Loving Work: My Experience as a Blackstone Fellow

Every year, Mauck & Baker has a talented Blackstone Legal Fellow join the firm for six weeks. The Blackstone Legal Fellowship is branch of the Alliance Defending Freedom and prepares Christian law students for careers marked by integrity, excellence, and leadership. 

This summer, we had a first year law student, Matthew Jacobs, join the firm. Matthew lives on the south side of Chicago and attends Vanderbilt Law of School. 

The more that you learn, the more you realize that you really don’t know very much at all. You come to realize that you will never stop learning. To all those studying law, this concept has become especially clear. In law, there’s always something new to learn or a different approach to take.

My name is Matthew Jacobs and I have just spent the last six weeks interning at the Mauck & Baker. Let me start by stating that I loved it and would recommend this firm to any in need. As a law student, I have come to enjoy learning about the law. However, knowledge of the law is substantially dependent upon the understanding that can only come from experience. The letter of the law holds little significance without an individual for it to be applied to. In my time at Mauck & Baker, I learned a variety of different laws and concepts. But, what I learned that was most was what the relationship between the attorney and the client should look like.

In many firms today, associate attorneys (much less interns) have very little contact with the clients. At Mauck & Baker I was allowed to participate in client meetings and consultations. This experience exposed me to the other side of the legal system. When one’s only interaction with a client is there name on a sheet of paper, one can be tempted to treat like just another character in a sea elaborate stories. Until one is able to truly embrace the humanity behind those seeking relief, those seeking your help, effective council cannot be given. My time at Mauck & Baker has taught me that understanding the law is understanding people. All too often the intellectual in us tends to forget that the purpose of the law is for the protection and benefit of the people. Whether it involves the government, a company, a church, or an individual, at the root of all legal disputes is a desire for protection. At Mauck & Baker, the interactions I had with the various clients helped me to understand that the primary job of an attorney is not just to argue for your client, but to help guide your client every step of the way and reassure them that you are doing ever thing you can to fight for their protection.

As Christians, we are taught that the most important thing one can do is to love. Throughout life, we so often separate the spiritual importance of love from the natural importance of our occupation and desires. To have the greatest effect, an attorney should never separate the two. An effective Christian attorney must love her client, opposition, opposing counsel, trying judge, and all of those that the outcome of the case may affect. At Mauck & Baker, I saw the application of this concept first hand and am determined to apply it throughout my career. In a competitive market, we may be tempted to only focus on financial gain or resume building. But, just like our Lord, we must remember that our greatest work is to love.