Why will some lawyers just never learn that “creative” law firm websites are a bad idea? Over the years we’ve seen an odd array of crazy websites, and, while I may question the sanity of their creators, I must admit that the ever-growing collection has provided hours of entertainment.

Today’s addition, courtesy of a friendly tipster, is in a class by itself. I wouldn’t have thought that we needed a new category for “fantasy attorney websites,” but Rachel A. Runnels, Attorney at Law, has proven me wrong.

Ms. Runnels, a solo practitioner hailing from the distant mythical land of Arkansas, has decided that her professional website is the best place to let her inner dork shine. The result is a world that is far more ethereal than the one I trudge through on a daily basis. Venture with me into the world of Law and Light as we explore what Ms. Runnels’ website has to offer…

When we first land in the World of Runnels, we are greeted by a cloaked forest denizen holding a torch and accompanied by a lion, a tiger and a leopard. The evening air twinkles with a sea of scattered sparkles (I like to think that fairies are responsible), and we are soothed bombarded by the sound of a rushing waterfall.

Now, I’ve been to Arkansas. I’m starting to think that I went to the wrong places, because nowhere I went looked like the land of Law and Light. I didn’t meet any hooded forest dwellers ready to protect my legal rights. I certainly saw no large jungle cats living in harmony with humans (or human-like beings).

So, who is this woman who lives in such a happy and peaceful land? Her bio (waterfall still roaring) paints a picture of someone who would seem to be fairly grounded – University of Chicago, DePaul Law School, various legal positions in Chicago. After moving to Arkansas she conquered the Arkansas bar after just one year of studying (incidentally you can’t waive in from Illinois). She now does criminal defense work and provides divorce and estate planning services. Normal enough, right?

But Ms. Runnels has an otherworldly spiritual side that seems at odds with her life as both a preacher’s daughter and pastor’s wife. She is both a board member of the Edgar Cayce Foundation and a “life member of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc.” In case you’re unfamiliar with Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. (as I was), they conveniently have a highly informative website and an ambitious mission statement:

The Mission of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) is to help people transform their lives for the better, through research, education, and application of core concepts found in the Edgar Cayce readings and kindred materials that seek to manifest the love of God and all people and promote the purposefulness of life, the oneness of God, the spiritual nature of humankind, and the connection of body, mind, and spirit.

The organization’s namesake, Edgar Cayce, was, so I’ve learned, a great psychic and seer whose visions were totally confirmed by the Dead Sea Scrolls:

While in the trance state, Edgar Cayce’s ability to peer into the past with uncanny psychic accuracy was demonstrated repeatedly.

A.R.E. was founded “to research and explore transpersonal subjects such as holistic health, ancient mysteries, personal spirituality, dreams and dream interpretation, intuition, and philosophy and reincarnation.” A.R.E.’s home page would suggest that “ancient mysteries” include Mayan 2012 prophecies. Their newly-discounted conferences on the 2012 doomsday predictions could prove useful in the unlikely event that the rescheduled rapture doesn’t happen.

In case you’re considering joining up, a life membership in A.R.E. goes for $2,400. However, if all you’re looking for is some good karma, that can be procured by a simple monthly donation of $20 or more.

But A.R.E. isn’t the only thing that Ms. Runnels is promoting. You can check out a whole list of other places that “Rachel just raves about!” – everything from mortgage services to antiques. She also provides some suggested links, including various Arkansas and legal resources, the previously-discussed Edgar Cayce, and, not at all surprisingly, the Geekfest message board. At least she’s not in denial.

Personally, I would think that someone facing criminal charges has enough to worry about without the additional fear that his or her lawyer might show up in court wearing a hooded cloak, but maybe that’s just me. Either way, I would like to thank Ms. Runnels for adding this brief yet pleasant departure from reality to my day. I’m only sad that I didn’t have to break out my Elfish-English dictionary.

So, if you ever have the misfortune of facing felony charges in Berryville, Arkansas, look her up. Just watch out for the jungle cats.


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