Law Student Ministires

Law Fellowship YouTube Discussion Starters
Christian Legal Society
Leader's Guide
Episode 1
Topics: Reasons to gather on campus; the shaping influence of the legal academy; the courage necessary to engage peers; the “spilling over” of Christian community into the legal profession
Featuring: Duke University IVCF staffer Steve Hinkle and your fellowship
Leading the meeting:
  1. First, send the link of the YouTube video to your group or prepare to watch it together during the meeting. It’s about a minute and a half long. You can find the link on the clip itself or embed it on your group’s webpage. Here is the link:
  2. Next, print the discussion questions from the CLS Website. Here is the link.
  3. Decide whether you want to take one or two weeks to discuss these issues. 
  4. When you meet, you might consider breaking up into groups of 4 or 5 to discuss the questions, then coming together again in a larger group to share what was shared in the smaller groups. More people get to talk this way.
If you prefer, you can copy and past from here, or have group members go to the link themselves in advance.
Questions for Discussion
Part I
In the video clip, Steve Hinkle notes that the “university tries to shape you into a pattern of behavior according to the guild that you’re a part of.” Consider that statement for a moment and discuss:
A. What are some ways that the law school experience has shaped you? Are there good and bad “shapings” at work?  If so, is it possible to embrace the good and resist the bad? How? 
B. What patterns of behavior are expected from lawyers? Do they differ from those expected in other professions? Are there particularly Christian responses called for by these expectations?
Note for leaders: You might consider prompting discussion by asking if the legal academy’s definition of “calling” is ever at tension with the idea of Christian calling for lawyers or human beings more generally. In addition, it may help to discuss why law school often has the effect of squeezing out idealism and squeezing in cynicism. 
Part II
Hinkle notes that we need other Christians to help us keep the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—at the center of the story of who we are as law students and future lawyers.
A. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
B. Can you share examples of others have helped you do this in law school or college?
C. Why do you think that Hinkle emphasizes the Trinity as the God who shapes our story and vision? Are there implications for Trinitarian lawyering, as opposed to, say, unitarian lawyering?
D. What other forces, besides the theological narrative of the Triune God, are at work to shape law students’ identity? Where do they come from? How can we embrace of resist them, as appropriate?
Note for leaders: You might prompt discussion by talking about the diversity of the body of Christ as a reflection of the Trinity; and asking whether—or why—law school instruction focuses on pragmatic approaches, rather than metaphysical foundations, of jurisprudence and law.
Part III
Finally, Hinkle notes that without each other, we may not have “the courage to engage our peers with the gospel”—including the witness of “who we are” as Christian lawyers, and then offers hope that our work on campus can spill over into the profession.
A. What does he mean by this? How would one go about accomplishing this engagement?
B. Is he right that Christian community gives us courage in this way?
C. Can you give some examples of how you or others have engaged your non-Christian peers with the gospel in the context of law or justice?
D. Are you hopeful that your vision of lawyering nurtured in Christian fellowship on campus can spill over and have an influence on the legal profession at large?
*Note for leaders: You might prompt discussion by prompting the group on what their peers think of your group or of Christian lawyers generally.

Law Students


Our Podcast

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Of particular interest to law students:
Cross & Gavel - Volume 4
Dan Kim and Mike Schutt discuss the importance of engaging the law school campus-- and whether it helps to have a CLS law student chapter.
Cross & Gavel Audio - Volume 14
Schutt interviews CLS member Andy Toles, who talks about the lawyer-client relationship in light of our Christian calling.  Andy has some amazing insight into the role of the Christian lawyer.