Learning from Thomas Merton-The Humble Trial Lawyer

The humble trial  lawyer  has a better chance of trying her case at the highest level. According to Thomas Merton “[t]rue humility excludes self-consciousness… .” Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation at 112 (New Directions 1949).

When we are humble we are beyond thinking of ourself. We are only concerned with our client, with the pursuit of justice and accomplishing this at trial. In this state we have no illusions to defend. Our movements are free.

The humble lawyer “can do great things with an uncommon perfection because she is no longer concerned about incidentals, like her own interests and her own reputation, and therefore she no longer needs to waste her efforts in defending them.” Id. at 113. “For a humble [lawyer] is not afraid of failure. In fact she is not afraid of anything, even herself, since perfect humility implies perfect confidence in the power of … [believing in herself and her client’s case] … and there is no such thing as an obstacle.”




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