Brent Amato

Barnabas Fellow,

Brent practiced transactional law in the Chicago area for forty years, specializing in corporate business and non-profit work.  That practice was split about equally between private practice as a partner at two law firms and in-house corporate practice for two publicly-traded companies, first as an Associate Counsel and then as General Counsel.  As of December 31, 2014 he retired from the practice of law.

Brent has sought to integrate his Christian faith and his law practice through (i) the Christian Legal Society (as former Board member and President and now Staff member, working with lawyers and law students); (ii) Peacemaker Ministries and Crossroads Resolution Group (as a Certified Christian Conciliator for conflict resolution, mentor and teacher); (iii) Administer Justice (whose mission is to meet the legal and spiritual needs of the poor) and (iv) Judson University (as a Business Law Adjunct Professor).

Over these years, Brent has been a speaker and teacher at national, regional and local law-related conferences.

Brent serves as an Elder, Community Group Coordinator and Leader at his Church.

Sports and grandparenting are his two favorite extra-curricular activities.

Brent is married to Sherrie (his “better seven-eights”) and has been blessed with two children and six grandchildren.

Annie Bennett

Director, Christian
Legal Aid

Annie Bennett is the director of Legal Aid at Christian legal Society. Prior to joining CLS, Annie worked in civil legal aid in Washington, D.C., representing clients at all stages of complex custody and domestic violence matters. Throughout her time in legal aid, Annie also provided brief legal services to indigent clients facing a variety of civil legal issues, including housing conditions, evictions, and consumer issues.
Annie earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. Before law school, Annie taught 8th grade and earned a Masters in instructional practice from Lipscomb University. Her interest in advocating on behalf of children goes back to her studies at Vanderbilt University, where she studied education policy. 
Annie is dedicated to God’s call to uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed, and she is passionate about empowering all attorneys to be confident in their ability to take up that call. 

Lakuita Bittle

Director, Attorney Ministries

Lakuita Bittle is the director of Attorney Ministries at Christian Legal Society. Previously, Lakuita worked for the Office of the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County (Maryland), which she joined in 2015 as a law clerk in the Grand Jury Unit. She was sworn in as an Assistant State’s Attorney in 2017 where she first handled misdemeanor criminal and jailable traffic cases before prosecuting cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, motor vehicle theft, armed robbery, attempted murder, and other related felonies. Lakuita is a graduate of David A. Clarke School of Law at The University of the District of Columbia. Lakuita also has her associate’s degree from Guilford Technical Community College and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from High Point University. Lakuita also has over nine years of professional work experience in the legal field prior to attending law school.

Lakuita is actively involved in her church as a deacon and worship leader. She also serves as founding the board vice president and the executive director of Kadesh Community Development Corporation, which provides community outreach and support to families in need in the DC and Maryland areas. In her spare time, Lakuita enjoys music, traveling, mentoring youth, and coaching and playing softball, as well as spending time with friends and family (especially her cherished nieces and nephews).

Kim Colby

Of Counsel, Center of Law
& Religious Freedom

Kim Colby has worked for Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981. She has represented religious groups in several appellate cases, including two cases heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has filed numerous amicus briefs in federal and state courts. In 1984, she assisted in congressional passage of the Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. § 4071, et seq., which protects the right of secondary school students to meet for prayer and Bible study on campus. Ms. Colby has prepared several CLS publications addressing issues about religious expression in public schools, including released time programs, implementation of the Equal Access Act, and teachers’ religious expression.

Ms. Colby graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois with a major in American History and a particular interest in slavery in colonial North America.

Laura Darien

Acting Director,
Center of Law &
Religious Freedom

Laura Darien is currently serving as the acting director of CLS’ Center for Law & Religious Freedom. Laura has been working in the Center for six years, with a focus on ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). In a previous life, Laura practiced intellectual property law, both litigation and patent prosecution, for over 20 years. Laura began her IP law career at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in Chicago, working closely with one of CLS’ founders, Henry Brinks. She then served as in-house patent counsel for BASF. Family brought her to the DC area where she joined an IP group that worked at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, DLA Piper and finally at Squire Patton Boggs LLP, where Laura was elected to the partnership. She resigned after the birth of her fourth child and spent some time at home before returning to work. She was of counsel for Troutman Sanders immediately prior to joining CLS. Laura is a graduate of North Carolina State University (BS, Chemistry) and The George Washington University Law School. Laura lives in northern Virginia with her husband David, whichever of their six children happens to be in residence at the time, and a Saint Bernard.

Jim Davids

Staff Council

Jim Davids is Chief Counsel of the Founding Freedoms Law Center. Jim is a Chicago native who, after graduating from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and Duke University School of Law in Durham, NC, returned to Chicago to begin practicing law. At church on a Sunday night in 1977 he met Sue, and after a two-year courtship they married. They raised four children in Chicago, and now have 14 grandchildren.

After 25 years defending doctors and hospitals in malpractice suits and trying cases ranging from employment to civil rights, Jim left Chicago to join the U.S. Department of Justice to help set up the Faith-Based Initiative. His work there included performing an audit of federal programs to determine how much faith-based organizations partnered with the federal government. After concluding his work at the Department, Jim received a joint appointment in the Schools of Government and Law at Regent University, where he was also an assistant Dean. At Regent, Jim established the cornerstone worldview class in the School of Government, which he taught along with a course in constitutional law. In the School of Law, he continued teaching constitutional law, and also taught appellate advocacy and trial practice. At Regent, Jim earned a PhD degree and also worked part-time practicing law. Jim has authored seven law review articles in constitutional law, and he recently finished a book comparing the worldviews of Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Blackmun.

Jim has lectured throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia (Ukraine, India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Belarus) on worldview, and particularly the Christian View of Law and Government. Jim is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Virginia, and Florida (inactive). Jim has been a member of the Christian Legal Society for decades, and has served on its Board and as its President. Jim has also served on the Board of The Family Foundation (TFF), and on the Board and as Acting Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, which is TFF’s sister organization in Illinois.

Courtney Herron

Director, Development

Courtney Herron is the the director of development for Christian Legal Society. A graduate of Regent University (M.A. Political Management) and the University of Central Florida (B.A. Political Science/Business), she has worked in nonprofit fundraising since 2002. An advocate for underserved communities, she recently served on the Board of Directors of Let My People Go, a national nonprofit ministry dedicated to empowering the local church to fight human trafficking, and is a foster care advocate in her community.

Ken Liu

Former Director, Christian
Legal Aid

Ken Liu joined the Christian Legal Society as the Director of Christian Legal Aid in 2014. He is passionate about helping to start and grow Christian Legal Aid programs around the country. Ken has served with Good Samaritan Advocates (GSA), a Christian Legal Aid program in suburban Washington, D.C., in multiple capacities as volunteer attorney, board member, clinic co-director, and president. Through his work with GSA, Ken is experienced in providing legal and spiritual counseling to low-income clients, and in many aspects of managing a legal aid program, including starting a program, recruiting and training volunteers, board governance, and fundraising.

Ken is also a part-time attorney at Gammon & Grange, P.C. where he has practiced intellectual property and nonprofit law since 2001. He serves a broad range of nonprofits, churches, ministries, and small businesses. Through his work there, Ken has extensive knowledge in the operational and legal aspects of nonprofit organizations.

Ken is a proud Wahoo from the University of Virginia and a graduate of Cornell Law School. He lives with his wife in northern Virginia, has two boys in college, and worships at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA.

Erin McLaughlin

Communications Coordinator

Erin McLaughlin serves Christian Legal Society as a communications coordinator. Erin is very active in her church and community. She is a leader in the women’s ministry at her church and also serves in the student ministry, specifically with fifth and sixth graders. Erin graduated from International Business College in Indianapolis, IN, and studied communication at Ball State University. Erin is married to Sean and was blessed with three beautiful “bonus” kids when they married.

David Nammo

Executive Director

David Nammo has served as executive director and CEO of Christian Legal Society since 2012.

He is the former executive vice president of the Leadership Project for America, where he worked closely with conservative leaders such as former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, Publisher Al Regnery, Club for Growth founder Steve Moore, and U.S. Rep. David McIntosh, in preparation for the 2012 election cycle.

He also was the executive director of the Family Research Council Action (FRCA), the 501(c)(4) arm of the Family Research Council, where he worked on political issues, interfaced with Congress, and met with candidates from across the country. He also started the first PAC for the Family Research Council and engaged in the 2008 election cycle in over 40 states.

David consulted and worked for a variety of employers over several years, including Gammon & Grange, a Virginia law firm; defense consultants for the Defense Intelligence Agency, and as a sole practitioner practicing trademark and business contract law. His prior employment at the Christian Legal Society was as the former director of attorney and law student ministries of Christian Legal Society. He also helped found the IVCF/CLS joint taskforce and restarted The Christian Lawyer magazine in 2005.

He has been interviewed by national and international media, including the NBC Nightly News, Fox News, the Associated Press, CBN News, as well as various radio stations from across the country and around the globe.  His op-eds have been published in USA Today, the Washington Times, the National Review, and many online news sites. Prior to attending law school at both George Mason University School of Law and Chicago-Kent College of Law, David worked as a journalist for the Fox News Service, a Middle East wire service, and WTTG-TV in Washington D.C.

David writes an occasional blog called Babylonian Thoughts, given his Chaldean heritage, as the son of a Christian-Iraqi. He is co-owner of a record label out of Southern California. He resides in Northern Virginia with Laura, his wife (a patent attorney), their six children, a cat, and a St. Bernard dog.

Lori Kepner

Senior Counsel

Lori joined the Center in 2024. Prior to joining CLS, Lori served for eighteen years with the ministry of Cru, as both in-house counsel on a national level with Cru’s General Counsel’s Office and as a campus minister, working with student chapters on several different college campuses in California and Arizona. Lori gave particular attention to constitutional issues for Cru, regularly addressing religious freedom, free speech, and campus access issues impacting the ministry. Lori earned her B.A. with majors in English and Spanish literature from the University of California, Irvine, and her J.D. from Berkeley Law at University of California, Berkeley. She clerked for Judge Roger L. Wollman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 2003-2005. Lori lives in Davis, California, with her husband, her five children, and their dog.

Joe Ruta

Barnabas Fellow,

Joseph (“Joe”) A. Ruta has been an attorney in New York City for 30 years. He began a solo practice of law in Manhattan in 1994, after being out of law school for only two years. Joe grew the practice by forming a partnership with Steven Soulios in 2001 and then adding Demetrios Stratis as a partner in 2011. The practice deals with various civil litigation, corporate, employment, real estate, bankruptcy and non-profit matters. Joe also currently serves as outside general counsel to over 30 companies including public and national not-for-profit organizations. He has successfully litigated religious freedom, religious discrimination, and right of conscience matters in state and federal courts.

 Joe graduated valedictorian of Marist College in 1989 after having attended Oxford University during his junior year abroad and winning Marist’s first debate championship in the college’s history as a sophomore. He then attended Brooklyn Law School as a Richardson Scholar obtaining a J.D. 1992. While in law school, he had the privilege of clerking for the Honorable Harold Baer, Jr. Joe was the president of the New York Metro Chapter of Christian Legal Society from 2002 to 2013 and was a member of the board of directors on a national level for Christian Legal Society from 2008 to 2017. Joe also served on the board of directors of Zarephath Christian Church from 2011 to 2017, ending his tenure as vice chair. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife of 26 years, and they have three children.      

Mike Schutt

Director, Law School Fellows

Mike Schutt is the director of CLS Law School Fellows program. He worked for CLS for nearly 20 years but is now the CEO of Worldview Academy. He continues to run our Fellows program because he remains passionate about helping law students understand their calling. Professor Schutt taught at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach and practiced law in Fort Worth, Texas with Thompson & Knight. He is an honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. 

Mike is the author of Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession (InterVarsity Press 2007), a vocational exhortation for law students and lawyers. His other publications include Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Decline of the American Lawyer: Social Engineering, Religion, and the Search for Professional Identity, 30 RUTGERS L. J. 143 (1998) and What's A Nice Christian Like You Doing in a Profession Like This? 11 REGENT U. L. REV. 137 (1998-99). He has also authored supplements on biblical principles for use by his students in the law school classroom.

He lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, with his wife, Lisa. They share three children, three children-in-love, and many beautiful grandchildren.

Peter Smith

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer
Ext 503

Anton Sorkin

Director, Law Student Ministries

Anton Sorkin is the director of Law Student Ministries at Christian Legal Society and an affiliate professor at Trinity Law School. He previously practiced employment law and religious freedom litigation. His research and writing is focused on the confluence of law, religion, and public policy – with a number of academic publications in journals that range from the University of Memphis Law Review, Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender, and the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. Anton has presented his research in various international and domestic forums, including at St. Hugh’s College in Oxford, England; Pepperdine University in Malibu, California; and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada.

Anton earned a doctorate (SJD) at Emory University School of Law under the supervision of Professor John Witte. He also received an LLM from Emory in law and religion, a JD from Regent University School of Law, and an engineering degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In his free time, Anton likes discovering new music, attending film festivals, discussing political theology, and dabbling in the game of golf. He has a passion for strengthening Christian students to live out their faith in the complexity of the modern condition. He also seeks to engage in pressing questions of concern by studying various mediums through which pain is processed and displayed.

Austin Suter

Attorney Ministries Coordinator

Austin Suter is a graduate of George Mason University and current student at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), where he is pursuing a Masters of Divinity. Austin first joined CLS staff in 2012 and is back after a few years working with other ministries. Austin is married to Michelle and they are active in ministry at their local church.

Alanna Walker

Grants Coordinator

Alanna graduated from ​the University of Central Florida where she studied interpersonal communication and marketing. She enjoys putting her research skills to work as the grants coordinator in support of the mission of Christian Legal Society. On weekends, Alanna enjoys serving with the two-year-olds at her church.