Stanford again is making news in the world of religion. After a new Humanist Chaplain was welcomed to the Office of Religious Life, the university's Law School has now announced a new program that involves students in working on religious liberty cases.
The Religious Liberty Clinic is part of the Mills Legal clinic, and is apparently the first program of its kind in the U.S. Students, under the guidance of their professors, will have the opportunity to work with cases that involve the free exercise of religion, whether it be prisoners, students, or employees who encounter restrictions on practicing their faith, or organizations like churches or mosques that are dealing with zoning issues.
The clinic will combine classroom instruction in the laws pertaining to religious liberty with practical experience in handling specific cases.
The clinic is directed by James A. Sonne, a graduate of Harvard Law School and an expert in law and religion issues. It has been funded in part by a $1.6 million grant from the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, DC.
A special launch event will take place this coming Monday, January 14, 2012, from 4:40 - 6:30 pm at Stanford Law School, room 290, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford. There will be a reception and a panel including Sonne, Judge Carlos T. Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Michael W. McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution; Amardeep Singh, co-founder and director of programs at the Sikh Coalition; Hannah Smith, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; and Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and associate rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York, New York.
The event will be streamed live online here.