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The author takes an experimental journey into the inner life of law and the careers of men and women who use it to help disadvantaged people and to strengthen the fabric of the communities in which they live. At the centre of this work are portraits of seven contemporary legal practitioners - lawyers, judges, and advocates - who have devoted their lives to an unconventional vision of the law. In their work, in areas from New York City housing court to the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon, the law exemplifies fundamental human values, manifestations of what Ball calls the ""Word,"" the presence of God in life. To develop this concept of the ""Word"", Ball explores its workings in familiar literary and biblical texts, primarily William Faulkner's ""The Sound and the Fury"", Toni Morrison's ""Beloved"", the Book of Isaiah and the Gospel of Mark.