I believe being a Christian lawyer offers a unique and special place within the body of Christ. We possess gifts and talents that our brothers and sisters in Christ need access to, and with Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles we’re able to reach those who need it the most. Here we don’t solely rely on the expertise of our knowledge, but also appeal to our God and invite Him to be part of the solution. Even if a client doesn’t have a relationship with Christ, we’ll take the time to help them and love them as our neighbor. My summer internship with CLA-LA has shown me what it looks like to be a Christian lawyer in a society that is desperate for God’s help.
At CLA-LA, we offer free legal clinics throughout Los Angeles County to those who are most vulnerable in society. No matter what the legal issue may be, our doors are open to offer assistance to our client’s needs. We offer help in educating our clients, and preparing documents to empower them with the legal knowledge and know how to navigate through their legal problem.
I’ll most remember the client we assisted at one of our regular locations. This man was looking to get his record clean to assist him in pursuing legal immigration status in the future. He was a former gang member who had been shot in the spine at a young age and was to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. I thought it would be difficult to connect with him given our very different life experiences but found this wasn’t the case. I asked about his plans for Fourth of July. He told me he was going camping with his family, and I shared with him my plans to be on the beach for the weekend. By the end of our appointment, I learned he had a daughter, and that he wanted to get involved with a church small group. I emphasized the importance of having a church group to walk with and encouraged him to make it a priority to get involved.
He mentioned he still experiences pain in his back due to the incident several years ago. I shared with him the pain I experienced from being diagnosed with arthritis at a young age and told him some of my remedies to control the pain. He actually wrote them down and was going to look into them. He thanked everyone for filling out documents and explaining the next steps he needed to take, but when he shook my hand and thanked me for talking with him, I knew this was a special moment, one that I still can’t rightly explain in words.
My time with CLA has been a blessing, and I am so grateful for the grace God has given me that has allowed me to take part in His mission to reach out to the most vulnerable in our society.