And what of Lawyers?

January 11, 2005

When I decided to attend law school, and throughout the process, many friends and even my own parents jokingly asked what I planned to do after the Second Coming of Christ and during His Millenial reign, when lawyers would “no longer be needed.” The underlying assumption, of course, was that dirty sleazy lawyers would either be destroyed or changed from their evil and dishonest ways, and besides that, since people would want to live peacably with each other, lawyers would no longer be needed to advocate in disputes. What, then, shall become of lawyers during the Millenium? Are we going to be an extinct breed? Having no other skills (you know, like numbchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills, etc.), are we lawyers doomed to become the idlers who will be cast out of a consecrated society since we will be able to contribute nothing?

I highly doubt it. Personally, I believe there will be PLENTY of work for us lawyers to do. First of all, when Christ reigns I am certain there will still be laws. There will still be a government. There will still be business. While we may not have the heinous crimes and contentious disputes which so starkly divide us today, there will still be a need to administer things legally and lawfully. Although Christ could do it all, I am certain that He will still allow us to participate in administering His Kingdom. Lawyers truly are uniquely trained to understand, administer, and interpret (and find!) legal code. Thus, lawyers could still have plenty of work to do in administering the laws of the Kingdom of God.

More importantly, I believe that lawyers could have an important, even essential spiritual work to do. After all, Jesus plays a very lawyerly role between us and our Heavenly Father. Indeed, he is our “advocate with the Father, who is pleading [our] cause before him.” (D&C 45:3). Lawyers (at least litigators) can and should excel in pleading the cause of persons before earthly tribunals. Why could not this skill than be used before a Heavenly Tribunal?

In His Church, Christ often allows us, His children, to act as proxy for others. Think about temple work! If He were to authorize it, why could we not then act as proxies for Him in “pleading [their] cause before [the Father]?”

Indeed, we learn that when the scriptures talk of Christ going and preaching to the “spirits in prison” (see 1 Peter 3:19), it was really Christ by proxy. For He

went not in person among the wicked and disobedient who had rejected the truth, . . . but . . . from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

(D&C 138:29-30). If “he went and preached unto the Spirits in prison” through the proxies of those he “organized,” “clothed with power,” and “commissioned,” then He can and very well may plead our cause by proxy as well. And who better than lawyers to commission for this task, many of whom are trained as professional advocates?

Indeed, I think lawyerly skills will still be relevant and sought after even in the millenium. So give us a break!