Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, is the
founder and director of the Institute. He has written several books on the subjects of law, religion, and ethics, including Cases and Materials on the Legal Profession (West 2002) (with Teresa Collett), Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale University Press 2001) (with Michael McConnell and Angela Carmella), and Lawyers, Clients, and Moral Responsibility (West 1994) (with Thomas Shaffer). He teaches torts, as well as courses on the relationship between faith, morality, law, and the legal profession. In 1999, the idea for Pepperdine's
Union Rescue Mission Legal Clinic grew out of one of those classes. Professor Cochran is one of the founders of the Law Professors' Christian Fellowship, and served as chair of the Association of American Law School's Professional Responsibility Section in 2002-2003.
Thomas G. Bost, interim dean and professor of law, specializes in
tax and corporate law. He is a graduate of Abilene Christian University and Vanderbilt Law School, and is active in the Churches of Christ. Professor Bost has made the following recent presentations: "Churches of Christ: Potential Contributions to Legal Scholarship and Teaching," at the Christian Scholars' Conference in Oklahoma City and the Religiously-Affiliated Law Schools Conference in Malibu; and "Gamaliel and American Legal Education: Christian Law Schools," at Celebration 2001, "Celebrating Higher Education in the Churches
of Christ: The Faith-Informed Curriculum and Co-Curriculum," in Dallas.
Bernard James, a professor of constitutional law, is a frequent commentator and writer on church/state issues. He covers the calendar of decisions before the Supreme Court as the First Amendment contributing editor to the ABA Preview Journal of United States Supreme Court Cases, and serves as a senior consultant to several federal government grant programs that provide technical assistance to state and local school officials on church/state matters.
Douglas W. Kmiec, Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law, is a
wide-ranging writer and engaging teacher. He is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal, and a frequent guest on Nightline and PBS's The Newshour. He is the co-author (with legal historian Stephen Presser of Northwestern University) of three books on the Constitution -- The American Constitutional Order; Individual Rights and the American
Constitution; and The History, Structure and Philosophy of the
American Constitution. Professor Kmiec previously served as the dean of the law school at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and on the law faculty at Notre Dame. Professor
Kmiec is currently on leave, serving as the United States Ambassador to Malta.
Edward J. Larson is University Professor of History and Hugh & Hazel Darling Professor of Law at Pepperdine University and recipient of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History. He served as Associate Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor (1983-87), an attorney with a major Seattle law firm (1979-83), and a professor at the University of Georgia (1987-present). Larson writes mostly about issues of science, medicine and law from an historical perspective. His books include
Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (2006 rev. ed.); Evolution's Workshop: God and Science in the Galapagos Islands (2001), Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (1997).
Larson teaches, writes, and speaks on history, law, science, and bio-ethics for academic, professional, and public audiences. Course on the history of evolution theory is available on audio and video The Teaching Company. Larson earned a B.A. from Williams College, a law degree from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Larson received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the Ohio State University in 2004.
Peter Robinson is the associate director of the Straus Institute for
Dispute Resolution, and an assistant professor of law. Prior to joining the Pepperdine community, Professor Robinson was the director of the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles, and mediated more than 300 disputes. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills training in more than thirty states, and in Asia, Argentina, Holland, and Israel. He serves on the executive committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association's ADR section.
Shelley R. Saxer teaches property and land use. In her scholarship,
she explores the impact of land use regulation on religious freedom. For example, where zoning authorities seek to regulate religious exercise, precluding a church from operating a homeless shelter, she has argued that any zoning that impacts First Amendment rights in advance of the exercise of those rights constitutes unlawful prior restraint. Professor Saxer proposes that nuisance law be used to address adverse effects from religious uses only after those adverse effects occur, instead of using zoning to avoid problems in advance
that may never materialize.
Mark S. Scarberry focuses on religious liberty issues. He serves as moderator of the Advisory Committee on Litigation for the national Presbyterian Church (USA), the committee that advises the church with regard to joining or initiating amicus briefs in important cases. Professor Scarberry wrote an amicus brief in the Doe v. Madison School District case in the Ninth Circuit. He has taught First Amendment seminars, and a Religion and the Constitution course. His other main academic focus is bankruptcy law. In addition to teaching and writing in that area, he prepared the training materials and helped to train attorneys to provide pro bono help to low income consumer bankruptcy debtors as part of the L.A. County Bar Association/Public Counsel Debtor Assistance Project.
Brittany Stringfellow Otey is an assistant professor and director of the Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission. She is a graduate of Westmont College and Pepperdine Law School. As a student, she served as Note and Comment Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review. Professor Otey was active as a volunteer at the legal clinic, both as a student and while in law practice. She supervises student interns and volunteers at the clinic, which is located in the Los Angeles Skid Row area.