Service


Why We Serve

Members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society are inspired by religious conviction. We believe in the power of religious values and practice to properly inform and motivate our profession. This strong belief is at the very core of who we profess to be.

One of the great values that unites all religions around the world is service to fellow man. People of goodwill everywhere know that service changes the lives of both the giver and the receiver. That it enriches and strengthens every society. That it connects individuals with the meaning and purpose of life.

In the religious tradition of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this value is nowhere better summarized than by these words of King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon:

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Mosiah 2:17.

Inspired by this great truth, members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society strive through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.

“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor.” (C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 18).

“. . . [F]or many, . . . access to justice is far from easy. Many impediments exist, caused by language and cultural differences, physical or emotional barriers, lack of money, and inadequate information about available services. The need for pro bono assistance is perhaps never more urgent than in a time of economic contraction. Whether it is a denial of public or private benefits, changes in child support and alimony payments, an inability to pay rent, an outstanding medical bill, an immigration problem, or some other problem, obtaining legal assistance can mean the difference between the successful resolution of a problem and a life-altering loss.” Chief Justice Ronald M. George of the California Supreme Court, California state bar convention, September 5, 2003.

“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others…By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.” Gordon B. Hinckley

Best Practices

Law Society chapters are encouraged to provide some kind of service each year.  Of primary importance is service provided by those with legal training. This might include service to those who, because of economic circumstances, are denied relief which access to legal process might provide. Service at the chapter level might also include working with other non-profit organizations, service through and to local bar associations and community outreach that defends religious liberty, sustains the rule of law and builds goodwill among legal practitioners.

Best practices also include keeping a written and visual record of service given and sharing that record with the international Service and Outreach Committee so that it can be further shared with Society members around the world.  Examples of service provided by Law Society chapters can be found here.

Workings of the Committee

Under the direction of the Operating Committee and the Board of Directors, the Service and Outreach Committee has responsibility for the following areas of emphasis within the Law Society:

  1. Assist chapters and chapter members in providing service within their local communities; Committee members assigned to each region and area are listed under the Committee Members heading above.
  2. Help chapters and chapter members join forces with other like-minded individuals and groups to educate, inform and remind lawyers and others of the critical importance of religious liberty to all free societies.
  3. Assist with local, national and international outreach to other service organizations and persons and organizations of influence throughout the world.
  4. Identify and recognize individuals or groups whose service to fellowman exemplifies the principles and ideals of the Law Society;
  5. Nominate individuals or groups for the prestigious Franklin S. Richards Award.
The Service and Outreach Committee meets monthly by telephone conference to discuss progress toward annual goals.  These goals are based on the areas of emphasis set forth above and are designed to help Law Society Chapters and Chapter members build goodwill and increase their influence for good in the world.

Service With Our Legal Training

Armed with special knowledge and training, attorneys hold places of great responsibility and trust in many societies around the world. Our legal training and experience provide us with unique vantage points from which to observe life itself. These vantage points permit us to see things that others may not see, add value to transactions, facilitate the resolution of disputes, prevent the violation of laws, reduce exposure to liability and provide new insights to creative endeavors. They can also help us lift up hands that hang down, strengthen feeble knees and provide relief to those who are without help or hope. (See D&C 81:5.)

With professional skills and experience grounded in a tradition of faith, members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society around the world are uniquely qualified to truly enrich the communities in which we live. The remaining links under this heading provide principles, suggestions and experiences relating to our collective obligation and opportunity to serve.

Service as Chapters

Each chapter within the Law Society is encouraged to be involved in some form of service. Of primary importance is service that is best provided by those with legal training. This might include service to those who, because of economic circumstances, are denied relief which access to legal process might provide. Service at the chapter level might also include working with other non-profit organizations, service through and to local bar associations or community outreach that defends religious liberty, sustains the rule of law and builds goodwill among legal practitioners.

A simple matrix to help your chapter organize some kind of public service within your community can be retrieved here.

Finally, some service experiences of chapters around the world can be reviewed here. Chapter leaders can also contact their area directors for more information and ideas.

Community Service

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society links arms with other attorneys around the world who are seeking to do good. As we reach out and offer our help to others striving to make a difference, we make friendships, build goodwill and provide avenues for future collaboration and cooperation.
Many communities have legal services organizations already in place.  Some JRCLS Chapters, such as the Boston Chapter, act as a resource by getting to know the local legal service groups, receiving requests for pro bono work from church leaders or others, and connecting those needing legal services with groups capable of meeting their needs.
Great service can also be rendered to and through the local bar. For example, the Orange County chapter is an official affiliate of the Orange County Bar Association and is able to alert its members to the OCBA’s service opportunities.
Attorneys also provide valuable counsel and assistance to many non-profit groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.  The experiences of several attorneys who are giving or have given valuable community service can be accessed here.

Government Service

Beginning with J. Reuben Clark himself, many attorneys affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have given significant service to government at the national, state and local level.  The experiences of several attorneys who are giving or have given service to government can be accessed here.