Who We Are
Christian Legal Society’s Law Student Ministries (LSM) ministers to thousands of students on more than 150 law school campuses and at strategic Christian colleges across the country.
Our mission is to nurture and encourage Christian law students by providing mentors and resources aimed at fostering spiritual growth, compassionate outreach, and the integration of faith and practice and to establish and maintain vibrant witnessing communities of law students on every law school campus in the nation and at key Christian colleges.
In carrying out that mission, LSM affirms that the Lord, “a God of justice” (Isaiah 30:18), is the supreme lawgiver and that higher law serves as an immutable standard by which to assess human law.
LSM regards the next generation of lawyers as a strategic people group and counts it a privilege to reach out to law and prelaw students who will be redeeming influences in the profession and the world. By virtue of their calling, every student will have the opportunity to glorify God and work for His kingdom. We must continue together in this task to “Learn to do Justice with the Love of God.”
Yet law students desiring to submit every aspect of their calling to the Lord are confronted with serious challenges in the legal academy. LSM seeks to support students as they seek to develop and use their gifts for the good of their neighbors and the glory of God.
To nurture and encourage Christian law students by providing mentors and resources aimed at fostering:
- spiritual growth,
- compassionate outreach, and
- the integration of faith, study, and practice.
And to establish and maintain vibrant witnessing communities of law students on every law school campus in the nation and at key Christian colleges.
Our mission is developed through four foundational objectives of CLS’ ministry:
GATHERING LAW STUDENTS ON CAMPUS
The first, and most modest, objective in fulfilling the CLS mission is simply an invitation: we want to bring students and lawyers into community by encouraging them to gather locally or to simply identify as Christ-followers. We desire to extend an invitation for law students on campus to stand up and say “I’m with Him.” Yet this goal is central. As law students who follow Jesus, we provide encouragement to our brothers and sisters in the profession.
FOSTERING SPIRITUAL FORMATION
The second objective is to assist law students as they become more Christ-like in the context of preparation for law practice. We all recognize that there are unique challenges, temptations, and issues facing Christian lawyers and law students, and our “lay” friends, including pastors and mentors, do not always understand the issues we face. Whether it be the time crunch of memo writing in law school, the pressures of partner-track politics at the big firm, the stress of preparing for trial, or the intricacies of an ethical dilemma, faithful responses are not easy to come by. Sharing with a brother or sister in Christ who “gets” the issue is often the most significant step on the way to spiritual understanding.
ENCOURAGING VOCATIONAL STEWARDSHIP
The third foundational objective of LSM centers on the lawyer’s calling. We want to help law students develop a well-defined understanding of Christian vocation and how it works itself out in law study and practice.
SUPPORTING CHRISTIAN SERVICE TO THE CAMPUS & COMMUNITY
Finally, Law Student Ministries seeks to encourage Christian law students to reach out to their campuses with the love of Christ. This element of service is a natural outgrowth of gathering together, growing spiritually, and thinking carefully about vocation. After all, if we see our legal gifts as given to us for the benefit of others, one of our critical tasks will be identifying those that might benefit from what we have.
FULFILLING OUR MISSION
A National and Local Network of Christian Attorneys and Law Students
CLS connects students with Christian attorneys to encourage, pray for, and mentor students. Attorneys and students meet and develop relationships through the CLS attorney chapters across the country, as well as through an annual national conference and several regional retreats. One of the great joys of being part of CLS and Law Student Ministries is being part of a movement that is bigger than one’s campus or the local bar association.
Resources Developed Specifically for Law Students
We have a library of resources, including Bible studies, podcasts, videos, blogs, and devotionals, developed with law students in mind, LSM wants to help students address the challenges they face in the study and future practice of law. Check out our resources page for a listing.
CLS began Law Student Ministries (LSM) in 1962-63, modeling the ministry after the Christian Medical and Dental Society and beginning law student chapters at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University (Illinois), Stetson (Florida), U-C Berkeley, and Harvard University. The first LSM office opened on the campus of Trinity International University in Northbrook, Illinois (Director Charlie Emmerich and Asst. Director Dan Babarik), and grew in purpose and programming. In 2001, the office in Illinois closed and moved to the CLS headquarters in Northern Virginia.
Thousands of Christian law students and professors gather throughout law schools every school year in CLS chapters and networked/connected Christian law student fellowships. The CLS Law School Fellows program launched in 2018, under Director Mike Schutt, and continues to be a life-changing week of learning and fellowship.
Director, Law Student Ministries
CLS’ Executive Director & CEO
CLS’ Chief Operations Officer
CLS’ Chief Financial Officer
CLS’ Director, Development
Barnabas Fellow, Chicagoland
Program Coordinator, Law Student Ministries