Regent’s Faith-Law Integration Anticipates Results of Influential Carnegie Foundation Study

According to a recent Carnegie Foundation on Education report discussed within Best Practices for Legal Education: A Vision and A Road Map, the legal profession is in danger of becoming de-moralized as law schools fall short in encouraging students to develop ethical compasses.

The authors of Best Practices, senior faculty from law schools nationwide including NYU, Rutgers, and Vanderbilt, cite the need for professional ethics training throughout the law school curriculum in addition to standard ethics courses. They argue that students would be better prepared to tackle the professional and personal challenges of being a lawyer if law schools had a more positive impact on the development of their value systems.

Publications like The National Jurist have recently explored the issue as well.

According to the Carnegie report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law:
In so far as law schools choose not to place ethical-social values within the inner circle of their highest esteem and most central preoccupation, and in so far as they fail to make systematic efforts to educate towards a central moral tradition of lawyering, legal education may inadvertently contribute to the demoralization of the legal profession and its loss of a moral compass, as many observers have charged (140).
Regent Law’s integrated curriculum has trained students to practice law ethically and professionally since its inception - in advance of recent findings.

“Christian Foundations of Law,” Regent’s signature first-year curriculum course, is one such example. Students explore the biblical foundations of law and the divergent path of modern law. The course challenges students to measure their legal success in light of eternal principles of truth and justice. It also encourages them to wed intellectual analysis with the dictates of conscience, and to ultimately practice law with excellence and integrity.

Law Professor and Students Petition the U.S. Supreme Court

Students in Prof. Bruce Cameron’s classes have the opportunity to contribute to litigation changing the face of employment and labor law.

As part of Regent’s National Right to Work Practicum, students Amber Morris (3L), Ernie Walton (2L) and Chuck Slemp (3L) helped research and write a petition for certiorari filed with the United States Supreme Court.

The case in question, Reed v. United Auto Workers, involves a worker in a unionized auto plant who has sincere religious objections to joining or financially supporting a labor union. Because of his religious beliefs, Reed is being charged more in compulsory union fees than any other employee, including those whose objections to supporting the union are secular.

Professor Cameron argues that under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, employees have both the right to be free of religious discrimination and the right to a reasonable accommodation of their religious belief. The majority of the judges on the lower courts determined that anyone who claims accommodation rights on the grounds of religious belief can be charged more in compulsory fees than other employees. Thus, the case offers an opportunity to put objections requiring religious accommodation on the same footing as secular objections to funding union political activity.

The case also presents the issue of what must be proven by a religious objector in a religious accommodation case. The U.S. Supreme Court has never decided that issue, and the lower federal courts of appeal are evenly split. About half of the federal courts of appeal have ruled that an employee seeking religious accommodation must first be discharged or disciplined before bringing a federal court suit. Professor Cameron believes that no employee should have to choose between his job and obedience to God.

Cameron filed the petition on December 15, 2009, and he and his students will eagerly await the Court’s decision.

Learn more about Bruce N. Cameron, Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law, here.

Pepperdine Law Professor Gives Talk on Client Counseling and Moral Responsibility

On November 24th Regent Law proudly hosted Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Robert F. Cochran for a noon lecture titled “Client Counseling and Moral Responsibility.”

Professor Cochran’s address explored alternative client counseling models, all differing in the extent to which they advocate legal counsel providing moral guidance and friendship within the client relationship.

Given its emphasis on moral responsibility, Cochran’s lecture was particularly timely for Regent Law students striving to live out their legal callings with excellence and integrity.

“Professor Cochran is a true leader in the world of faith and law integration,” said law school Dean Jeffrey Brauch. “We are honored to have him on campus.”

The event, hosted jointly by Regent’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Board and Regent’s chapter of the Christian Legal Society, was attended by both faculty and students.

Cochran is the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law and also serves as Director of the Herb and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics.

Read more about Professor Cochran here.

Regent Law Secures Victory at 12th Annual Statewide Legal Food Frenzy for Third Year Running

Regent University School of Law students, faculty,  and staff contributed to the 1.5 million pounds of food collected by the local legal com...