Past CLS Event
Thank you so much for participating in the 2021 CLS National Conference. It was a wonderful event and we are so grateful that you joined us.
We pray you returned to your community this week refreshed. . . . and with minimal travel delays.
James K.A. Smith
Register as early as possible to take advantage of the early bird discount. Payment in full is required to process all registrations. The registration fee covers all main sessions and workshops, three buffet breakfasts, and the Saturday evening banquet. We will confirm your completed registration by email. The status of your membership as of October 28, 2021, determines your registration fee. Those attending law school or undergraduate school full-time are considered “Students.” When both spouses are either attorneys, law students, or non-lawyer members, then the spouse with the higher registration fee must pay the full registration cost and the other pays the spouse fee.
Click here to download the printed registration form to mail to CLS.
Our host hotel for the 2021 CLS National Conference is the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk, which is located at 123 Losoya Street, San Antonio, Texas, along the beautiful San Antonio River Walk. The CLS group rate is $189/night.
The hotel is located on the San Antonio River Walk, approximately nine miles away from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT). Rental cars, taxi service, and ride-sharing options are available at the airport. The hotel offers both self-parking and valet parking in a covered garage across the street from the hotel. Self-parking at the hotel is $38/night plus tax; valet parking is $49/night plus tax.
CLS will be applying for state bar approved CLE credits. There is no additional charge for CLE credits for workshop sessions; however, you must fill out the proper CLE forms at the conference to receive credit. CLE credit is also available for the main session on Friday morning. CLE credits will be provided for workshops that qualify, which is dependent on the rules of each accrediting state.
Dress for the conference is business casual; Saturday evening banquet is business formal.
If you have dietary or other special needs, please let us know when you register so that we can make arrangements to accommodate your needs.
Any cancellation/request for a refund must be made in writing, and CLS will issue a cancellation number. If the request is received on or before September 1st, a $75 administration fee will apply. If received by 4:00 pm (Eastern) on October 1, 2021, a $150 fee will apply. No refunds will be given after 4:00 pm (Eastern) on October 1, 2021. No-shows will not receive a refund. COVID-19 related issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Childcare will not be available.
San Antonio Information
If you are interested in learning more about activities in San Antonio, you can access the visitor’s guide here.
CLS National Conference Brochure
To download the CLS National Conference brochure click here.
Schedule subject to change.
*Denotes special event requiring additional registration and fee
Thursday, October 28
8:00 am-5:30 pm Christian Legal Aid Summit*
10:00-3:30 pm Church and Ministry General Counsel Forum* (CLE)
12:00-5:30 pm Anglican Legal Society*
12:00 pm Registration Opens
4:00-5:30 pm Workshops — Session I
7:00-9:00 pm Main Session I — James K.A. Smith
Friday, October 29
9:30-11:30 am Main Session II — Religious Freedom Panel (CLE)
12:00-2:30 pm Christian Legal Scholars’ Symposium*
12:00-2:30 pm CLS Attorney Chapter Leaders’ Luncheon
1:30-3:00 pm Workshops — Session II
3:30-5:00 pm Workshops — Session III
5:30-6:30 pm Main Session III — Prof. Ruth Okediji
Saturday, October 30
10:00-11:45 am Law Student Main Session
10:15-11:45 am Workshops — Session IV
12:00-1:30 pm Law Student Mentoring Lunch
1:45-3:15 pm Workshops — Session V
3:45-5:15 pm Workshops — Session VI
7:00-9:00 pm Main Session IV — Celebration Banquet featuring Lee Strobel
Sunday, October 31
10:00-11:30 am Main Session V — Worship Service
This year’s event will feature Lee Strobel, Professor Ruth Okediji, James K.A. Smith, and Laudir Lugo.
James K.A. Smith, Thursday Evening
James K. A. Smith is a professor of philosophy at Calvin University, where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged, public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and a widely-traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society, and the church.
The author of a number of influential books, Smith’s writing has also appeared in newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today, as well as in magazines such as America, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and LitHub. He serves as editor in chief of Image, a quarterly journal at the intersection of art, faith, and mystery.
He and his wife, Deanna, are elementary school (!) sweethearts with four adult children and (so far) three children-in-law. Natives of Stratford, Ontario, they lived in Philadelphia and Los Angeles before settling in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids. They are committed urban dwellers who enjoy gardening, travel, wine with friends, and curling up on the couch with their Maltipoo, Kirby.
Ruth Okediji, Friday Evening
Ruth L. Okediji is the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She teaches courses in law and technology, intellectual property (IP), and contracts.
Professor Okediji has written widely on a range of matters related to technology transfer, innovation policy, global knowledge governance, and sustainable economic development. Her current research focuses on publicly-funded technologies, the regulation of platforms, access to essential medicines, and ethical considerations in biotech regulation. Professor Okediji’s published books include the seminal casebook, International Patent Law and Policy (Aspen Law, 2013, 2nd edition forthcoming, 2021), as well as Copyright Law in an Age of Limitations and Exceptions (OUP, 2017). She is a reviewer and editor of the Journal of World Intellectual Property.
Professor Okediji has served as an advisor to many inter-governmental organizations and national governments on copyright and patent policies, government use of data, and access to pharmaceutical products. She served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era. In 2015-2016, she was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the High-Level Panel on Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines. She was recognized in that same year by Managing IP as one of the world’s 50 most influential people in intellectual property law. She currently serves as the co-chair of the NASEM Committee focused on improving commercialization of digital products from National Labs.
Over the course of her career, Professor Okediji has been recognized with numerous teaching and service awards including the Regents Superior Teaching Award, the Student Bar Association’s Outstanding Professor Award, and Harvard Law School’s Women’s Law Association Shatter the Ceiling Award (twice). She is also the 2019 recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award.
Lee Strobel, Saturday Evening
Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune, is a New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books and curricula that have sold fourteen million copies in total. He currently serves as the founding director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University.
Lee has been described in The Washington Post as “one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists.” He was educated at the University of Missouri (Bachelor of Journalism) and Yale Law School (Master of Studies in Law). He was a journalist for fourteen years at The Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, winning Illinois’ highest honors for both investigative reporting and public service journalism from United Press International.
After probing the evidence for Jesus for nearly two years, Lee became a Christian in 1981. He subsequently became a teaching pastor at three of America’s largest churches and hosted the national network TV program Faith Under Fire. In addition, he taught First Amendment law at Roosevelt University and was Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University.
In 2017, Lee’s spiritual journey was depicted in an award-winning motion picture, The Case for Christ, which showed in theaters around the world. The movie was on Netflix for three years. Lee won national awards for his books The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. His latest book is The Case for Miracles. His next book, The Case for Heaven, debuts in mid-September 2021, and is currently available for pre-order.
The Christian Post named Lee among the top evangelicals who had made an impact in 2017. He was selected as one of the thirty most influential Christian thinkers of the past two millennia in the 2019 book Faith Thinkers, written by Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
Lee and Leslie have been married for forty-eight years. Their daughter, Alison, is a novelist, and their son, Kyle, is a professor of spiritual theology at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.
Laudir Lugo, Sunday Morning
Laudir is a Christian minister and organizational leader with over twenty years of experience. He currently works and serves as a regional director for Young Life, leading the mission to reach and teach kids with the hope of Jesus Christ in the South Texas Region. Skilled in intercultural relations, organizational change, and transformational leadership, Laudir is a professional with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Nyack College. He also teaches courses as an adjunct faculty member for the Business School of Texas A&M University in San Antonio.
In 2021, Laudir and Sarai Lugo celebrate twenty-seven years of marriage. They moved to the San Antonio area from Chicago in 2018. They have both fallen in love with the people and culture in South Texas and are passionate about serving and helping others thrive and experience fullness of life.
This is a sampling of workshops that we expect to be provided at the 2021 CLS National Conference. Most will be available for CLE credit, which is dependent on each individual state and their CLE application requirements. Those workshops for which CLS has applied for CLE approval are marked with an asterisk (*). A final list, with CLE availability, will be provided on-site. Please note these offerings are subject to change.
- Artificial Intelligence, Cyborgs, Transhumanism, and the Law* – Matthew Eppinette
- Legal Hotspots for Churches and Nonprofits* – Rob Showers, Justin Coleman, and Will Thetford
- Advising Churches on Abuse Prevention Systems* – Sally Wagenmaker, Theresa Sidebotham, and Jeff Dalrymple
- Legal Ethics: Pitfalls in a Post-Pandemic World* – Natt Gantt
- Bias in the Legal Profession and ABA Model Rule 8.4(g)* – Kim Colby
- Advising Clients to Apologize and Forgive* – Peter Robinson
- Reflecting Christ in Estate Planning* – Joshua Hummer
- Attorneys as Peace Sowers and Conciliators, Parts 1 and 2* – Ken Sande
- What Every Lawyer Needs to Know about International Law and Human Rights* – Jeff Brauch
- Can Federalism Rise from the Grave?* – Brad Jacob
- The Attorney’s Role in Suicide Prevention* – Steve Moore
- Conflict Coaching* – Matthew Argue and Harold Coleman, Jr.
- Basic Christian Arbitration* – Matthew Argue and Harold Coleman, Jr.
- Creed, Conduct, and Constitutionalism: How the Gospel is Politically Necessary and Necessarily Political – Jeff Ventrella
- Creation Care 101* – John Murdock
- Intellectual Property Basics for Business and Nonprofits* – Leslie Vander Griend
- Labor and Employment Law: Observations Based on 35 Years of Representing Management* – Norm Hawkins
- The Fight to Die: An Update from the Front Lines in the Battle Against Suicide by Physician – Catherine Glenn Foster
- Pro-Life is Winning: How the Pro-Life Movement has Saved Lives and Made Abortion (Almost) Unthinkable* – Steve Aden
- Recent Changes to Immigration Law* – Lina Hughes and Lance Conklin
- Best Practices in Employee Benefits: Reducing Liability and Saving Money* – Wesley Covert
- Caring for Foster and Step Children in the Christian Community* – Deborah Ausburn
- A Primer on Church Autonomy* – Carl Esbeck
- Religious Freedom Update* – Reed Smith
- Advising Christian Organizations in a Post-Bostock World* – Matthew Doane and Clint Elliott
- Protecting Religious Freedom Through Federal Land Use Laws* – Ryan Lee and Noel Sterett
- Religious Freedom Plenary Session* – Kim Colby, Carl Esbeck, Casey Mattox, Eric Treene, and Lori Windham; moderated by Stanley Carlon-Theis
- Sex Trafficking: The Problem, the Law, and Proposed Solutions* – Benjamin Bull
- The Attorney’s Role in Suicide Prevention* – Steve Moore
Steve Aden serves as the chief legal officer and general counsel for Americans United for Life in Washington, DC. He is a highly-experienced litigator, having appeared in court against Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry dozens of times and appointed by six states to defend pro-life laws. Steve secured court victories that upheld an Arizona law that resulted in six abortion businesses ceasing to offer abortion, applied Missouri’s abortion laws to chemical abortion, and upheld the right of Louisiana regulators to shut down dangerous abortion facilities. A prolific author and analyst on sanctity of life issues and constitutional jurisprudence, Steve is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Hawaii (inactive) and is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal circuit and district courts. He has practiced law since 1990. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from the University of Hawaii.
Matthew W. Argue has over 30 years of experience in complex construction disputes, mediation, and arbitration. Since 2004, Mr. Argue is a full-time neutral focusing on construction, insurance, real estate, and employment mediation and arbitration. Mr. Argue has successfully mediated over 700 cases to settlement. Mr. Argue has been a Certified Christian Conciliator™ since 2012 through Peacemaker Ministries. In 2016, he became the president and CEO of the Institute for Christian Conciliation™, formerly a division of Peacemaker Ministries. Mr. Argue regularly lectures and writes on mediation. He has published numerous articles, including most recently co-authoring two articles – “Mediating with Emotional Intelligence: When IQ is Not Enough, Part 1 and Part 2” – with Harold Coleman, Jr., for the American Arbitration Association’s Dispute Resolution Journal. He has also written an article for the American Inns of Court’s The Bencher Magazine entitled “Work and Life Balance after Two Types of Cancer.” Mr. Argue previously practiced construction law as partner with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves and Savitch LLP from 1989 to 2001. Mr. Argue received his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law Center in 1989. Mr. Argue is licensed in a number of different jurisdictions including California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, and Texas.
Debbie Ausburn is a social worker turned lawyer who has worked with youth-serving organizations for more than 40 years. She spent her teen years as a summer camp counselor and during law school worked as a group home parent. After law school, she served as a criminal prosecutor, foster parent, and litigation attorney. She now advises and defends youth-serving organizations throughout the United States in matters ranging from minor injuries to sexual abuse. Debbie is the author of the book Raising Other People’s Children: What Foster Parenting Taught Me about Bringing Together a Blended Family.
Jeffrey A. Brauch has served as a professor at Regent University School of Law since 1994. From 2000 to 2015, he served as the law school’s dean. Jeff helped create Regent’s Center for Global Justice and serves as the Center’s executive director. He has taught several courses, including foundations of law, international human rights, international religious freedom, and torts. Jeff has published four books and thirty-three articles on topics related to international human rights, integration of faith and law, and ERISA litigation. Jeff received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School. After graduating from law school, Jeff was a law clerk for Justice William Callow of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He then worked for five years as an associate with the Milwaukee law firm Quarles & Brady, where he specialized in commercial litigation. Jeff and his wife, Becky, are the parents of four adult children and have four grandchildren. He loves history, the music of Beethoven, and the Green Bay Packers – not necessarily in that order.
Benjamin W. Bull serves as the general counsel and the senior vice president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. He leads the National Center’s Law Center, fighting child sexual abuse, illegal pornography, sex trafficking, and other forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. He is the recipient of the prestigious William Bentley Ball Award, from Christian Legal Society, for outstanding contribution to religious freedom. He is a noted constitutional lawyer and former prosecutor and has had great success preventing the spread of illegal pornography, winning more than 14 jury trials against pornographers without a loss. He has also won numerous obscenity and child pornography appellate cases, including at the Supreme Court. Mr. Bull has trained prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice and numerous state attorneys general and prosecutorial organizations. He has lectured to over two dozen state bar associations and has testified before Congress as well as many state legislatures. He is widely published and has co-authored two books that serve as teaching manuals on winning obscenity cases and stopping the urban blight of sexually oriented businesses. Mr. Bull also has a long and distinguished career defending religious freedom. He formerly served as the chief counsel and the executive vice president of Alliance Defending Freedom where he launched and built its litigation and advocacy components, eventually hiring and leading more than 60 attorneys, as well as opening and supervising its offices in Washington, D.C., New York City, London, Brussels, Geneva, Vienna, New Delhi, and around the world. He is the founder and executive director of ADF International, a leading global human rights organization. Mr. Bull also served as the founding executive director of the European Center for Law and Justice in Strasbourg, France, where he practiced human rights law, and has held leadership positions at several other well-respected legal organizations. He also founded and led the Slavic Center for Law and Justice in Moscow, Russia. Mr. Bull lives in Washington, D.C., and Ellsworth, Maine, and is married to Lynda Griffin Bull, a psychotherapist. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Stanley Carlson-Thies is founder and senior director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRFA), which promotes the religious freedoms that enable faith-based organizations to make their uncommon contributions to the common good. IRFA is a division of the Center for Public Justice, an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to policy research and civic education. Stanley is the co-author of Free to Serve: Preserving the Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations (2015), The Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations to Staff on a Religious Basis (2004), and A Revolution of Compassion: Faith-Based Groups as Full Partners in Fighting America’s Social Problems (2003). In the early 1990s, he directed a project on Christian perspectives on welfare reform and co-edited the resulting book, Welfare in America: Christian Perspectives on a Policy in Crisis (1996). Stanley served on the initial staff of President Bush’s White House faith-based office (2001-2002) and, in 2009-2010, on the church-state taskforce of President Obama’s faith-based advisory council. He has advised federal departments and states on how to construct productive and respectful relationships with faith-based and secular community organizations. He is the organizer and host, since 2002, of a monthly nonpartisan and multi-faith gathering of religious freedom advocates and leaders of faith-based organizations, the Coalition to Preserve Religious Freedom, which monitors and educates Congress and the executive branch. In May 2019, Stanley received the Religious Liberty Dinner National Award from the North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA), Liberty magazine, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was awarded the William Bentley Ball Life and Religious Liberty Defense Award by CLS’ Center for Law & Religious Freedom in 2004. Stanley holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto, with a dissertation on Dutch political-religious development. He was born in Tokyo, Japan, of missionary parents.
Steve Case worked in insurance defense litigation for seven years before joining Brotherhood Mutual in 2014, where he is now the assistant vice president and senior corporate counsel. Instead of litigating matters after something happens, Steve now assists ministries with risk management, focusing on the areas of religious freedom, child protection, faith-based decisions, safety and security, and employment issues. He assumed his current role in March 2017, and oversees the day-to-day activities of Brotherhood Mutual’s legal department, including the Legal Assist program. Steve earned his Bachelor of Science from Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, and his law degree at the University of Toledo College of Law. In 2017, he received his designation as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter. Steve is a member of Christian Legal Society, the Defense Research Institute, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. Steve attends The Pointe Church where he previously served as the grow group director and now serves on the ministry advisory board.
Kim Colby has worked for Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & 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.
Harold Coleman, Jr., is a practicing mediator/arbitrator and the senior vice president for mediation at the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the global dispute resolution leader. Harold also trains new AAA arbitrators and aspiring mediators in basic/advanced arbitration case management techniques and basic/advanced mediation skills. A former multi-disciplinary project manager and complex litigation attorney, Harold has mediated, conciliated, and arbitrated hundreds of litigated and non-litigated disputes over a 33-year legal and ADR career. He is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA). He is an officer/director for the International Mediation Institute and co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Advanced Mediation & Advocacy Skills Training Institute. A trained and experienced Christian conciliator and conflict coach, Harold is a member of the CLS national board of directors and the ICC Peace board. Harold serves the global ADR community from offices in Southern California and New York.
Justin Coleman is a senior associate at Simms Showers LLP specializing in church, nonprofit, and business law, and intellectual property law. With over 10 years at the firm, Justin represents hundreds of church and nonprofit clients nationwide, with a particular focus on the Mid-Atlantic region. Justin writes and has lectured on the legal and liability concerns facing churches and religious nonprofits in the 21st century and how best to minimize that risk. Holding degrees in psychology and criminal justice, Justin earned his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, Michigan (’08), and currently serves on the board of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Christian Legal Society. Justin has been married for 10 years and is father to three beautiful daughters.
Lance Conklin has been practicing immigration law for more than 20 years. He was first admitted to practice law in California in 1995, and has worked for some of the most prestigious immigration law firms in the United States. In addition to his experience in private practice, Lance has worked in the nonprofit world at World Relief where he supported immigrant legal services for low-income clients, and he has taught immigration law to new practitioners. He is also a Navy Veteran and has served as a minister. Lance opened the Law Office of J. Lance Conklin in 2014, where he exclusively practices U.S. immigration law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from California Western School of Law in San Diego. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Gateway Seminary (FNA Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary) in Mill Valley, California. Lance currently serves as the pro bono chair for the D.C. Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association and as a board member of Maryland Christian Legal Society. He previously served on the board of the Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition, serving as the president from 2018 to 2021.
Wesley (Wes) Covert joined Laner Muchin as an associate in 2008, and he has been a partner at the firm since 2014. Wes focuses his practice on all aspects of employee benefits law, including health and welfare benefit plans, defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, and multiemployer plans. Wes’ practice also includes counseling clients as to compliance with various federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and the correction of qualified retirement plans through the correction programs available through the IRS and DOL. Wes also provides clients counseling as to fiduciary best practices and qualified retirement plan compliance. He is a frequent speaker to benefit and human resource professionals and an author on various benefit topics and provides training to HR Departments on a number of benefit-related matters. Wes is the editor and frequent author of his firm’s e-newsletter, The Fast Laner.
Jeff Dalrymple is an organizational leader whose leadership experience includes roles in public safety, higher education, Christian NGOs, and parachurch organizations. He is also an elder at Sunrise Community Church and CEO of Red Buffalo consulting. In addition to implementing child protection programs at several ministries, his experience includes organizational leadership, team building, communications, development/fundraising, hospitality, conference and event planning, international relations, strategic planning, revitalization, and board governance. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in organizational management, as well as a Masters in international relations and conflict resolution. He has also received certificates from Disney Institute in leadership excellence and from Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy in fundraising. Jeff has previously served as a vice president at Southern Seminary and was the board president of Louisville Rescue Mission. He currently serves as the board chair of Hadassah’s Hope and a member of the board of The Apostle Project. Jeff enjoys reading, exploring, and spending time with family. Married to Kristil, they are the parents of: JJ, Kassie, Katherine, and Kylie. They reside in Jacksonville, Florida.
Matthew (Matt) Doane is the managing partner and a founding partner of Doane & Elliott, P.S.C., a Cornerstone Law Group dedicated to serving the community from the foundation of Christian faith and a commitment to love of neighbors. Prior to founding Doane & Elliott, Matt practiced with a law firm in Lexington, Kentucky, and served as the executive director of the Metro Christian Legal Aid organization in the Louisville, Kentucky, area. Matt concentrates his practice in the areas of faith-based nonprofit organizations, religious liberties, elder law, and estate planning. Matt is a member of Christian Legal Society and is an Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney and a deacon in his church.
Clint Elliott, a founding partner of Doane & Elliott, P.S.C., has more than thirty years’ experience as an attorney practicing in a variety of practice areas, including commercial litigation, employment law, corporate compliance, and First Amendment rights. Clint also serves as the executive director and general counsel for the Justice Defense Foundation of Kentucky, promoting and pursuing religious liberty and biblical justice in the marketplace and in public schools. Clint is a member of Christian Legal Society, is an Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney, and serves on the board of Christian Educators Association International.
Matthew Eppinette, MBA, PhD, is the executive director of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity (CBHD) and an affiliate professor of bioethics at Trinity International University (TIU). Dr. Eppinette has more than a decade and a half of experience in the field of bioethics, including serving CBHD previously from 2002-2007. He holds a PhD in theology with a concentration in Christian ethics and in theology and culture from the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he also earned an MA in theology. He is a 2004 graduate of the MA Bioethics program at Trinity International University, and he has an MBA with concentrations in quantitative analysis and information systems from Louisiana Tech University. In addition to all of the usual research, writing, teaching, and speaking an academic generally does, Dr. Eppinette has helped to write and produce six documentary films addressing bioethics issues. Three of the films were Official Film Festival Selections, and one was awarded Best Documentary at the California Independent Film Festival. His current research interests include transhumanism, Alasdair MacIntyre’s ethics and epistemology, and the intersection of fiction, film, and other areas of culture, particularly popular culture, that raise or address bioethics issues.
Carl H. Esbeck is the R. B. Price Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Law. He formerly worked as the director of Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom and as special counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice. He publishes widely on church-state relations in journals and law reviews and consults on First Amendment matters in litigation.
Catherine Glenn Foster serves as the president and CEO of Americans United for Life (AUL), America’s original national pro-life organization and the Nation’s premier pro-life legal team. AUL’s legal strategists have been involved in every pro-life case before the U.S. Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade. AUL is the pioneer of the state-based model legislative strategy, which works to save lives today while undermining the so-called “reliance” interest adopted by the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: the false idea that women “rely” on abortion to succeed in American society. Under Ms. Foster’s leadership, AUL pursues and refines a mother-child strategy that looks at the interests and vulnerabilities of both, protecting them from abortion industry abuses. Ms. Foster earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center. She also holds an M.A. in French from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in history and French from Berry College.
Natt Gantt currently serves as a professor and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Regent University School of Law. He received his A.B. in psychology and political science, summa cum laude, from Duke University; his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School; and his Master of Divinity, summa cum laude, from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Before joining Regent in 2000, he served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Donald S. Russell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; as an associate at Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington, D.C.; and as a proxy analyst at Fidelity Investments in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Gantt currently teaches professional responsibility and contracts, and he co-teaches Regent’s required professional formation course titled “Foundations of Practice.” He also currently serves as the co-director of Regent’s Center for Ethical Formation and Legal Education Reform. During his time at Regent, Professor Gantt’s scholarship and presentations have focused on two primary areas: (1) law school academic support and legal education reform and (2) legal ethics and professional identity formation. He served from 2010 to 2013 as a faculty member for the Virginia State Bar Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course and from 2018 to 2019 as a member of the Virginia State Bar President’s Special Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. He also served from 2018 to 2021 as a faculty member for the CLS Fellows program and currently serves as an arbitrator on the Virginia State Bar Circuit Committee, Resolution of Fee Disputes, Virginia Beach, and as a member of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Advisory Commission.
Richard R. Hammar is an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Missouri, and he holds his CPA certificate from the Missouri State Board of Accountancy. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and also attended Harvard Divinity School. Rich specializes in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy. He is senior editor of ChurchLawAndTax.com and the author of several books published by Church Law & Tax, including Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition, the annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide, and Reducing the Risk, a child sexual abuse awareness training program. Rich wrote the first edition of Pastor, Church & Law in 1983. He co-founded the Church Law & Tax Report and Church Finance Today print newsletters—the precursors to ChurchLawAndTax.com—in 1987 and 1993, respectively, and other related resources with James Cobble. Rich has contributed articles or comments to numerous journals and publications, including Christianity Today, Christian Century, and Enrichment. Rich is a frequent speaker at legal and tax conferences, occasionally teaches church law at seminaries and colleges, and often consults with attorneys, CPAs, and church and denominational leaders on legal and tax issues. He has been a lecturer at the annual Washington Nonprofit Legal and Tax Conference; addressed a National Institute of the American Bar Association on the tort liability of charitable and religious organizations; has been a featured speaker at the annual Program on Philanthropy and Law sponsored by the New York University School of Law; and has taught continuing education seminars at several institutions, including Princeton Theological Seminary and Emory University. Rich has been inducted into the church management “hall of fame” by The Church Network and has served on the boards of several prominent charities, including the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and he is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court. In 2009, he became a registered parliamentarian by successfully completing a qualifying examination administered by the National Association of Parliamentarians. He joined the ranks of 270 other registered parliamentarians in the United States.
For more than 30 years, Norm Hawkins has represented management in a wide range of labor and employment matters. He provides proactive and practical daily advice to employers of all sizes, shaped by his vast experience: as first-chair employment trial defense, as chief spokesperson in collective bargaining, as first-chair labor arbitration counsel, in decades of daily advising employers, in decades of drafting all kinds of labor and employment documents, in working in the personnel department of an automotive supplier, and as a prior member of the UAW. Norm focuses on identifying and mitigating risks, and assisting employers to achieve their objectives through cost effective solutions. Norm counsels both U.S. and foreign companies, large and small, publicly held and private. He has successfully defended employers in hundreds of lawsuits in federal and state courts in Michigan, and in other states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Texas. Norm especially enjoys training managers and supervisors concerning all aspects of labor and employment law and investigating allegations of harassment and discrimination. Norm received his JD, cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School.
Jim Helfrich is a long-time CLS member and is a shareholder at Allen Vellone Wolf Helfrich & Factor, P.C. who practices commercial litigation in Colorado. Jim helped start Denver’s Christian Legal Aid program 21 years ago and currently acts as the volunteer attorney coordinator for six triage clinics in Denver that partner with local charities and churches to provide one-hour consultations to people experiencing poverty. Fifteen years ago, Jim also helped start, and now serves on the board of, the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Center (JAMLAC), which currently has 15 staff members and provides full-service representation primarily to victims of domestic violence.
Deborah Hubbs entered solo practice in 2020 after serving corporate clients for over a decade, including serving as the general counsel for both the largest privately-held oil producer and publicly traded energy companies. Realizing God cared more about justice than any affluence He might bestow, in 2018, Deborah founded Community Christian Legal Aid (CCLA) whose mission is to free our neighbors from legal burdens in Jesus’ name. CCLA serves the Greater Houston area. Deborah received her J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University. Deborah has been married 30 years to her husband, Tracy. Together they have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a new grandson named Theodore. Deborah considers her family to be her greatest earthly blessing.
Lina Hughes is the founder of Yen Hughes Law PC, an immigration law firm representing churches, denominations, mission agencies and religious workers. Lina helps clients obtain temporary visas, permanent residency, and citizenship and consults on immigration strategy and I-9 compliance for employers. She is a member of the California State Bar and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves on the national board of Christian Legal Society. Lina received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from U.C. Berkeley in 1994, and her J.D. from University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law in 1997. She was born in Taiwan, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and speaks Mandarin Chinese. Lina lives with her husband, Rob, and two children in Northern California, where they enjoy escape rooms and playing music.
Joshua E. Hummer is a licensed attorney in both Virginia and West Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has been practicing law for over 15 years. Josh specializes in estate planning, elder law, and elder planning. He is co-author of the upcoming book, Fearless: Facing the Future Confidently with Relational Estate Planning® and is passionate about helping others form end-of-life plans that benefit their loved ones and leave their legacy behind. Outside of work, Josh loves spending time with his lovely wife, Jill, and their four vibrant children.
Brad Jacob is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, summa cum laude, who joined the faculty of Regent University School of Law as an associate professor in 2001. His teaching expertise includes constitutional law, foundations of law, constitutional criminal procedure, and non-profit tax-exempt organizations. Before coming to Regent, Jacob served as the founding provost and dean of Patrick Henry College (1998-2000); the executive director/CEO of Christian Legal Society (1991-93); the associate dean of the proposed School of Law at Geneva College (1993-98); a staff attorney in the Center for Law & Religious Freedom (1988-91); and the director of the Justice Fellowship Policy Institute at Prison Fellowship Ministries (2000-01). Jacob began his career as an attorney in Baltimore with the major international law firm now known as DLA Piper, and has authored numerous scholarly articles including “The Bible and the Constitution” (Trinity Law Review 2011), “Griswold and the Defense of Traditional Marriage” (N. Dakota Law Review 2007), “Will the Real Constitutional Originalist Please Stand Up?” (Creighton Law Review 2007), “Back to Basics: Constitutional Meaning and ‘Tradition’” (Texas Tech Law Review 2007), and “Free Exercise in the ‘Lobbying Nineties’” (Nebraska Law Review 2006). “Professor Brad,” as he is known, has been married since 1983 and is the homeschooling father of nine children. He is interviewed in print and broadcast media around the country on a regular basis and serves as a frequent guest on the Christian Broadcasting Network and on Macrini’s Morning News Team on WNIS-AM in Hampton Roads.
Ryan Lee is a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and works in the Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. The Housing Section enforces a variety of federal civil rights statutes including the Fair Housing Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Mr. Lee currently serves as the Section’s RLUIPA Coordinator and, in that role, he oversees the Department’s investigation and development of RLUIPA enforcement matters. Mr. Lee began his employment with the Department in 2005. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Lee served as a law clerk to the Honorable J.P. Stadtmueller, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Mr. Lee received his law degree from Marquette University Law School in 2003 and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Karen Marchant has nearly 20 years senior and executive nonprofit leadership and fund development experience through her work at Colorado Christian University, MOPS International, and Mile High Ministries. Karen is the owner of Capacity Strategies, LLC and serves as the philanthropy officer for Thrive Ministry in Denver. Karen’s passion is to help nonprofits maximize their missions through building financial and organizational capacity. She has been a guest on several national radio broadcasts, a contributing author to several books and publications, and is a workshop and conference speaker. Karen has been married to Jeff for 41 years and is mom to four amazing grown kids.
Casey Mattox is a senior fellow at the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) where he focuses on toleration and free speech issues. Casey’s career includes litigating cases defending the rights of students and faculty at public colleges and universities across the Nation. Prior to joining CKI, Casey held leadership roles at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), including serving as senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom. While at ADF, Casey led a team of attorneys considered to be one of the most active groups of litigators defending First Amendment rights on public university campuses. Casey has testified multiple times before the U.S. House of Representatives on a variety of First Amendment and other constitutional issues. He has been featured in news outlets ranging from USA Today to The Federalist. Before earning his J.D. from Boston College Law School and clerking for the Alabama Supreme Court, Casey earned his bachelor’s degree in government and history from the University of Virginia.
Steve Moore is the executive director of Christian Outreach for Africa, which has the mission of bringing the people in Africa to a Christ-centered life through education, job creation, health programs, orphan care, and housing. Prior to taking that position, he had a 42-year career as an attorney, primarily in the field of public utility regulation. Steve has been an active suicide prevention advocate since his 19-year-old son died by suicide in 2006. He is co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and a member of AFSP’s National Public Policy Council, which establishes federal and state legislative priorities and monitors the organization’s advocacy. He is co-chair of the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance, which is a statutorily created board of public and private organizations that coordinates state efforts to prevent suicide. He also serves on several advisory boards, including the Kennedy Forum Illinois (mental health advocacy), the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System (suicide data surveillance), and the Illinois Governors’ Challenge (veterans’ suicide). He is a facilitator for suicide loss survivor support groups for the Chicago Catholic Charities program, Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide. Steve has a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law.
John Murdock is a natural resources attorney who currently works in the public sector in Idaho. He has written on green topics for a variety of publications including Front Porch Republic, First Things, the Texas Review of Law & Politics, Plough, the Florida Law Review Forum, and Christianity Today. His professional career also includes over a decade of public service in Washington, D.C., and work as a senior fellow and board member at Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship. John also taught environmental law at an Asian law school for several years and was a founding board member of the Earth Stewardship Alliance. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas School of Law.
Peter Robinson is a professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. US News ranked The Straus Institute as the best ADR program in the country for the 11 years Professor Robinson served as its managing director, from 2005 to 2016. He also served a two-year stint as the associate dean for administration at Pepperdine Caruso Law School. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses throughout the United States and in 15 foreign countries. He has served on the boards of the California Dispute Resolution Council, Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA), Dispute Resolution Services of the LACBA, Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, and the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles. The SCMA recognized him as Peacemaker of the Year in 1999. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation in 2006 and 2008. After being appointed by the LA City Attorney, he successfully mediated all the environmental objections to building the Farmer’s Field football stadium in downtown LA.
Ken Sande is the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and RW360. Trained as an engineer, lawyer, and mediator, Ken has conciliated hundreds of family, business, church, and legal conflicts. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Peacemaker, which has sold over 500,000 copies in 20 languages. He is also a certified emotional intelligence instructor and a certified relational wisdom conciliator, coach, and instructor, and has served as an editorial advisor for Christianity Today. He teaches internationally on biblical peacemaking, Christian conciliation, and relational wisdom, which is an enhanced form of emotional intelligence that helps people “get upstream of conflict” by improving their ability to read and manage emotions in themselves and others. These resources are being used to strengthen relationships, promote teamwork, and reduce and resolve conflict in churches, families, businesses, schools, and military bases around the world.
Rob Showers is the managing partner of Simms Showers LLP, heading up the NOVA/DC Metro office and specializing in civil and commercial litigation and church, nonprofit, and business law. A graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law in 1977, Rob went on to serve in various capacities in the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to going into private practice in 1989, he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, the executive director of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General. Rob writes and lectures extensively nationwide on church and nonprofit law and child protection and employment law. Rob currently serves on a number of boards, including that of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention as an officer. Rob has shared over 35 years with his wife, Evie, and is father to three lovely daughters and two granddaughters.
Theresa Lynn Sidebotham is the founding attorney of Telios Law PLLC, where she advises businesses and religious organizations on legal and policy issues with a special emphasis on First Amendment policies, international law, child protection policies and practices, and employment. Theresa also handles investigations in employment law and child abuse, advising on and/or supervising internal investigations and performing independent investigations as an outside firm. In addition to ordinary business litigation and employment law issues, she has defended a number of churches in several states in alleged child sexual abuse cases, historic and current, as well as asserted constitutional defenses around religious free exercise, religious privilege, and other First Amendment issues. Theresa has served as the expert panel chair of the Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention since 2019. She is a graduate of Wheaton College and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Theresa is a long-standing CLS member, a prior president of the CLS Chapter in Colorado Springs, wife, mom, and grandma to three adorable granddaughters.
Reed Smith is an assistant attorney general in the health care division of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. Prior to his current position, Reed was the director of litigation for Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom (the Center), where he was lead counsel for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in a suit against San Jose Unified School District. While at the Center, Reed also helped Christians across the country in employment matters, equal rights matters, and public access cases. Prior to joining the Center, Reed worked as counsel at First Liberty Institute, where he focused on religious freedom matters. For six years prior to joining First Liberty, Reed worked at Ahmad Zavitsanos, a Chambers-rated commercial litigation boutique in Houston, Texas, where he managed high-stakes commercial and intellectual property litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants. In numerous cases, Reed helped secure millions of dollars for his client through settlement. Before going into private practice, Reed clerked for Judge Catharina Haynes at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Paul Stickney at the Northern District of Texas, and James Ho at the Texas Office of the Solicitor General. Prior to law school, Reed served as a journeyman missionary to Poland through the International Mission Board. Reed received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Virginia Law Review, and his B.A. from the University of Florida.
Sandy Stefanski has been the program coordinator with Open Hands Legal Services for over 11 years. Sandy has over 40 years of experience serving a variety of populations, including seniors, the physically disabled, and incarcerated women, as well as being a preschool teacher. Her experience in serving churches includes teaching, counseling, program development, music ministry, and writing. Sandy has taught at New Life Bible College in Moscow, Russia, and The Korean Seminary in Flushing, New York. She currently lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, and is a member of Fairview Gospel Church, where her husband is the pastor. Sandy has two children and five grandchildren. In her free time, Sandy enjoys running and weight lifting and has completed the NYC Marathon, as well as her first sprint triathlon.
Noel W. Sterett is a partner at Dalton & Tomich, PLC and oversees their Illinois office. He describes the core of his practice as a devotion to ensuring people are free to serve God and their neighbors in their communities and in the marketplace. The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) is an area of particular focus for Noel. He has helped win dozens of land use cases all across the country and regularly advises religious groups on civil rights matters and how best to secure zoning approval for their religious land uses. Noel is an allied attorney and member of the National Litigation Academy Honor Corps of the Alliance Defending Freedom. He serves on the board of Courtside Ministries, a prayer ministry that organizes volunteers from local churches to pray for people as they come in and out of courthouses across the country. Noel is a graduate of Regent University School of Law. He resides in Rockford, Illinois, with his wife and five children.
Will Thetford is an associate with Simms Showers LLP. Mr. Thetford is passionate about pursuing justice for his clients, navigating them through an often-complex legal system, and faithfully representing their interests. He practices in both federal and all levels of state court in Virginia. Prior to joining Simms Showers, Mr. Thetford gathered a broad array of experience in the law, including his time with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, a nonprofit law firm dedicated to protecting First Amendment rights, and interning with a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Thetford clerked for the judges of the Rockingham County Circuit Court in Harrisonburg for Virginia’s 26th Judicial Circuit. Mr. Thetford also speaks and writes on various topics including Constitutional legal issues, religious freedom, legal compliance, and helping small businesses, churches, and ministries remain vigilant and effective in the face of the dangers that confront them today, such as preventing or addressing child abuse or sexual harassment and various employment matters. Mr. Thetford lives in Leesburg, Virginia, with his family and is a member of Grace Covenant Church in Sterling. When he is not practicing law, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and otherwise being active outside. Mr. Thetford received his J.D., cum laude, from Regent University School of Law, where he was a member of the moot court board, winning multiple awards as an oralist and in brief writing, and the managing editor for the Journal for Global Justice and Public Policy. He received his Bachelor of Arts in government/American politics and policy, magna cum laude, from Patrick Henry College.
Leslie Vander Griend practices intellectual property law at Stokes Lawrence PS in Seattle, Washington. Stokes Lawrence is recognized as one of the top law firms in Washington for intellectual property and is a majority women-owned firm with offices in both eastern and western Washington. Leslie works closely with a wide range of businesses, nonprofits, and religious organizations on intellectual property matters including trademarks, copyrights, licensing, software protection, domain name recovery, online retail marketing, unfair competition, and intellectual property in estate planning. Leslie and the IP team at Stokes Lawrence represent clients in intellectual property enforcement and litigation nationwide and in contested matters before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board. Leslie graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in music theory and composition, then obtained a joint degree from Emory University School of Law (J.D.) and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (M.T.S.). Leslie is admitted in Washington, Georgia, various Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She was recently recognized for the fifth year in a row by World Trademark Review as a leading trademark professional.
Jeffery J. Ventrella serves as senior counsel and senior vice president of academic affairs and training for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Since joining ADF in 2000, he has headed the ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a unique legal internship program that has graduated more than 1,900 outstanding law students. Jeff also leads the design of Alliance Defending Freedom Areté Academy, providing training for exceptional college upperclassmen and recent graduates on a path to future leadership in law, government, and public policy. He regularly engages the culture through formal debates and serves as an approved speaker for The Federalist Society. Jeff received his Ph.D. in church and state studies from Whitefield Theological Seminary. He earned his J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and has practiced law since 1985. He is a member of the state bar of Idaho and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sally Wagenmaker is a partner at Wagenmaker & Oberly, a law firm with offices in Chicago and Charleston. Together with her three law partners and additional staff, she provides legal counsel for nonprofit clients including churches and other religious organizations, social service providers, and schools. The firm’s values include trustworthiness, cost-efficiency, creative collaboration, mutual respect, and community engagement, consistent with Proverbs 11:24-25 (www.wagenmakerlaw.com). Sally has served as the general counsel and legal review team chair for Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP) since 2019. Sally’s love for CLS began as a student at Emory Law School with a hunger for spiritual growth and meaningful work. Sally has served on the CLS board of directors since 2009, currently the past president of the CLS board. She also serves on her local Chicago CLS chapter board. Sally is blessed by her husband and two young adult children.
As the executive director of Trinity Legal, Lori oversees the approximately 50 volunteers and staff who lovingly serve the legal and spiritual needs of the clients of Trinity Legal. Lori graduated from OSU in 1994, and from OU Law in 1997. Lori is also an adjunct professor at OSU-OKC, teaching classes in leadership, American government, and nonprofits. She serves on the board of directors for the BritVil Food Pantry, which provides food for needy individuals in the OKC area. Lori and her husband, Preston, have three grown children and are members of North Side Christian Church where Preston is an elder, and they enjoy leading the AWANA’s program together.
Christian Legal Aid Summit
Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk – San Antonio, TX
Thursday, October 28, 2021
8:00am – 5:00pm
“When the righteous cry for help,
the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and
saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18)
CLS’ Christian Legal Aid (CLA) program engages and equips lawyers in providing justice for the poor with the love of Christ. The Christian Legal Aid Summit provides CLA staff and volunteers from around the country the opportunity to learn, support, and bless each other as they grow in their ability to serve those in need. Everyone is welcome, including CLA leaders, staff attorneys, volunteer attorneys, board members, non-attorneys who work with legal aid clinics, and anyone interested in exploring Christian Legal Aid. Cost: $95
“Trauma to Treasure: Using our Time and Legal Talent to Heal Trauma”
What if we can use our legal skills to help heal the trauma of our clients? What if sharing the heart of Jesus includes seeing past their immediate problem to see what really needs to be healed? Deborah Hubbs, founder of Community Christian Legal Aid in Houston, will share her own story of childhood trauma, breaking the cycle of poverty, neglect, and abuse, and how she has used those experiences to assist her in serving her legal aid clients.
Deborah Hubbs entered solo practice in 2020 after serving corporate clients for over a decade, including serving as the general counsel for the largest privately-held oil producer and other publicly traded energy companies. Realizing God cared more about justice than any affluence He might bestow, in 2018 Deborah founded Community Christian Legal Aid (CCLA), whose mission is to free our neighbors from legal burdens in Jesus’ name. CCLA serves the Greater Houston area. Deborah received her J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University. Deborah has been married 30 years to her husband, Tracy. Together they have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a new grandson named Theodore. Deborah considers her family to be her greatest earthly blessing.
Schedule for Christian Legal Aid Summit (subject to change)
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
7:00-9:00 pm Dinner (optional, off-site)
Thursday, October 28, 2021
8:00-8:30 am Sign-in and Coffee
8:30-9:00 am Welcome and Introduction
9:00-10:00 am Keynote Address by Deborah Hubbs
10:10-11:00 am Small Group Discussion and Prayer
11:15 am-12:15 pm Workshop Session #1
- “Developing the Empathy of Christ in Serving Others” – Ken Sande
- “Fundraising Fundamentals that Inspire Generosity” – Karen Marchant
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
2:00-3:00 pm Workshop Session #2
- “Family Law Basics for CLA Attorneys” – Lori Young (CLE pending)
- “The 4 R’s of Volunteer Management” – Sandy Stefanski and Jaimee Hatcher
3:15-4:15 pm Workshop Session #3
- “Integrating Faith in Legal Aid Advice: Model Rule 2.1” – Jim Helfrich
4:15-4:30 pm Closing Remarks
5:00-6:30 pm Dinner (optional, off-site)
Questions? Contact CLA@clsnet.org.
The National Law Student Convention (NLSC) provides law students and pre-law students from around the country the opportunity to meet others seeking to discern their callings and become faithful Christ followers in the profession. Join us for times of informal fellowship, directed discussion, intensive instruction, and praise in song during the CLS National Conference!
Thursday, October 28
10:00 pm Law Student After-Hours Fellowship
Sponsored by Cru
Fellowship and snacks late into the evening. This is a great
time to meet new friends, hang out with colleagues, and get
energized for the weekend.
Friday, October 29
7:00-9:00 pm Law Student Welcome Reception and Dinner
10:00-11:00 pm Praise and Worship
11:00 pm Law Student After-Hours Fellowship
Fellowship and snacks late into the evening. Come meet new
friends, hang out, and just have fun.
Saturday, October 30
10:00-11:45 am Law Student Main Session
Chapter sharing, law student stories, serving your campus,
12:00-1:30 pm Law Student Mentoring Lunch
An annual favorite for law students! Practicing lawyers,
professors, and judges will join each table of law students
to share, ask questions, and give advice by practice or
1:30-7:00 pm Free time. Explore the River Walk. Attend a workshop.
7:00-9:00 pm Celebration Banquet
A Note on workshops: Students are welcome to attend any workshops offered throughout the conference. Browse this year’s great offerings; you will find sessions geared toward specific areas of practice, preparation for law practice, spiritual formation, and work-life. There is something for everyone!
Questions? Email LSM@clsnet.org
A special thank you to our 2021 event sponsors.
Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance
Liberty University School of Law
Mission & Vision
Statement of Faith
CLS National Conference
The Christian Lawyer
Journal of Christian Legal
Cross & Gavel Podcast
Find a CLA Clinic
Find a Christian Attorney
Help with a Religious
Renew Your Membership
Partner with CLS
Find an Attorney Chapter
Find a Law Student Chapter