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“Mrs. Cooper’s Resolve” by Samantha Fitzpatrick

October 27, 2019

Philadelphia from South Street Bridge, Author King of Hearts/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia

Below is one of countless stories from Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, the organization which is the successor to a small faith-based legal clinic a handful of other Christian lawyers and I founded years ago.

Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia (which now has seven locations) does great work in the inner city, spreading the Gospel as well as providing free legal assistance to the poor.  Please, consider donating, if you can.

“My time at Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia has taught me a valuable lesson about human resolve.  Through our clients, I have seen how the desire for a happier life will serve as the catalyst to overcoming a host of challenges.

For Ms. Cooper, a happier life meant marrying her longtime fiancé. In order to achieve that goal, she needed a divorce.  The problem was that she had no contact information for her estranged spouse in over twenty years.

During our initial consultation, I could see that Ms. Cooper was not helpless.  I would later learn the number of obstacles she was fighting on a daily basis. That knowledge confirmed my initial observations…

Early on, I knew that my clients would struggle with health, finances, and even family.  I also knew I would not be able to help every person.  But, I knew in my spirit that Ms. Cooper did not need me to fix it.  She needed me to show her that she had the power to do it on her own.  I was thrilled to be able to help Ms. Cooper by drafting the appropriate petition and providing her with an advice letter that walked her though each step of the process.”

“In our phone conversations, Ms. Cooper was candid about her fight with breast cancer and her ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression. Nevertheless, in every conversation she was joyful and polite.  She never blamed us for her frustrations.  As we encouraged her in the Lord, I could hear the tone in her voice change.  She felt empowered.

Knowing that I set a client, who struggled with feeling defeated, on a path to step into her identity as a victor reminded me that our work as counselors is more important for some clients than the substantive legal work.

My experience working with Ms. Cooper has taught me, in life, if we have the resolve to accomplish a goal, all we need is someone to remind us of our power.  As I continue in my career, I will use this lesson to remind myself of the importance of the lawyer as counselor-at-law.”

“…[W]e also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5: 3-4).


  1. Ahh, this was really wonderful to read. Love what she said about empowering people, encouraging them.

  2. Well done! Good job, counsellors-at-law:)

    Very meaningful indeed.

  3. Really wonderful.

  4. Workinhg with the less fortunate than us can be rewarding. Also can teach us valuable lessons.

  5. This is wonderful! 🤗🙏💜 Jackie@KWH

  6. Anna, your work inspires me in so many ways right now. Thank you for sharing your insights on both your blogs. Each covers topics that are dear to my heart. ❤️

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