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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

The Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Religious Liberty Clinic

Our Work

The Religious Liberty Clinic is designed to provide students with practical, firsthand experience as well as support the provision of high-quality legal services to clients in religious liberties litigation. Working in pairs, students participate in amicus briefs, appeals, and advocacy to advance religious liberty.

Student Experience

Students in the clinic will attend a seminar-style class that will explore enduring questions relating to how civil governments treat the religious beliefs, expressions, and institutions of their citizens. The clinic is led by visiting professor Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the course will be co-taught by Professor Rassbach, Professor Daniel Chen, counsel at the Becket Fund and Caruso Law Professor Michael Helfand. Students will also work under the supervision of Jones Day attorneys.

Interested 2L and 3L students can apply to the clinic by sending the following to Linn Griffin (linn.griffin@pepperdine.edu): (1) resume and (2) short statement explaining interest in the clinic.


  Eric Rassbach Biography

Professor Eric Rassbach is vice president and senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty where he has served since 2003. He has led or been a part of Becket litigation teams in each of Becket's pathbreaking victories at the United States Supreme Court, including Hosanna-Tabor, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Holt v. Hobbs, Zubik v. Burwell, and Fulton v. Philadelphia. In 2020, he argued the sixth telephonic oral argument ever to the United States Supreme Court in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, prevailing by a 7-2 vote.

Professor Rassbach frequently comments on church-state issues in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other major press outlets. His academic articles have appeared in the Tennessee Law Review, the Illinois Law Review, the Cato Supreme Court Review, and other legal journals, and often speaks to law school audiences.

Before joining Becket, Professor Rassbach worked at Baker Botts LLP in Houston, where he worked in international project finance. He also served as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Comparative Literature, is a member of Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. In addition, he was a 2012-2013 Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School. He is admitted in Texas, Washington, DC, and California.

  Daniel Chen Biography 

Professor Daniel Chen is Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He has litigated cases and obtained precedent-setting victories for his clients in numerous federal courts across the country.

Professor Chen’s academic articles have appeared in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Per Curiam and the Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association. He often comments on religious liberty issues at law schools in California and around the country.

Prior to joining Becket, Professor Chen was an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he worked on commercial litigation in state and federal court. In addition to his experience in private practice, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Raymond W. Gruender of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Honorable Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Professor Chen graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he served as a supervising editor on the California Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Prior to law school, Daniel received his B.A. in Political Science with high distinction from the University of California, Berkeley. He is admitted in Washington, D.C. and California.