This summer I had the opportunity to work as a law clerk at a small firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was my 1L summer, as well as my first real experience with litigation. I gained much invaluable experience and learned many things they just don’t teach in law school. I shared an office with a young associate that recently passed the bar and with whom I had many conversations regarding Christianity and the LDS church.
One afternoon, as I was drafting a motion to file with the court, I began to realize just how easy it might be to “stretch the truth” a little. I certainly wasn’t doing anything unethical, nor was I being encouraged to do so by anyone at the firm. However, I started to understand that there is often a thin line we walk when we represent our client’s best interests. I voiced this concern to the associate with whom I shared an office, only to discover that she had likewise encountered the same problem. We discussed Luke 11:46 – one of the various places that Christ voices his (not-so-gentle) feelings regarding many lawyers. I realized that being an attorney is a noble calling if it is done correctly, but that is something that can only be learned by experience. As we advocate our client’s interests, we need to strive to follow the example of Our Advocate.
On behalf of all law students and young attorneys, I welcome any advice on how to best achieve this goal.