fb pixel fb conversion About Parris Institute | Pepperdine School of Law

About Parris Institute

The Mission of Parris Institute at Pepperdine School of Law

The Parris Institute for Professional Formation is dedicated to the professional development of first-year law students, and provides continual mentoring throughout our students' law school careers. The institute launched in August 2014, and focuses not only on professional development, but also health, personal goals, and ethics.

Through our Awards and Student Life Challenge programs, students are incentivized to perform at the highest level, grow as students, and graduate "practice-ready."

Founding Principles

Carol and R. Rex Parris at Pepperdine School of Law

Carrol and R. Rex Parris gifted the Pepperdine School of Law $1 million dollars toward the establishment of the Parris Institute for Professional Formation in 2014. The intention of the institute is to prepare students for a rapidly changing legal environment and to challenge them to emerge as leaders in the professional world.


The purpose of the Parris Institute is to provide our highly capable, first-year law students with the tools to refine their character, shape their culture, and pursue their convictions, so they will become models of professional excellence.

Service & Purpose

"Nothing liberates our greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve"

-Marianne Williamson

Serving the oppressed and underprivileged is the hallmark of pursuing justice in the world. As part of its leadership development efforts, the Parris Institute promotes and encourages students to develop their vision and vocational goals for pursuing justice in the practice of law. Pepperdine provides many life-changing opportunities to experience public interest law, clinical opportunities to serve the underserved, and global justice opportunities to engage with the poor in developing nations.

Key Objectives

  • To facilitate excellence in professional relationships.

  • To draw out of each student the excellence of their character.

  • To encourage each student to invest their heart and mind in shaping the culture of their class and the law school.

  • To equip each student to pursue their convictions for justice marked by an internalized moral identity.

  • To elevate the importance of living a well-balanced life marked by physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

  • To inspire each student to be an exceptional leader marked by the desire to serve others.


Introduction to Professional Formation Course

Introduction to Professional Formation is a groundbreaking program for first year law students that develops professionalism, character, and leadership.

The Parris Awards

At the end of the school year, the Pepperdine Awards Program celebrates the accomplishments of students who best exhibit professionalism. The "Parris Awards" recognize contributions to professional formation in the law school community, and the "Pepperdine Award" is given to the 3L who best embodies the values of our school.

Student Life Challenge

The Student Life Challenge is designed to motivate students to incorporate healthy habits into a busy lifestyle and to help them excel in law school.