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Introduction: Can the Ordinary Practice of Law Be a Religious Calling?

10 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2008 Last revised: 23 Apr 2010

Robert F. Cochran Jr.

Pepperdine University School of Law

Date Written: 2005


This article is an introduction to essays authored by speakers at Pepperdine University's Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics inaugural conference. The theme of the conference was the question of whether religious faith, particularly the faith of Christians and Jews, can be a source of meaning for the practice of law. The conference focused on the religious concept of vocation or calling as a means of understanding the ordinary, day-to-day work of lawyers. Many of the speakers argued that work, even what is normally considered secular work, is an area of life that can and should be redeemed by God. Cochran states that most religious traditions accept the notion that all productive work can be a religious calling. In this introduction, he addresses two issues: "Why are so many lawyers dissatisfied with their work?" and "Is the ordinary practice of law something that one can do to the glory of God?". Cochran concludes this introduction with a brief summary of the essays written by the speakers at the conference.

Keywords: religious, faith, vocation, practice of law

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Cochran, Robert F., Introduction: Can the Ordinary Practice of Law Be a Religious Calling? (2005). Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2005. Available at SSRN:

Robert F. Cochran Jr. (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
310-456-4684 (Phone)
310-456-4063 (Fax)

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