TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Christian Legal Society National Conference On Discovering Joy In The Law

CLSI was honored to join the Pepperdine contingent at this weekend's Christian Legal Society's National Conference on Discovering Joy In The Law () in Newport Beach, California. Pepperdine was one of the sponsors of the conference (and apparently paid for this chocolate fondue mountain), so I had the honor of giving brief welcoming remarks.  I cannot be sure, but my guess is that it was the first time the attendees heard C.S. Lewis compared to Lin-Manuel Miranda.

CLSP

CLSPC

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Comments

God bless you all. It would be great to find joy in practicing law.

Benedicts's rule says to make work a form of prayer. I have tried to convince my self that helping clients pay less to a government that uses their money ineffectively if not for corrupt purposes has worked some of the time. Mostly I concentrate on doing my work well without inquiring too deeply into the morality of what I do. Sigh.

Hopefully, I will have time to atone in retirement.

Posted by: aircav65 | Oct 29, 2017 8:45:25 AM

Nothing surprising here. Medicine also has those who're telling doctors to rediscover their "joy" in the face of increasing frustration and burnout. It also has others who are denying that such efforts will work and calling for action in the public arena.

My sense is that both efforts are doomed to fail for much the same reason. The source of their miseries isn't inside the doctors or lawyers themselves and isn't easily amended by doctors and lawyers. The structure of medicine and law is now such that any sense of achievement is being taken away by a growing regulatory and administrative state, along with cultural clashes that pit members of each profession against one another. Those intrude into what were once professions that knew why they existed.

Notice how recent these stories from medicine are.

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2017/09/find-joy-practicing-medicine.html

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2017/10/dont-need-joy-medicine-need-vocal-discontentment.html

Those who're interested might want to read my Senior Nurse Mentor, where I offer a practical solution for nursing's morale problems in a new nursing speciality. Alas, I wish I had a more detailed solution for doctors and I haven't a clue what can be done for lawyers. All I can do is repeat what I suggest there—the need for some in the profession whose job is keeping its morale high for the rest.

There is one point worth making. Nursing survives in part because of a continuing influx of new nurses, which is possible because it only takes 2-4 years to make a nurse. Medical and law school take far longer and cost far more money. As a result, well-trained doctors and lawyers are much more difficult to replace. Society can ill afford their loss.

In my book I do offer one partial answer. I was working in a children's hospital where relations between the administration and the nurses became so strained that in the space of about a month, almost of fifth of the nurses quit—something almost unheard in a children's hospital. In the midst of those horrors, I coped not by seeking joy but by focusing on what I could personally do with my patients. Joy resulted from doing my best in a bad situation not because I pursued it directly.

--Michael W. Perry, author of Senior Nurse Mentor

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Oct 29, 2017 5:15:16 PM