Mar 2013 Newsletter



"A Diaspora of LDS Lawyers": Celebrating 25 Years of the Law Society

2013 marks the 25th year since the organization of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Beginning with this article and continuing for the rest of the year, this newsletter will lead with an article highlighting the people and events key to the Law Society, its phenomenal growth, and its contributions to lawyers of faith, to the public, and to the LDS Church. The JRCLS History Committee, chaired by Danielle Dallas, authors these articles. Read more. . .


Spectacular Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society held its eighth annual conference in Washington, D.C., at the Georgetown Law Center on February 14 - 16, 2013. The conference, a celebration of the Law Society's 25th anniversary, was featured in a full-page article in the LDS Church News on Saturday, February 23.

Activities opened in the Hart Auditorium at Georgetown Law Center with a beautiful violin performance by Jenny Oaks Baker and a talk by Senator Mike Lee. Senator Lee is the son of Rex Lee, founding Dean of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School. Senator Lee shared insights on how to achieve the mission statement of the Law Society which references the value brought to the law by an attorney's individual religious conviction. Read more. . .


Law Students in Force at D.C. Conference

For law students, the recent JRCLS conference in Washington D.C. was an excellent opportunity and an amazing experience. We were able the first day to tour the chambers of the Honorable Judge Thomas Griffith. He shared his knowledge and experiences living in D.C. and being an appellate judge. His clerks were helpful and friendly. That evening was a social and networking-advice event for students, which helped prepare us to meet our attorney counterparts at the conference. The lawyers were gracious and kind in speaking and sharing with the law students.

On Friday the conference kicked into high gear, with numerous sessions of interest to law students. The highlight, of course, was the luncheon speech by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who spoke of his convictions and thoughts on religion and law. Read more. . .


Elder Echo Hawk Shares His Journey at Annual Fireside

Elder Larry Echo Hawk spoke at the annual J. Reuben Clark Law Society fireside at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. His remarks were broadcast to JRCLS chapters all across the world.

Elder Larry Echo Hawk, recently appointed as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, entitled his remarks "Instruments in His Hands: Doing this Great and Marvelous Work," referring to his experiences in private practice, politics, teaching, public and church service. Elder Echo Hawk's journey from a 14-year-old convert to church leader has been unique. Born in Cody, Wyoming, Elder Echo Hawk is a member of the Pawnee Indian tribe. As such, he has dedicated his life to serving God and others, particularly ensuring that all Native Americans receive adequate legal representation. Read more. . .


U of U Law Dean Chodosh Honored by JRCLS

Dean Hiram Chodosh of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law was awarded the Franklin S. Richards Public Service Award at the Law Society's annual fireside on February 23. The award recognized Chodosh's work on legal reform and his leadership and support of programs undertaken by the University of Utah. Read more. . .


9th Annual Orange County Religion & the Law Symposium

On March 14, 2013, the Orange County Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society sponsored the 9th Annual Orange County Religion & the Law Symposium, which was held at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Co-sponsors included Chapman University School of Law, the Christian Legal Society, the Federalist Society, the Jewish Bar Association, Pepperdine University School of Law, UCI School of Law, Western State College of Law and Whittier Law School. Read more. . .


Standing Room Only at Biblical and Ancient Law Section, D.C. Conference

For the second year in a row, the JRCLS Section of Biblical and Ancient Law (SOBAAL) met at the 2013 JRCLS Annual Conference. The section meeting was very well attended with standing room only. Last year at Stanford, Professor John W. Welch introduced the section as expanding the discussion about not only how the Bible but also ancient civilizations, law and cultures, influenced the constitutional debates in the founding of the United States. This understanding of the role of ancient cultures can aid in analysis of the meaning of constitution from an "originalist" point of view. In some cases these cultures had conflicting values (such as between the Judeo/Christian and the Greeks or Romans). Such a conflict can give rise to many interesting discussions. Read more. . .


Outstanding Chapter Lights Up Las Vegas

A lot of good is being done in Sin City. The Las Vegas Chapter continues to make a positive impact in the legal community and beyond through continuing legal education events, pro-bono service, and greater member involvement.

The Las Vegas Chapter is perhaps best known for its annual March Madness CLE. Basketball fans can catch their school's game and earn CLE in the same trip. Sixty attorneys from Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington D.C. attended the chapter's third annual event held on March 8. Speakers included Judge Thomas Griffith from the DC Circuit; Bill Atkin, Associate General Counsel for the LDS Church; Justice Tom Lee, Utah Supreme Court; Professor James D. Gordon, BYU Law School; and others. Read more. . .


Cole Durham Decries "Free Exercise Reductionism"

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, was pleased to present the first lecture in the third Religious Freedom Discussion Series on Wednesday, 20 March 2013. Center Director and Susa Young Gates Professor of Law, W. Cole Durham, Jr., addressed the topic "Against Free Exercise Reductionism." Read more. . .


Profiles in Service

This new section of the newsletter has been created to highlight JRCLS members who have recently been called, appointed, or elected to significant positions of service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or in their communities.

Two international LDS attorneys have recently been called as stake presidents; Tshisekedi Muamba Etienne Leonard over the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Mont Ngafula Stake, and Hugo Martin Chavez Bernaola over the Lima Peru Chorrillos Stake. Read more. . .