Christian Legal Collaborative, Inc.
What does the name 'Christian Legal Collaborative' mean?
The organization was named by our founder, Katina Werner. To her, it represents both inspiration as well as an attempt to communicate hope and many important goals to others in our community.
•“Christian” makes clear this is a faith based organization, and it was our founder's intent to have everyone know that about us. She wanted the organization to be a beacon of hope to those that were praying for God to help them. For those that had been wounded by Christians in the past, or continued to be put off by them, she knew we would have our work cut out for us and wanted it to be our never ending challenge to heal those wounds and stand for something better. Where we ourselves were to ever be perceived as wounding or failing someone, she has challenged us to accept the criticism with a faithful ear and endeavor to improve ourselves and the organization wherever we can do so.
•“Legal” of course makes clear our intent to focus on legal issues, but notice that she put the word “Christian” first. This is because she felt, and had learned, that many times people come in describing a legal problem that is really primarily a spiritual issue– something was done to them that can’t be solved legally—it has to be resolved in their spirit. Those of us that are Christian believe we have to put God first for things to be right in our lives. Likewise, whether people identify as Christian or not, we can often help them greatly by just putting their feelings first and using our general spirituality and kindness in treating them with dignity. Treating people well goes a long way.
•“Collaborative” is at the end of the organization's name, but it substantially shapes the meaning. It was the first word that came to her and the most important word--the one that stuck. Lawyers and legal minds in general want to solve everything neatly and we want to do it by ourselves because we think we can. But it takes a village to raise a child right? And it takes the community to determine what the community needs and to solve the community’s issues. We have to do it together. We have to collaborate. We have way too many talents out there to just name one leader, one hero, one worker, or one small set of workers. We need to get everyone working on the issues. So the last word “Collaborative” plays not just off the word “Legal,” but off the word “Christian,” because how can we get everyone working together if we only reach out to the lawyers, or only to the Christians? Our founder believes we should not only serve everyone but also value everyone’s talents—regardless of their faith. She believes that we don’t dishonor our God by working with other honorable people fighting for the same honorable causes hurting His people. She reminds us that non Christians are our neighbors too and believes it is fully consistent with our faith to include them in this work. She urges us to consider that it could only honor our God to treat absolutely everyone, including non-Christians, with love and respect.
If you would like to be part of this beautiful vision, please see our "Sponsorship" page and consider what time, talent, and treasure you would like to contribute. You may also go to the "Donate Now" page if you would like to make a donation in order to support our reduced fee services for low to modest income persons, helping to ensure better access to justice to more persons in our community. Sponsorships will also help ensure that we will be able to implement other parts of the CLC vision, such as our Pro se Assistance Center, which includes a Technology Center that allows the community to interact with agencies as needed; interdisciplinary aspects including hiring a social worker to help clients remove the barriers from implementing legal advice and reaching other important goals; and our Empowerment Project.