On the 15th July 2021, I attended the final seminar of the Justice Matters series by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF), ‘Truths and Tribulations: Seasoned lawyers speaking about justice and faith’ with Rosie Hyde, Alex Hinds, Beki Muinde and Jo Underwood. It was great to see how each speaker had thought about the role of faith and justice in their particular area of practice, and to reflect on how God can work in different ways.
The seminar opened with a question to the panel on the expectations they had at the start of their careers and whether these matched the reality. As someone who has just finished law studies, (and with many expectations about the working life), this was a hugely relevant question. What struck me was how realistic the speakers were in their approach to work, while not losing sight of the reasons why they went into their careers. Jo, for example, highlighted the beautiful biblical image of justice rolling like rivers which had always inspired her, before contrasting this with the somewhat mundane moments of everyday legal admin and procedure. Importantly, however, her conclusion was that she still felt it was a privilege to be part of people's lives, which the less glamourous side of law cannot take away.
The next question related to expressions of God’s justice in their work. The diversity of the panel was particularly helpful here. It made me realise that God’s justice is evident not only in the most obvious places (such as the criminal justice system or housing law), but that his character can be felt in more nuanced and indirect ways. Rosie, for instance, highlighted how elements of the family law system reflect God’s grace and the dignity of human beings, while Beki made a really helpful comparison between commercial contracts and the covenants we read of in the Bible.
The discussion then moved on to the more challenging theme of fallen justice, and how we can and should respond. Whilst studying justice in the Bible, and especially in our everyday endeavours to study or practice law, we are confronted with the human reality of suffering injustice. There were many things to say for each area of law, but what the speakers had in common was that they all clung to Scripture to remind themselves of God’s ultimate control over the brokenness of the world. Evil, injustice, suffering does not have the last word.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care (Matthew 10:29, NIV)
As a criminal lawyer, Alex in particular had come into direct contact with a lot of trauma and injustice. His way of dealing with this was to separate work and rest by casting his burdens onto Jesus, knowing that He cares for him. Psalm 73 was also raised by Beki to highlight the common theme of abuse of power, and how God’s justice will ultimately come, no matter how strong worldly power appears to be.
Finally, the seminar finished with a Q&A, during which I got some very helpful and practical advice (another great part of LCF events!). Overall, the seminar was a huge encouragement and I’d like to thank everyone who was involved!