May 2013 Newsletter



JRCLS Chapters Leaven Six Continents: Celebrating 25 Years of the Law Society

This is the second in a series celebrating the 25th year since the organization of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. These articles are authored by members of the JRCLS History Committee.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen wasn't in Provo anymore.

After being called as a General Authority in 1996, Elder Hafen lived in Sydney, Australia, for four years while serving in the LDS Church's Pacific Area Presidency. As one of the most instrumental figures in the Law Society's 1988 founding, Elder Hafen was uniquely qualified to imbue enthusiasm and perspective into any would-be members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Knowing this, prominent New Zealand attorney Hans Sorenson helped arrange for Elder Hafen to meet with a cadre of LDS lawyers who were fixing to form a Pacific chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Read more. . .


Elder Oaks Receives Canterbury Medal for Religious Freedom

On May 16, 2013, the Becket Fund awarded its prestigious Canterbury Medal to Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bestowed at an awards banquet in New York City, the Canterbury Medal is given annually to a person who has shown great courage in the defense of religious freedom. Past recipients include Elie Wiesel, Governor and Mrs. Mitt Romney, and Kevin "Seamus" Hasson, founder of the Becket Fund. This year, Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, presented the award. The Becket Fund is a public-interest, religious liberties law firm and educational institute. Read more. . .


New JRCLS Student Leaders for 2013

Nine law students have been selected to direct the affairs of the student members of the JRCLS for 2013. These outstanding members of the Law Society will represent all student members and will spend many hours conferencing with committees, helping prepare for events, and providing liaison for the Executive Committee. So that all members can get to know them better, brief profiles of each appear here. Read more. . .


Pro Bono Services Bring Hope in Chile and Brazil

Much good can be accomplished by dedicated, selfless, and motivated JRCLS members. Reports from the Santiago Chile Chapter and the Brazil Northeast Chapter show some of what can be done. Members of many chapters contribute pro bono service and we invite chapter chairs-and individuals-to share some of their experiences in this newsletter.

Area legal counsel Greg Clark describes recent events in Chile:
 

"A little background information will be necessary to understand what Fernando and the Santiago Chapter were able to accomplish in Chile. Until a number of years ago, divorce was not permitted in Chile, which was particularly tragic for those whose lives were ruined by abusive or unfaithful spouses. Therefore, when a marriage failed (for whatever reason), affected spouses would often abandon the failed relationship and restart their lives with a new companion, notwithstanding they were still legally married to their original spouse. You can imagine the moral and legal mess this created, especially when children were born into the new relationships. Read more. . .


Thriving Chapter Makes History in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom Chapter (formerly the England, London Chapter) of JRCLS was formed in 2002 with less than a handful of members, increasing in number incrementally over the next ten years. The chapter's current chair, Charlotte Steinfeld, a London-based barrister, has overseen chapter growth of over one third. The chapter now comprises over 120 members spread across the UK with two members based in Ireland.

Members of the chapter are drawn from the spectrum of the legal profession (some of whom also hold local government positions), including two members who act in a judicial capacity, magistrates, barristers, an adjudicator, legal executives, law students, and solicitors in private practice, industry, and local government, including several US-qualified lawyers. Student members study at leading universities across the UK. Read more. . .


A Leaf in A Stream: The Conversion Story of Judge William Sheffield (Ret.)

Bill Sheffield's life as a lawyer is a story of unexpected twists and turns. Upon completing law school at the University of California at Berkeley in 1971, he became a deputy public defender in Orange County, California. From there he entered private practice as a sole practitioner. His practice frequently caused him to travel abroad, spending days away from his family. In an effort to settle down, Bill decided to seek a judgeship. In 1983, he was appointed to a seat on the Superior Court of California. The day Governor Jerry Brown telephoned Bill to tell him of the appointment, Bill was exhilarated. Read more. . .


Guatemala City Student Chapter Inspires Its Members

Everything worth having requires hard work, perseverance, and faith.

And that is how the JRCLS student chapter in Guatemala came to be. I first learned about the JRCLS at a Sunday stake meeting. I was then a member of the high council in my stake, and was attending my third year in law school in Guatemala City. The idea of getting to know other LDS law students in Guatemala and in other countries sounded good to me for many reasons. On the JRCLS.org website, I found a flyer for the Annual World Service Activity and thought it was something I wanted to be part of. I wanted to promote the JRCLS here in my country among law students. The Law Society already had a Guatemala City attorney chapter but did not offer much for local students. Read more. . .


Elizabeth Clark Traces "Converging Challenges to Religious Freedom"

The 2013 Religious Freedom Discussion Series continued on 8 May with an excellent lecture by Professor Elizabeth Clark, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, which sponsors the series. At the meeting held at noon in the law school and simulcast by Webinar to listeners worldwide, Professor Clark discussed "Converging Challenges to Religious Freedom." Read more. . .


For Your Viewing Pleasure--New Videos on the JRCLS YouTube Channel

The Media Committee continues to post new videos on the JRCLS YouTube channel. Here is the link to the channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JReubenClarkLaw. The new uploaded videos include (1) the Washington DC Circuit Court Judge Panel featuring Judge Merrick B. Garland, Judge Thomas B. Griffith, and Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman; (2) The first portion of the evening program at the JRCLS 2013 Annual Conference Friday night program on 15 February 2013, which includes a brief history of the law school by Doug Bush; and (3) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk in parts 1 and 2 of the Friday night program on 15 February 2013. Read more. . .


Profiles in Service

Several JRCLS members have had significant accomplishments or callings since the last newsletter and are deserving of recognition. Congratulations and thank-you for all that you do!

Retired estate attorney Steven H. Pond has been called to serve as the Portland, Oregon, temple president. He is a graduate of the University of Utah College of Law, and he and his wife Karen will begin service later this year.

Several Law Society members were sustained as General and Area Authorities at General Conference on April 6 of this year: Read more. . .