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Pepperdine Caruso Law Receives Founders' First Freedom Gift

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is pleased to announce a generous gift from Founders’ First Freedom, a nonprofit organization that promotes liberty of conscience and pursues a cooperative approach to resolving disputes between parties in cases affecting religious freedom. The gift will allow the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics to expand its fellows program and launch an annual conference. The Nootbaar Institute draws from a broad range of religious and legal voices on the relationship between law, religion, and ethics—and serves as an umbrella organization for many related activities at Caruso Law.

“We are grateful that Founders’ First Freedom has partnered with us. With their support, we are poised to grow the impact of the Nootbaar Fellows program,” said Michael Helfand, co-director of the institute and the Brendan Mann Foundation Chair in Law and Religion at Pepperdine Caruso Law. “This community of brilliant and ideologically diverse scholars is committed to sharing and generating innovative research at a time when knowledge and wisdom at the intersection of law and religion is so desperately needed.”

The Nootbaar Fellows program began in the fall of 2020, bringing together leading scholars of the law and religion field from across the United States and around the world to discuss and debate cutting-edge research. Support from Founders’ First Freedom will enable the institute to launch an annual public conference inviting a broader audience into discussions and debates over essential questions at the intersection of law and religion. The annual conference will consist of panels and lectures focused on these pressing issues, providing an opportunity for the Nootbaar Fellows to share their wisdom and knowledge with the wider Pepperdine community.

President of Founders’ First Freedom and Caruso Law alumnus Michael Peabody (JD/MDR ’01), who has participated in several Nootbaar Institute conferences, said: “We are so pleased to support the Nootbaar Institute at my alma mater. Their credible and timely work on law and religion is essential to creating positive change in our current world.”

Additional information on Founders' First Freedom may be found at Founders' First Freedom