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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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CAN THE ORDINARY PRACTICE OF LAW BE A RELIGIOUS CALLING?

Religious Freedom PosterFebruary 6-7, 2004

Pepperdine School of Law's Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics along with co-sponsors Christian Legal Society and the Jewish Law Students Association, hosted a conference entitled, "Can the ordinary practice of law be a religious calling?" on February 6-7 at Pepperdine's Malibu campus.

This conference focused on the religious concept of vocation or calling as a means of understanding the ordinary, day-to-day work of lawyers. Three of the leading thinkers in the country on the relationship between religious faith and secular work, argued that work, even what is normally considered secular work, is an area of life that can and should be redeemed by God.

A discussion followed on how the theory of vocation or calling might apply to lawyers—to the problems and opportunities created by the adversary system, billing pressures, stress, and lack of collegiality within the profession.

Finally, Individual panels composed of some of the leading lawyers and law professors in the country focused on specialty areas—corporate, family, civil litigation, and criminal prosecution and defense.

Panels and presentations included:
• The practice of law as a religious calling
• Corporate and tax practice panel
• Family and personal law practice
• Civil litigation and appellate practice
• Criminal prosecution and defense

Featured speakers included:
• Lee Hardy, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, and author of "The Fabric of This World: Inquiries Into Calling, Career Choice, and the Design of Human Work" (Eerdmans, 1990)
• Joseph G. Allegretti, author of "The Lawyer's Calling: Christian Faith and Legal Practice" (Paulist Press, 1996);
• Arthur Gross-Schaefer, rabbi, and professor of marketing and business law at Loyola University

For more details, download the conference brochure here.