The Essence of Lawyering in an Atmosphere of Faith

Clark Memorandum, pp. 32-40, Fall 2004

9 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2009

Date Written: August 26, 2009


You are a remarkably diverse group with a wide variety of experiences and background. I wish to focus, however, not on your differences but on the two features that you all have in common: 1) You have all chosen to study law, and 2) you have all chosen to study law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Because law matters a lot, it matters a lot that you have chosen to study law. At stated by President Marion G. Romney in 1975, “No branch of learning is more important to an individual or society than law.”

Because the study of law matters a lot, it also matters a lot how you choose to study it. What you learn here in the next three years - not just the rules of law, not just research skills, and not just how to think like a lawyer, but the entire spectrum of law in both its intellectual and human aspects - will matter a lot to a lot of people. Thus, I urge you to study law with full intensity.

J. Reuben Clark Jr. not only provided a name for this law school, he also provided a model of the positive impact that the study of law could have on those with deep religious faith, and he did it in a way that I believe altered the view of many in the Church of Jesus Christ. Among other things, J. Reuben Clark was, for those who established this law school, living proof that the study and practice of law at the highest levels does not necessarily lead to arrogance and pride, nor to a weakening of faith or character.

Keywords: Legal education, law students, thinking like a lawyer, morality, service, integrity, J. Reuben Clark Law School

Suggested Citation

Worthen, Kevin J., The Essence of Lawyering in an Atmosphere of Faith (August 26, 2009). Clark Memorandum, pp. 32-40, Fall 2004, Available at SSRN:

Kevin J. Worthen (Contact Author)

BYU Law School ( email )

D-364 ASB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

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