Pro Bono Rewards

I’ve gone through several career transitions and have benefited from the difficulty that comes from change. The risk of trying something different from a calling that is born of passion can result in some nervousness but the joy of walking in purpose is and infinite return on that investment. Moving from a proven or accomplished place to a position of potential embarrassment requires humility and a willingness to serve without reward.

When I began to practice law, the initial opportunities were not exactly prosperous or glamorous. I accepted cases for cheap or free based on a heart that wanted to help people and a willingness to do the best I could in areas that I was uncomfortable. The very first felony case I took was a case that I took for free where a teenager was charged inappropriately. This really was a good kid who had never gotten in any trouble and had been a victim of bullying for a couple of years. When he finally stood up for himself in a reasonable and measured manner, he was charged with a felony.

The family had no money and could not afford to pay me. They had filed a charge against the bully as a counter-claim to I was up against the prosecutor on the felony charge and a well-known 30 year attorney on the counter-claim. The lawyers I worked with told me I was going to lose, and lose badly. Another lawyer told me to stop taking cases for free.

While we didn’t get everything we wanted, we did well. The result was positive overall, my client was well represented and the family was extremely appreciative. There were opportunities to speak Life and Truth into this young man and pray with him and his family.

That case, and several others similarly situated, provided me an opportunities which new lawyers don’t often get. My willingness to work for cheap or free at the beginning opened doors for taking paying cases sooner than I would have been able to otherwise. The investment from a calling was rewarded with accelerated promotion and a satisfying experience.

Too many of us settle for what we know even when it isn’t what we feel. We have abandoned our passions based on the rewards of our distractions. The calling to our heart has gone unanswered when the rewards of a life of purpose are just around the corner if we were just willing to take counter intuitive opportunities which might not have an initial monetary return. When we are willing to start or re-start in humble beginnings, the new foundation is a platform for testimony of His glory and not just our career management.

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