Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mr. Justice Scalia Visits Chicago Law

He told the law students:

The University of Chicago is one of two or three of the most formidable intellectual institutions in the world; a really impressive place. And you’re lucky to be here.

I wouldn't say "lucky," but I would say a great blessing.

Althouse linked to this article, and she includes this quote from it:

"Try to find a practice that enables you to maintain a human existence … time for your family, your church or synagogue, community … boy scouts, little league,” Scalia said, noting he started with Jones, Day in Cleveland. “You should look for a place like that. I’m sure they’re still out there. Maybe you have to go to Cleveland.

The fact is, of course, you don't have to go to Cleveland.  You can go to Miami or probably any city, if you have firmly in mind what is important.   This is not the same thing as practicing second rate law or of compromising professionally.  In part, it is a matter of flying financially well under one's income and of maintaining a healthy detachment, not so much from the practice of law but from the context of that practice, that is, from the firm and the milieu in which the young lawyer finds himself.  That lawyer must be ready and able to say good-bye to the firm and how it might seek to shape, that is misshape him.

It is a person's character that withstands the assault of the toxic side of legal culture, and even moves upon it.  It is not about mere "maintenance" of one's true self.  I hope it is not too dramatic to say that it is about moving upon and transforming that culture.

This is nothing new for God's people.  Where-ever we find ourselves in the marketplace, lawyers or not, we are called upon to move upon the world, not to be overwhelmed by it.  There is certainly no exception for lawyers, not in terms of excellence and not in terms of being the humans we were created to be.  Excellence remains a cardinal aspect of such a radical creature.  The excellence part: that is why Chicago Law was such a great blessing.

(See 2 Timothy 2:15)

1 comment:

DylowStafford said...

One might also consider Abraham & Lot.