Thoughts on CLS’ Southwest Regional Retreat
Guest Author – Yevgeniy P. Pislar
“I wish it need not have happened in my time.
So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
In all of our lives we reach a “Frodo/Esther moment” in which we reach the end of ourselves and have to rely on community to get us through. Esther had the Diaspora and Frodo had the Fellowship. According to David Nammo, attorneys are number one in depression, suicide, and addiction. As such, attorneys and law students definitely need a Fellowship to get by in their careers – attorneys to not become merely part of a statistic and law students to build that foundation for fellowship and community. Especially in the turbulent times we are currently living in, the need for fellowship is as great as it ever was.
In the first weekend of March, I had the opportunity to attend Christian Legal Society’s Southwest Retreat in Dana Point, California, presciently themed “Living Faithfully in Turbulent Times.” This retreat once again reminded me of the importance of being part of a community of believers. This retreat was a great reminder that we are ambassadors of the Heavenly Kingdom and how important it is to remember that especially when times become very difficult to live out that reality.
As a law student, it is easy to get caught up in the minutiae of finals, grades, rankings, and getting into the top law firm that it is very easy to lose sight of the most important things in life, being an ambassador for the Kingdom. Since the law school culture is steeped in this spirit of competition, it becomes nearly impossible not to get caught up in it, especially when one is all alone. The retreat brought up the paradox of having a high calling as believers who represent the Kingdom, while knowing that we would always fail in that calling. However, as believers who are law students, that is what we are called to – striving toward our calling, whether or not we will attain it. But to make that journey less difficult and more joyful, we are able to connect with a community of believers. The retreat gave the law students (and attorneys) the opportunity to connect with one another and remind each other that we are not alone in this journey.
Community is essential to life. Being part of a community of like-minded individuals who understand what you are going through and the challenges you face as a law student is even more important. People who have not faced the rigors, challenges, and stresses of law school might be able to sympathize with the plight of law students but they will never fully understand them. That is why it is so important to find that community with other like-minded believers who are also suffering through the joys that are known as law school.
Being a part of CLS and attending the various events CLS hosts offers me that opportunity to be part of a community of believers who understand the difficulties of law school and would be able to encourage and uplift me to continue on that journey towards the high calling of being Christian law students and eventually Christian attorneys.
Yevgeniy P. Pislar