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For Buddhist lawyers, compassion and conflict

With the Dalai Lama in town, Buddhists have taken to the streets of Washington, and one writer finds a surprising number of lawyers among their ranks.

As the Washington Post feature writer discovered, Buddhist lawyers have their own Facebook page. There’s even a scholarly paper on Buddhists who practice law.

Apparently, it’s not easy to reconcile the often-adversarial nature of legal work with the teachings of the Buddha. A former “bruising New Jersey lawyer” found he had to leave the world of litigation. Other lawyers, he said, had no conflicts. “[I]t’s different for prosecutors,” he said. “They get a pass because they’re crusading for justice.”

Another Buddhist lawyer said she counted a variety of high-powered professionals among her spiritual family, including “PhDs, doctors, lawyers, people from the World Bank, the IMF, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, partners in large and mid-size law firms, authors, scientists, and prosecutors.”

Posted by Peter Vieth

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