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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Nate Knapper (JD '11) Founds the Joseph Project to Aid Victims of Human Trafficking

May 20, 2019 | The story of Joseph in the Bible takes on a new meaning in Nate Napper's (JD '11) nonprofit organization, the Joseph Project. The goal of the Joseph Project is to create a nationwide attorney network with the capacity to service every identifiable trafficking survivor on a pro bono basis. It is inspired by the biblical account of one of history's earliest recorded survivors (Joseph), who transitioned from exploitation to empowerment.

Knapper hails from Michigan where he decided to found the Joseph Project to address the gap in legal services for trafficking victims, first in his home state, and later across the country. The president of the State Bar of Michigan has also been collaborating on the project. According to the latest Polaris Project statistics, Michigan ranks 6th nationally in the number of human trafficking cases reported through the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Knapper said, "As a Pepperdine alum, I joined a long legacy of legal advocates who were taught that because we had freely received, we should freely give in return (Matthew 10:8). The law is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to help re-assemble broken lives. It is the privilege of The Joseph Project to freely offer skilled legal advocacy to trafficking survivors so they can transition from exploitation to empowerment, just like Joseph himself."

If you are interested in connecting with Nate about his exciting and meaningful project, please email Alumni Director Jessie Fahy at jessie.fahy@pepperdine.edu. We are proud of alumni like Nate who embody the Pepperdine Law mission of purpose, service, and leadership.