[quote="Yeoman, post:3, topic:207837"]
As somebody who has been practicing law for 20 years, I guess I'd make the following comments (which I'm sure will be countered by others, so I'm only making my observations based on my experiences)
- As to whether there would be a problem with being a diocesan priest and being a lawyer, in my mind there would be if you actually intended to practice any law. I don't know whether or not the church has a problem, but as the Gospel notes, you can't serve two masters. Lawyers compromise their beliefs all the time merely to represent clients, and it would seem to be that it would be nearly impossible to be an actual practicing lawyer and a priests, and be fully loyal to the religious vocation.
That's a fair point, I think.
- Why on earth would you want to do both?
I would make a better lawyer--I think--than a priest. But I feel called to the latter.
- There's a few saints, I'd note, that started of studying law or were lawyers. You'll note that as far as I can tell, they gave up the law for their religion, or at least it seems to me, with perhaps one notable exception that I can recall off hand.
[quote="Yeoman, post:4, topic:207837"]
A few further notes.
Discernment, discernment, discernment.
I realize that's what you're doing, but your questions are wide ranging. I urge you, really, in a joyful way, to followup on your discernment. I really hope you refine it down, with God's help. Start, perhaps, with your local priest.
As noted above, the Jesuits are still around, still doing missionary work. They do have a presence in my state, I'd note, which is in the rural west. They act as parish priests in a couple of our small towns that would otherwise lack priest, and up until very recently, they had the church on the Indian Reservation (now the diocese does). There are other missionary orders also.
If you are really contemplating being a lawyer, my advice to you is: discernment, discernment, discernment. Unless you come from a family with lawyers in it,
Only a few.
or have worked for a while in a law office,
I've had enjoyable experiences in the handful that I've worked in.
you have utterly no idea whatsoever what the practice of law is really like.
**I have some idea--but, if you revisit the language I used in my post, I didn't specifically say anything about the professional aspects... law includes just as much theory and philosophy, and though I realize how sterile this can be when divorced from practice I still find it interesting. [Note, I realize that most JD programs focus more on preparing the candidate to 'practice' law]
In any case, though my idea of what a lawyer does might still be far hazier than a veteran's, my idea of what a priest actually does is even more dense. And let's not even talk about job dissatisfaction in the clerical 'profession'... **
A high percentage of new law school grads have no idea at all what they're getting into, which partially explains the high dissatisfaction rate in the profession. I have 20 years invested now but I know that I would never, ever, have entered this profession if I'd known what it was really like (or at least I'd have avoided trial work like the plague).
I appreciate your vague feelings. I'm a cradle Catholic and only recently started feeling something similiar. I'm married with two small children, and my wife, while she attends Church with us, is not a Catholic and so far doesn't seem to be inclined to become one, so there's little I can do to act on these vague feelings other than what I've already done, which is to accept the request that I be a lecture. I wish the best of luck to you.
*Thank you very much, I have this overwhelming impulse to throw myself behind something--or maybe 'into' something--but I just wish I could find the right thing. Discernment is helping, but I'd prefer to know a few specific things about the orders I have mentioned in my OP before committing myself to something that might be a disaster for all parties. *