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Ken Starr Institute Launch Dinner - Dean's Remarks

Dean Paul Caron speaking at the Ken Starr Institute for Faith, Law and Public Service Dinner

Dean Paul Caron's Remarks
March 4, 2024
Congressional Country Club - Bethesda, Maryland

Our country and our world have never been more in need of Pepperdine-trained lawyers, counselors, and peacemakers.

The Pepperdine Caruso School of Law has never been more equipped to recruit, train, and shape our students and launch them into impactful careers and impactful lives, thanks to the Ken Starr Institute for Faith, Law, and Public Service.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that the God who gave us life also gave us liberty. Because liberty is our birthright under God, the rule of law must reign. Faith and the rule of law, therefore, are first principles for a flourishing republic. Ken Starr understood that. Led by his faith, he devoted his working life to the preservation of the rule of law through an unparalleled career at the pinnacle of the legal profession, in both the private practice of law representing the interests of clients, and public service representing the interests of the American people.

Now, guided and inspired by the life and work of Ken Starr, the institute that bears his name will bring to Pepperdine Caruso Law new students and faculty who share Ken’s deep faith, commitment to the rule of law, and dedication to public service.

Students are at the heart of everything we do at Pepperdine Caruso Law, and our faculty is its lifeblood.

The institute will provide Ken Starr Fellows with endowed scholarships and stipends to attract talented students who otherwise would not be able to afford a life-changing Pepperdine legal education. The institute will host two high-profile annual conferences—one on law and religion on our beautiful Malibu campus, and another on religious liberty on our spectacular new Château d'Hauteville campus in Switzerland—subjects that were near and dear to Ken’s heart.

The institute also will attract new faculty to Pepperdine Caruso Law who share Ken’s commitment to excellence and faith. Ken Starr Endowed Chairs in Constitutional Law, Law and Religion, and Religious Liberty will be filled with nationally recognized scholars and teachers who will shape the law through their research and shepherd our students. Ken Starr Endowed Faculty Fellowships will provide a path for lawyers at the beginning of their careers to cut their teeth in legal scholarship and law teaching to prepare them to join the tenure-track faculty at Pepperdine and other great law schools.

Ken Starr left us much too early in 2022. I can think of no greater tribute to his legacy than to have the institute named in his honor send legions of young lawyers, counselors, and peacemakers, molded in his image at the law school he loved, into the halls of power in the legal profession to bring his light serving the needs of the American people and people around the world.

I invite each and every one of you to join us in this noble endeavor. Thank you.