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‘Good Samaritan Lawyers’ Network Challenges Injustice

CHICAGO, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Bruce D. Strom loves lawyers, and not just because he is one. Lawyers, he contends, have the opportunity and the honor of bringing God’s justice into the world.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130604/PH24945 )

On February 14, 2010, he started Administer Justice, a Christian legal aid organization based in Elgin, Ill., serving the needs of low-income and no-income individuals. Today 12 staffers and more than 700 volunteers, including more than 260 attorneys, are working to fulfill Administer Justice’s call to “empower the powerless, give hope to the hopeless, and show mercy and compassion to those in need.”

Now Strom is calling churches everywhere to join with attorneys in taking up the cause of justice in a new book called Gospel Justice: Joining Together to Provide Help and Hope for Those Oppressed by Legal Injustice (Moody Publishers).

Using the parable of the Good Samaritan as a framework, the author opens readers’ eyes to the plight of the injured, the way of justice and the unique role that lawyers play in God’s plan.

“When we think of injustice, we think of someone suffering in a far off place. Not here in America,” Strom says. “But the fact remains that injustice exists in our own neighborhoods, everything from illegal loans and identity theft, to abuse and domestic violence.”

Christians are good at the punishment side of justice, not so much the restorative side, Strom notes. He says that many believers look at the poor as he once did:

“I used to believe the poor were that way by their bad decisions. If only they worked harder, they could succeed. I had no idea that in a three-year span nearly 32 percent of people in our country experienced at least two months of poverty … that is almost 1 in 3.”

Moreover, Strom says, 4,300 people are turned away from legal services every working day in the United States because there isn’t enough help available. He notes that in this country if you commit a crime, you get an attorney. But if you are the victim of such oppression, you must fend for yourself.

In Gospel Justice, Strom outlines the role that the church has played historically in providing legal aid and the “unprecedented opportunity to engage in gospel justice ministry today that transforms individuals and communities.”

An accomplished attorney, Strom has handled cases before federal courts, appellate courts, the Illinois Supreme Court, even the U.S. Supreme Court. Leaving behind a successful career as the senior partner of a multi-office law practice was not an easy decision.

“I was featured in the Chicago Tribune, received several awards and was making a lot of money. I thought I was a success,” he remembers.

Through a series of events chronicled in Gospel Justice, Strom ultimately succumbed to God’s calling on his life … like Jonah in the Bible:

“I am a ‘boat disciple.’ Don’t rock the boat and definitely don’t ask me to get out of it!” he jokes. “I would not have given up my security if God had not throw me overboard.”

In writing Gospel Justice, Strom hopes to encourage churches to see justice as a vital part of any holistic ministry, and that justice cannot be separated from law and lawyers.

He concludes, “To obtain justice, a person must have access to the justice system. In America that can’t happen without a lawyer. But only the church can go beyond human efforts. Working together, we can provide justice for the poor and the hope of the Gospel.”

MEDIA CONTACT

To order review copies and schedule interviews with the author, contact Janis Backing at 312-329-2108 or Email.

http://administerjustice.org