and to participate in the restoration of a broken creation. Loving neighbor reminds lawyers to attend to the people around them as they go about that work—other image bearers who are themselves often broken, tired, lonely, or afraid.

As this book’s title suggests, lawyers are also servants. They are known for how they treat others: their clients, their adversaries, their coworkers, and their subordinates. Professor Cochran reminds us throughout this book the ways that lawyers serve the people they encounter, whether through the power of their profession or the kindness of their ordinary acts.

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