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May 27, 2007

Evangelical Law Students & Schools

In reaction to Doug's post below, I thought I might offer a different perspective than those of the posters over at TalkLeft. I was interviewed for the Chicago Tribune article mentioned because I am on the executive committee for the organization of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools. Though my school is not one of those described in the article, I do know people at many of those schools.

I thought Doug and the commenters here were very fair in assessing the article. There have been a number of new schools established recently (Ava Maria, Barry, Regent, Liberty, Faulkner) that have an expressly Christian identity. It seems that the reaction of the people over at TalkLeft were as much to the students as to the schools, and that is unfortunate. I have a number of Evangelical students, and have found that they vary widely in their outlook and politics. What they do have in common is a sense of service as part of their vocation, and that is a great thing. There are not many jobs as right-wing (or left-wing) activists, but many more as public defenders, prosecutors, and public service lawyers, and those are the jobs I see these students taking. I admire that in them the same way I admire those qualities in many of my Jewish students, in Mormon students, in agnostic students, and wherever I can find it. If faith has something to do with the development of that ethic in those of my students who have it, that is a good thing for faith to be doing.

The growth of these schools is intriguing to me in two respects. First, they are surviving and growing, which means there must be a market for this type of education, and I wonder what is driving that market. Second, I suspect there is some real innovation going on as these upstarts survive and develop, and I want to learn more about that.

-- Mark Osler

May 27, 2007 | Permalink


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I don't understand why Barry gets lumped in with Ave Maria, Regent, and Liberty. Barry is affiliated with a religious institution, but no more so than Georgetown, Boston College, St. Thomas, Loyola, or any other Catholic law school. The former were founded in order to promote an agenda -- and an agenda that I think is inherently harmful and closed-minded. There is a difference between a proselytizing law school and a religiously affiliated law school.

Posted by: Marc J. Randazza | Jun 20, 2007 6:43:17 AM

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