Sunday, December 12, 2004

Lawyers I have known

My Grandfather was a lawyer, and we heard that he never defended anyone he thought was guilty. (I suppose many could argue that point.) Three generations later Rob came along and went to law school over my violent objections.

In the interim I had worked for ten years in the court- as a Probation Officer. Sitting in criminal court day after day I gained a pretty dim view of lawyers in general-- especially those who taught Sunday School and during the week robbed the poor.

Rob had a short (1 week) career in criminal law. His political connections got him a good job until the end of the Clinton administration. Now he's studying Psychology at Geo. Washinton U.

After my days in court we moved to Washington to be in the Church of the Savior. There I met a different kind of lawyer-- call them poverty lawyers. They were definitely on the side of the underdog. They were wonderful people-- most of them.

A beautiful couple came to the church fresh out of UVA law. They began the program there (it's a very 'social-minded' church. They adopted two poor immigrant children from Korea. But after a couple of years the man moved to NY to do corporate law, while the woman remain in D.C. doing poverty law. It was sad.

The most beautiful lawyer couple I know are Judith and Paul. I worked in both of the federal agencies where they were, DOT and EPA. I met Judith at EPA and was impressed with her intellect and manners.

A few years later we left the C of S. and went church shopping. We wound up at Langley Hill Friends Meeting in Northern VA. Lo and behold there sat Judith with an older man. It turned out he was her husband, still working at DOT and also teaching in the Law School at Georgtown.

That couple have been our dearest friends for the past 20 years. Because of them we became Quakers. Judith has done the most amazing things for the unfortunate children who wind up in court, written one or two books about juvenile justice, and amazingly is still our friend. They live in Seattle now, but we're hoping they will come by for Christmas.

Finally (through this activity in which I'm presently engaged I met Marjorie, and then her husband. They look very much like a younger version of Judith and Paul. God is so good to me. This isn't the first time that distance has separated me from people I love and then given me the same kind of people anew.

"We are members one of another." "My brothers and sisters are those who do the will of my Father."


Marjorie said...

thank you, Larry, that was so sweet. You'll have to tell me the books written by Judith, I'd be interested to know more about them. Lots of good people become lawyers and there are lots of good lawyers. Like any other profession, some lose sight of what truly matters when there is lots of money to be made.

Larry said...

Judith and Paul live in Seattle, but he teaches at Georgetown Law for the spring semester. She's coming down here next month, and I'll have to ask her about her books.

It's really nice to have somebody ready my posts.