Faculty | Faculty & Research | School of Law | Pepperdine University


Photo of Michael A. Helfand, Ph.D.

Michael A. Helfand, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director,
Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies

Office: School of Law (SOL)

  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2009
  • J.D., Yale University, 2007
  • B.A., Yeshiva University, 2002

Curriculum Vitae

The Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies

SSRN Author Page


Professor Michael Helfand is an expert on religious law and religious liberty. A frequent author and lecturer, his work considers how U.S. law treats religious law, custom and practice, focusing on the intersection of private law and religion in contexts such as religious arbitration, religious contracts and religious torts. His academic articles have appeared in numerous law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, New York University Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Boston University Law Review, and University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. In addition, Professor Helfand often provides commentary on clashes between law and religion, writing for various public audience publications, including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the National Law Journal and the Forward.

Professor Helfand joined the Pepperdine Law faculty in 2010 where he has taught Contracts, Arbitration Law, Jewish Law and seminars in Law and Religion as well as Multiculturalism and the Law. Professor Helfand also serves as the associate director of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies at Pepperdine University as well as a member of the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. In addition, he serves as both an arbitrator and consultant for the Beth Din of America.



All | Books | Book Chapters | Articles | Forthcoming | Popular Press


  • Michael A. Helfand & Barak D. Richman, The Challenge of Co-Religionist Commerce, 64 DUKE L.J. 769 (2015) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Between Law and Religion: Procedural Challenges to Religious Arbitration Awards, 90 CHI.-KENT L. REV 141 (2015) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Arbitration's Counter-Narrative: The Religious Arbitration Paradigm, 124 YALE L.J. 2994 (2015) SSRN
  • Michael A. Helfand, Religious Institutionalism, Implied Consent, and the Value of Voluntarism, 88 S. CAL. L. REV. 539 (2015) SSRN
  • Michael A. Helfand, Introduction: Religious Law in the 21st Century, 41 PEPP. L.R. 991 (2014) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, What is a "Church"?: Implied Consent and the Contraception Mandate, 21 J. CONTEMP. LEGAL ISSUES 401 (2013) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Religion's Footnote Four: Church Autonomy as Arbitration, 97 MINN. L. REV. 1891 (2013) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Litigating Religion, 93 B. U. L. REV. 493 (2013) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Purpose, Precedent, and Politics: Why Concepcion Covers Less than You Think, 4 YB. ARB. & MEDIATION 126 (2013) SSRN
  • Michael A. Helfand, A Liberalism of Sincerity: Religion's Role in the Public Square, 1 J. L. RELIGION & STATE 217 (2013)
  • Michael A. Helfand & Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Religious Legal Theory Symposium Introduction, 39 PEPP. L. REV. 1051 (2012) (symposium issue) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Religious Arbitration and the New Multiculturalism: Negotiating Conflicting Legal Orders, 86 N.Y.U. L. REV. 1231 (2011) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, Fighting for the Debtor's Soul: Regulating Religious Commercial Conduct, 19 GEO. MASON L. REV. 157 (2011) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand & Yaacov Feit, Confirming Piskei Din in Secular Court, 61 J. HALACHA & CONTEMP. SOC'Y 5 (2011)
  • Michael A. Helfand, The Usual Suspect Classifications: Criminals, Aliens and the Future of Same-Sex Marriage, 12 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 1 (2009) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, How the Diversity Rationale Lays the Groundwork for New Discrimination, 17 WM. & MARY BILL RTS. J. 607 (2009) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Michael A. Helfand, When Religious Practices Become Legal Obligations: Extending the Foreign Compulsion Defense, 23 J.L. & RELIGION 535 (2008) SSRN HeinOnline

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