Jeffrey R. Baker
Professor Baker is a full Clinical Professor of Law and the Associate Dean of Clinical Education and Global Programs at Caruso School of Law. He teaches and supervises the Community Justice Clinic and other courses. As Associate Dean, he directs the program of clinical education, including the legal clinics, externships, pro bono programs, practicum courses, and the experiential learning curriculum. He also leads the law school’s global programs, including the London Program, Washington DC Externship Semester, the Augsburg Exchange Program, and law school programs at the Chateau d’Hauteville in Switzerland.
In the Community Justice Clinic, Professor Baker practices with law students to provide pro bono legal services to local nonprofits, community organizations, and international nongovernmental organizations dedicated to justice, human rights, and empowerment among vulnerable and marginalized populations. The Clinic serves as general counsel to these clients in corporate, transactional, compliance, and policy matters.
Professor Baker graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School before returning to his home state of Mississippi where he had a diverse trial and appellate practice in complex litigation with the firm of Watkins & Eager. From 2006-2013, Baker was an associate professor of law and Director of Clinical Programs at Faulkner University Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was Professor of the Year in 2012.
Professor Baker has also led legal clinics addressing domestic violence, elder law, and natural disaster responses. He has extensive experience as a civil litigator, corporate counsel, advocate, and negotiator. He is also a mediator and regularly teaches and consults on negotiation and conflict resolution.
His scholarship focuses on issues of human rights and dignity, social justice, legal education, and ethics, at the intersections of law, theology, jurisprudence, and public policy. Professor Baker speaks and writes regularly on clinical education, professional formation, public interest lawyering, and social justice. He also edits the Clinical Law Prof Blog and is actively involved with the Clinical Legal Education Association and the Section on Clinical Legal Education of the Association of American Law Schools.
In Alabama, he received the Montgomery Advertiser's Martin Luther King Spirit Honors Award and the Justice for Victims Award from the area domestic violence shelter. There he also served in leadership and direction for nonprofits, community and professional organizations.
In California, he serves on the boards of nonprofits committed to expanding justice, resources, and health for vulnerable communities. He is active in church and neighborhood ministries. In 2020, he received a Dolphin Award for Citizens of the Year from the Malibu Times.
He is a member of the Mississippi, Alabama, and California bars.
- J.D., Vanderbilt University, 2000
- B.A., Harding University, 1997, magna cum laude
- Jeffrey R. Baker, CLINICAL PEDAGOGY TRAINING COURSE HANDBOOK (CLINICAL LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAM, Volume 4) (Mandaluyong City, Philippines: The Asia Foundation & the U.S. Dept. of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office 2022)
Forthcoming Book Chapters
- Jeffrey R. Baker, Legal Basis for the Business of Incarceration, in THE BUSINESS OF INCARCERATION: THEOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (Cascade, forthcoming 2023).
- Excellence Award, Sentry Living Solutions (2020) (honoring the Community Justice Clinic)
- County of Los Angeles, Commendation from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (March 2020)
- State of California Senate, Certificate of Recognition from Sen. Henry Stern (March 2020)
- Waves of Excellence, Faculty Award for Service (May 2019)
- The Malibu Times Citizen of the Year Dolphin Award (2019)
- ABA Law Student Division Public Interest Award (2018) (honoring the Disaster Relief Clinic)
- Jeff Baker and Tanya Cooper receive Pepperdine Cross-School Collaborative Research Program grants, June 28, 2016 Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Surf Report
- Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Honorary Member (2013)
- Jones Public Interest Law Foundation, Special Service Award (2013)
- Family Sunshine Center’s Justice for Victims Award (2009, 2013)
- Faulkner Univ. Jones School of Law Professor of the Year (2012)
- Montgomery Advertiser Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit Honors Award (Jan. 2009)
- The Pedagogy of Clinical Legal Education, a seven-week online workshop with asynchronous lectures and live sessions, followed by a multi-month consulting engagement with law schools, deans and faculty in the Philippines, supported by The Asia Foundation, the Philippines Supreme Court Oversight Committee, and Philippines Legal Education Board, February – October, 2022.
- The Inaugural Faith and Justice Trip to Montgomery, Alabama, through the Nootbaar Institute for Law Religion and Ethics, March 10-12, 2022, including a narrated walking tour of civil rights and Civil War sites (with Prof. Jennifer Lee Koh and Assoc. Dean Chalak Richards).
- Legal Clinics’ Responses to Climate Change, How Can Legal Clinics Adapt to Tackle Climate Change? Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: A Response to COP26, an online event by King’s College London, University of Strathclyde Glasgow, University of York, Clinical Legal Education Organization, Nov. 3, 2021.
Cross-Cultural Practice and Communication, Qualifying Session, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, London, online, Feb. 2021; in person at Middle Temple, Oct. 2021.
How to Start a New Clinic: Clinic Design and Pedagogy, International Conference on Legal Clinics and Access to Justice, online at Ibmec University, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, and Pepperdine Caruso Law, Aug. 2021 (with Prof. Rosario Olivas-Quito of De La Salle University).
Myths, Realities & Strategies: Legal and Christian Responses to Human Trafficking, March 30, 2021, online at Lakeland University (with Prof. Tanya Cooper, Dr. Letitia Campbell, and Dr. Julie Mavity Maddelena).
Lawyering in Crisis, AALS Externship community webinar, Sept. 2020 (with Profs. Christine Cerniglia of Stetson, Davida Finger of Loyola New Orleans, Nadiyah Humber of Roger Williams).
Institutionalising Pro Bono in the Maldives Task Force, September 2020 (consultation coordinated with the Global Pro Bono Bar Association).
Racial Justice, Access to Justice, and Ethical Lawyering, Qualifying Session, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, London, online, Oct. 2020.
The Racial Justice Imperative in Ethical Lawyering, online at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, July 9, 2020, with Prof. Tiffany Williams.
Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program Summer Seminar, June 2019, discussant.
Critical Reflective Practice & Learning for Transfer, CLEA New Clinicians Conference, San Francisco, May 2019.
Rapid Response and Triage In Times of Upheaval: Rebalancing and Innovating our Practice, Pedagogy, and Scholarship, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Chicago, IL, May 2018 (with Profs. Carrie Hagan-Gray of Indiana-McKinney, Darren Bush of Houston, Vanessa Merton of Pace, Janet Calvo of CUNY).
The Politics of Law School Engagement in Post-Disaster Relief Efforts, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Chicago, IL, May 2018 (with Profs. Luz Herrera of Texas A&M, Davida Finger of Loyola – New Orleans, Christine Cerniglia of Stetson, JoNel Newman of Miami).
The Disaster is Gone – And So Are My Volunteers: Strategies for Pro Bono Engagement During the Response and Recovery Process, ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference, San Diego, May 2018 (with Pablo Almaguer of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Michael Hofritcher of the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Elizabeth Hom of the State Bar of California, and Karen Korr of the San Diego Bar Association).
Balancing Interests, AALS Clinical and Experiential Law Programs Directors Workshop, Denver, CO, May 2017 (with Prof. Ann Marie B. Cavazos of Florida A&M Univ.).
Strategic Negotiation Workshop, SAGE Publishing, Thousand Oaks, California, April and September 2016, March 2017.
Access to Justice and Clinical Legal Education, Exchanging Hemispheres, Mackenzie University, Sao Paolo, Brazil, January 2017.
Innovative and Sustainable Clinical Engagement with Community Needs, Plenary Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Baltimore, MD, May 2016 (with Profs. Lydia Nussbaum of UNLV, Beth Lyons of Cornell, Cynthia Wilson of Northwestern).
Clinical Pedagogy and a Beginning Quest for Resilience and Dignity, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Baltimore, MD, May 2016 (presenter with Profs. Warren Binford and Shelaswau Crier of Willamette).
Negotiation and Persuasion Workshop, with Counsel to Secure Justice, International Justice Mission and Justice Ventures International, Delhi, India, March 2016.
Hospitality, Dignity and Violence: A Conference on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault on University Campuses, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan, keynote speaker, Power, Dignity & Justice in Student Relationships¸ Oct. 2015.
Clinical Community 2.0: Online tools to Build, Expand, and Strengthen Clinician Support Networks, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Rancho Mirage, CA, May 2015 (presenter, with Profs. Jill Engle of Penn State, Jean K. Gilles Phillips of Kansas University, Jeremiah Ho of UMass).
How to be an Ally: Hearing Voices from the Margins of the Church and the Academy, convener, Lipscomb Univ., June 2014 (with Edward Carson of the Brooks School, Scott Lybrand of Episcopal Charities, Julie Mavity-Maddelena of Southern Methodist Univ., Dr. Jeannine Thweatt-Bates of the College of New Jersey).
Does Heeding the Call to Justice to the Alien Require the Nation to Make the Alien a Citizen? Lipscomb Univ., June 2014, respondent to a paper by U.S. District Judge James O. Browning.
How Can We Reform Anything When We Agree on Nothing? Developing Principles And Ranges of Acceptability & Excellence, plenary speaker, Externships 7, Denver University Sturm College of Law, Feb. 2014 (with Profs. Barbara Blanco of Loyola-Los Angeles and Avis Sanders of American University Washington College of Law).
Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN, July 2013.
The Ministry of Litigation: The Virtue and Pedagogy of Dignity, Justice and Love in Professional Education, convener, Lipscomb Univ., June 2013 (with Pres. Tim Hall of Austin Peay State Univ., Prof. Yoli Redero of Vanderbilt Law School, Dean Al Sturgeon of Pepperdine School of Law).
The Fierce Urgency of Now: Strategies for Social Change Within the Churches of Christ, convener, Lipscomb Univ., June 2013 (with Dr. Jennifer Thweatt-Bates, Prof. Natalie Magnusson of Rochester College, Dr. Jimmy McCarty of Emory)(also presented at the 2014 Pepperdine Bible Lectures).
Seeking Justice: Diverse Concepts of a Vital Idea, a peer-reviewed session, convener and moderator, Lipscomb Univ, June 2013.
Cross-Fertilization Comes in Many Colors: Diverse Clinical Strategies to Address Family Violence, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, San Juan, PR, April 2013 (presenter, with Profs. Jill Engle of Penn State and Mary Lynch of Albany).
Race and Reconciliation in Churches of Christ: Civil Rights Activism at Harding College, 1949 – 1964, co-convener, Lipscomb Univ. June 2012 (with Dr. Michael Brown of UAB, Dr. Joel Anderson of UALR, Dr. Barclay Key of Western Illinois Univ.).
Beyond Forgiveness: The Relationship of Justice to Reconciliation, respondent, Lipscomb Univ. June 2012 (with Dr. Ron Clark, George Fox Theological Seminary and James McCarty, Emory Univ.).
New Brunswick Theological Seminary’s Anti-Racism Initiative: Creating the ‘Beloved Community’ within Institutions of Theological Education, panelist, Lipscomb Univ. June 2012 (with Dr. Jennifer Thweatt-Bates of NBTS, James McCarty of Emory Univ., Jesse Pettengill of West Islip, New York Church of Christ).
Testimony and Teaching II: The Role of Religion in the Student-Teacher Experience, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Los Angeles, May 2012 (convener, with Profs. Keith Blair of Univ. of D.C., Deborah Cantrell of Univ. of Colorado, Robert Lancaster of LSU).
Necessary Control or Control Freak? For and Against Faculty Selection of For-Credit Field Placements for Externship Students, panelist, Externships 6, Harvard Law School, Mar. 2012 (with Profs. Kim Bart of Duke Univ., Meta Copeland of Mississippi College, Danny Schaffzin of Memphis, Kelly Terry of UALR).
Legal Ethics for Pro Bono Lawyers, Alabama State Bar, ABA, for Pro Bono Celebration Week, October, 2011.
Beyond Referrals – Community Collaborations in Clinical Practice, University of Alabama, August, 2011 (with Profs. Marie Cope of the Univ. of Mississippi and D’lorah Hughes of the Univ. of Arkansas).
Ethical Issues in Communication with Victim-Witnesses, Federal Public Defenders, Middle District of Alabama, July 2011.
Testimony and Teaching: The Role of Religion in Law School Clinics, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Seattle, June 2011 (convener, with Profs. John Ammann of St. Louis Univ., Richard Peterson of Pepperdine Univ., Yoli Redero of Vanderbilt Univ., Christina Zawisza of Univ. of Memphis).
Update on 2010 Protection from Abuse Act Amendments, Wallace State Community College, February, 2011.
Social Networking and Christian Education, panelist, Lipscomb Univ., June 2010 (with Dr. Mark Elrod of Harding Univ., Dr. Jim Miller of Harding Univ., Mr. Edward Carson of Houston Christian Academy).
Storytelling and Narrative Structure in Trial Advocacy, Montgomery Bar Association, May, 2010.
Professional Responsibility in Pro Bono Practice, Alabama State Bar, CLE and curriculum for statewide use during the ABA’s National Pro Bono Celebration, Oct. 2009, reproduced nationally in Aug. 2010 for the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
Christian Perspectives on Domestic Violence and Discrimination in the Workplace, Session Convener, Lipscomb Univ., June, 2009 (with Dr. Andy Borchers of Kettering Univ.).
Teaching Courage in Legal Clinics, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Cleveland, May 2009 (presenter, with Prof. Margaret Drew, Univ. of Cincinnati).
- Davis Vanguard’s Everyday Injustice Podcast, Ep. 147, March 21, 2022, hosted by David Greenwald Davis Vanguard
- Big Tent Revival: Preaching the Gospel After Giving Up My Confederate Flag, Mississippi Free Press, March 10, 2021 Mississippi Free Press
- Vengeful Nostalgia: The Deadly Bargain of Donald Trump’s Lost Cause, Mississippi Free Press, Jan. 14, 2021 Mississippi Free Press
- White Privilege, Fatal Flaws and a Plot Twist: A Dispatch From The American Dream, Mississippi Free Press, Dec. 11, 2020 Mississippi Free Press
- Jeffrey R. Baker quoted article, "California Can't Recover From Its Devastating Fires Unless It Overhauls Its Zoning Laws," Quartz, Sept. 18, 2020 Quartz
- Blher Podcast, Ep. 50, August 26, 2020, Anti-racism, Activism, and Law: A Conversation with Prof. Jeff Baker, hosted by Brittany Hughes and Kelly Phipps Blher Podcast
- George Floyd’s Human Rights, Human Rights at Home Blog, June 16, 2020 Human Rights at Home
- Ipse Dixit Podcast, Ep. 577, Jeff Baker & Allison McKinney Timm on Immigration & Human Rights, hosted by Prof. Brian L. Frye, June 8, 2020 Ipse Dixit
- Next in Nonprofits Podcast, Ep. 134, Coronavirus Relief Programs with Jeff Baker, hosted by Steve Bolan, April 22, 2020 Next in Nonprofits
- Jeffrey R. Baker, Trust and High Expectations Improve Learning Outcomes, LegalEd Teaching Pedagogy: AALS Series on Law Teaching, 2016 YouTube
- Jeffrey R. Baker, quoted in article, Would-Be Lawyers May Have to Give it Away, THE RECORDER, March 4, 2016. The Recorder quotes Professor Jeff Baker about pro bono requirement at Pepperdine
- Public Policy and Love of Neighbor in a Time of Transition, The Christian Century, Then and Now column, Jan. 26, 2016 Christian Century
- Clinical Law Prof Blog, founding Editor-in-Chief, 2014 – present
- Going to Sea, Pepperdine Law, Fall 2013, at 18 Pepperdine Law
- Family Violence, Policy, Privacy and Politics, Montgomery Advertiser, Oct. 2010, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- Montgomery Advertiser, Oct. 2009, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- Civil Procedure
- Clinical Law
- Dispute Resolution
- Family Law
- Human Rights
- Public Interest Law
- Trial Advocacy