The Christian Legal Society is an organization dedicated to helping lawyers think biblically and missionally about their work. Through its Law Student Ministries, Legal Aid Ministries, Attorney Ministries, and the Center for Law & Religious Freedom, CLS serves lawyers and law students as they seek to serve Christ in their law practice and study. As we think through these issues, we focus on how we steward our gifts in the law and how we love our neighbors through law practice and study.
Yet what about the shaping influences on lawyers themselves? How do our professional practices and particulars of legal training influence us as human beings Surely the law school experience, our training, billing time, and the adversary system work to influence us in specific ways.
Dave Nammo, CLS's Executive Director and CEO, has been working in law-focused ministry since 1999, and he spends much of his time on the road talking with Christian lawyers and law students. In this episode (#60), host Mike Schutt talks with Dave about the influences that shape us as lawyers and law students-- for good or ill-- and what countercultural practices might be called for in response.
Recent books, like Jamie Smith's You are What You Love and Tish Warren's Liturgy of the Ordinary, raise issues of the habits and practices necessary to "aim our loves," in the words of Smith.
Listen in as Mike and Dave get the discussion started on how we can be more intentional in resisting the profession's shaping power, and how lawyers' habits can help "aim us" in the right direction as well.
David Nammo is Executive Director and CEO of the Christian Legal Society in Springfield, VA.
Host Mike Schutt is Director of CLS Law Student Ministries and Attorney Ministries. He is Associate Professor of Law at Regent University, CLS' ministry partner in the Institue for Christian Legal Studies.
Sunday, November 27, 2016 marks the beginning of the Christian year-- the first Sunday in Advent. Charlie Clauss, curator of the Keeping Advent Facebook page, joins us again this year to talk about how Advent serves to center us during what we've taken to calling "the holidays."
What is so great about Advent? What is it? Why observe it?
Listen in as Charlie and Mike discuss these questions as they explore a Christian vision of time, the nature of the human person, and the deep significance of the feast of Christmas. Along the way, Charlie offers advice on observing Advent, some refections on why we should make the effort, and how it is connected to our celebration of Christmas.
After you listen, go check in at the Keeping Advent Facebook group and listen to our conversation from last year, Cross & Gavel episode 43. Also consider some of the books suggested by our friend Byron Borger at Hearts & Minds book in his Advent "Booknotes."
Charlie Clauss is married to Nancy and lives in Minneapolis, MN. He says he is a
curmudgeon, but his friends and family know otherwise. Mostly.
Cross & Gavel is a project of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies, a cooperative ministry of Regent University School of Law and the Christian Legal Society. Host Mike Schutt is Associate Professor of Law at Regent and directs Attorney Ministries and Law Student Ministries for CLS.
"Serious Christians seem to be homeless politically," says Hunter Baker, a political science professor at Union University. In the wake of the Obergefell decision and the rise of Donald Trump, it is appearing less and less likely, accruing to Baker, that the Republican party will stand as barrier to a rapidly advancing secularist agenda.
Join Dr. Baker and host Mike Schutt as they ponder whether it might be time for serious Christians to explore a third party option along the lines of a European-style Christian Democratic Party. "It might be good to have a political party with an understanding of human solidarity that is a Christian understanding of human solidarity," suggests Baker.
Would it be possible to import such a concept to this country? What might it involve? What are some objections? Listen in and find out!
Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. serves as a university fellow and and associate professor of political science at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is the author of three books (The End of Secularism, Political Thought: A Student's Guide, and The System Has a Soul), has contributed chapters to several others, and has written for a wide variety of print and digital publications. He is the winner of the 2011 Michael Novak Award conferred by the Acton Institute and has lectured widely on religion and liberty.
On August 9, 1979, Paul Buzzi became a Christian by the grace of God and through the gentle teaching and evangelism of his friend Fred. Less than a week later, Jesus literally told Paul that he needed to walk over to the jail to tell his client about Him. Little did Paul know then that his client Steven would be the first of nearly three thousand clients, friends, family members, and strangers that he would lead to Christ.
In this podcast, Paul tells some of those stories, revealing a heart of compassion and humility-- rare in a lawyer-- that drives him to share the love of Christ with nearly everyone he meets. "No person has ever come to my law office without getting the opportunity to meet Jesus," says Paul. He takes seriously the apostle Paul's questions: "And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" Paul Buzzi's vision is that all Christians would cultivate Christ's love for those that are blind to the good news.
As you listen to Paul talk about people coming to Christ in his office, in jail cells, on the golf course, and in restaurants, you'll be encouraged and inspired to look for opportunities to share the love of Christ as you see opportunities. Paul says that he continuously "looks for the opportunity" to tell people that Jesus loves them and to ask them if they would like Jesus to forgive their sins. This is the message a hurting world needs, and Paul's story will encourage listeners to spread that story. You'll be inspired by Paul's boldness, his simple message, his humility, and his compassion. Listen in to be encouraged!
"Before I came to Christ," Paul says, "I separated my business life and my religious life. There is no separation. It's your life. And without Jesus, it's meaningless."
Paul Buzzi is an Akron, OH attorney, the principal of Buzzi Legal Services.
Mike Schutt is the host of Cross & Gavel, and he directs both Law Student Ministries and Attorney Ministries for the Christian Legal Society. He is an Associate Professor at Regent University School of Law, where he teaches American Legal Thought.
If you love books, there is nothing better than talking books with Byron Borger.
Byron has been talking books almost his whole life, and doing it well and for the good of Christ's kingdom. Since the early 80's, he and his wife Beth have, through Hearts and Minds Books in Dallastown, PA, lived out a mission to see the body of Christ encouraged and the world around them flourish. They believe that ideas matter and that books are an important part of Christian discipleship-- "a disciple is learner, after all," says Byron. Whether you're in his store, on the phone with him, or at one of the many conferences at which he and Beth serve, it is always a treat to talk books with Byron.
We hope that this podcast gives you at least a taste of what that's like. Cross & Gavel host Mike Schutt wondered what books Byron would recommend during this crazy political season, and he and Byron spend some time talking about Byron's work, books in general, and books on politics. As usual, Byron is knowledgable, helpful, and light-hearted as he tosses out nearly 30 great recommendations on the topics of politics, vocation, leadership, and more. The conversation ranges widely, from Jamie Smith to CS Lewis; from Os Guinness to Katelyn Beaty; from James Skillen to Yuval Levin.
Join Mike and Byron as they talk books and books on politics. Then order a few of them from Hearts & Minds!
To subscribe to Byron's Booknotes Blog, click here.
Mike Schutt is the host of Cross & Gavel, and he directs both Law Student Ministries and Attorney Ministries for the Christian Legal Society. He is an Associate Professor at Regent University School of Law.
Meet Byron and Beth in person (and Mike, too!) at the Christian Legal Society National Conference, October 20-23 in Washington, DC.
John Inazu's book, Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference (Univ Chicago 2016), "is an argument for mutual respect and coexistence" as we live, work, and speak in the world. In Inazu's words, "shared existence is not only possible, but also necessary."
Right now, our country seems to be more polarized than ever. Whether in debates over homosexual rights, in challenges to religious liberty, or in recent tensions between law enforcement and minority communities, we live in deep disagreement on fundamental issues. Confident Pluralism, in Inazu's words, "suggests a modest possibility: that we can live together in our 'many-ness.'"
Join host Mike Schutt and Dr. Inazu as they discuss Confident Pluralism and its two-fold prescription for a robust and hopeful shared existence. The book is divided into two main parts: Constitutional Commitments (the "legal dimension") and Civic Practices (the "personal dimesion").
First, the "legal dimension" of Confident Pluralism focuses on: (1) protecting the voluntary groups of civil society through the rights of assembly and association; (2) facilitating dissent and disagreement in public forums; and (3) ensuring that generally available government funding is not limited by government orthodoxy.
Second, the "personal dimension" of Confident Pluralism aspires toward tolerance, humility, and patience in three civic practices: (1) our speech; (2) our collective action (including protests, strikes, and boycotts); and (3) our relationships across difference.
Listen in for some conversation around these issues and a taste of Professor Inazu's hopeful vision.
John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He teaches courses in criminal law, law and religion, and the First Amendment. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related issues of political and legal theory. John’s first book is Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly (Yale 2012). He has written broadly for mainstream audiences in publications including USA Today, CNN, The Hedgehog Review, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. He received his academic training at Duke (BSE and JD) and UNC-Chapel Hill (PhD), but he remains an avid Duke fan.
Watch Dr. Inazu's Q Talk here.
Browse of list of his shorter pieces on pluralism here.
Visit JohnInazu.com for more information and links to his scholarly work.
Pick up a copy of Confident Pluralism from Hearts & Minds Books.
Mike Schutt is the host of Cross & Gavel audio, and an Associate Professor at Regent University School of Law, where he has taught Professional Responsibility and Torts, among other things. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. He currently teaches American Legal Thought in the Regent MA program and directs Attorney Ministries for the Christian Legal Society. Contact him at email@example.com.
In early August, the American Bar Association's House of Delegates will vote on a proposed amendment to Rule 8.4 of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. The amendment would subject lawyers to professional discipline for "harassment" or "discrimination," even if the conduct was unintentional or committed unknowingly, and even if the harassment or discrimination is not prejudicial to he administration of justice.
The rule proposes that any conduct "related to the practice of law," including running a law firm, representing a client, or engaging in social conduct as a lawyer, would fall under the rule. The rule also expands the classes against which unknowing "discrimination" is prohibited to include "socioeconomic status," "gender identity," and "sexual orientation." Given the current cultural winds, this rule is a dangerous minefield for lawyers, particularly those who don't see "gender identity" or "sexual orientation" as cultural "causes" to be celebrated.
Brad Abramson, Senior Counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, has been following this issue for several years. About three years ago, a handful of states moved to enact similar changes, and Brad has been on top of the issue ever since. Now that the ABA is following suit, there is a danger that many more states will jump on the bandwagon.
Join host Mike Schutt as he and Brad discuss the proposed rule and its specific dangers to practicing lawyers. They discuss the proposal's break with the tradition of lawyer autonomy, its Constitutional difficulties, and the specific changes the new rule would make. They also speculate as to why the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility would ignore 477 lawyers' comments opposing the rule (in contrast to the 17-- just 17!-- in favor of the rule) when revising it. In closing, Schutt and Abramson suggest that attorneys everywhere contact their delegates and urge a "NO" vote on the proposed amendment, Resolution 109, at the ABA House of Delegates meeting August 8 and 9. A list of delegates is available here.
Mike Schutt is the host of Cross & Gavel audio, and Associate Professor at Regent University School of Law, where he has taught Professional Responsibility and Torts, among other things. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. He currently teaches American Legal Thought in the Regent MA program and directs Attorney Ministries for the Christian Legal Society. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bradley Abramson serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he plays an integral role on the Alliance Coordination Team. He also directs the Bar Association Project, which focuses on encouraging allied attorneys to participate in and influence bar associations to advance religious freedom. He earned his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Contact him at email@example.com.
Kim Colby, Director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom, is Mike Schutt's guest on this episode of Cross & Gavel. Kim and Mike discuss why religious liberty is a hot topic, what's up with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFFA), and whether religious liberty is simply a license to discriminate.
Kim Colby has been involved in religious freedom advocacy for more than 30 years and is one of the most thoughtful voices on the topic in the country.
More resources referred to in the podcast:
Michael McConnell, Why Protect Religious Freedom? (Review of Brian Leiter's Why Tolerate Religion?)
Mike Schutt is the Director of CLS's Law Student Ministries and Attorney Ministries. He'll be re-joining the faculty of Regent University School of Law this week. Regent and CLS are founders of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies, the sponsor of Cross & Gavel Audio.
Millions of Americans-- especially young Americans-- seem to be enamored of Bernie Sanders and his socialist promises. August Huckabee, Dean of Students at Worldview at the Abbey, wonders what the allure might be. Listen to August and host Mike Schutt as they "feel the Bern."
Worldview at the Abbey is a bridge-year program for high school graduates in Canon City, CO. For more information on Worldview at the Abbey, visit www.worldviewbridgeyear.com.
The Cross & Gavel podcast is a project of the Christian Legal Society's Institute for Christian Legal Studies. Host Mike Schutt directs Attorney Ministries and Law Student Ministries for CLS.
Law Student Ministries Director Mike Schutt lists five simple things for law students to consider as they start their summer. His five areas of suggested focus:
1. Devotional Habits
3. Read [some law stuff]
4. Talk to Your Family
5. Think about the Fall Semester [sorry]
Mike Schutt is the host of Cross & Gavel audio and the director of LSM, Attorney Ministries, and the Institute for Christian Legal Studies. Find out more about these ministries of the Christian Legal Society at ChristianLawyer.org.
Wendy L. Patrick is a San Diego County Deputy District Attorney in the Special Operations Division. She previously served in the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division of the San Diego DA's office, where she prosecutor predators, human traffickers, stalkers, rapists, and child molesters. She has completed over 160 trails from first degree murder, to sex crimes, to domestic violence.
She also co-chairs both the California DA's Association Sexually Violent Predator Committee and its Human Trafficking Committee.
So Wendy Patrick knows what she's talking about when it comes to crimes related to human trafficking. Join Wendy and host Mike Schutt (sitting on the rooftop of the clubhouse at the Legend Safari Resort a few hours north of Pretoria South Africa, I kid you not) as they discuss current trends in human trafficking, suggestion for action, and how we might help survivors.
What can we do to move beyond awareness? Can prosecutorial work be ministry? Is human trafficking a symptom of something else? Think about these and other questions with Mike and Wendy as they take a break at the FLAG ("Faith and Law Around the Globe") International conference, sponsored by Cru.
Wendy is also the president of the Christian Legal Society's New York City attorney chapter (!), and you may contact her with questions on fighting human trafficking or about gatherings of Christian lawyers in the City! You can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cross & Gavel is hosted by Mike Schutt, director of both Attorney Ministries and Law Student Ministries for the Christian Legal Society. C&G Audio is a ministry of CLS.
Join the Christian Legal Society staff for a roundtable discussion about the calling to minister to law students and lawyers. How did we get here? What are we doing? What does law have to do with the kingdom of Christ?
Six CLS staffers talk around the table about their own backgrounds, mission, and convictions -- and why their work with CLS really matters.
The discussion ranges from law school experiences, to the foundations of vocational thinking, to BigLaw issues, to work-iife balance, to cultural engagement and religious liberty and beyond. It's good, clean fun! Come and listen in. It will be a good introduction to the work of CLS if you you don't know us, and it is an edifying conversation with friends if you're already part of the family.
David Nammo is Executive Director of the Christian Legal Society.
Peter Smith is CFO and COO of CLS.
Kim Colby is Director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom.
Mike Schutt is Director of CLS Attorney Ministries and Law Student Ministries.
Brent Amato is CLS Chicagoland staff and former CLS Board President.
Stephanie Luck is a CLS member, volunteer, and consultant to the ministry.
Ken Lui is Director of Christian Legal Aid and is featured on Episode 44.
For more information on CLS and it's ministries, visit our website.
In his more than 20 years working with Christian law student groups on campus, Professor Richard Leiter has learned a thing or two about the challenges they face. In this episode, he discusses "being" who we are called to be as Christian law students engaging the campus for Christ. It turns out that Rich thinks "being" is far more important than any of the particulars of what we set out to "do."
Join us for this discussion as we kick around ideas on living out one's faith on campus, what lawyers can do to help, and the joy of being in Christian community even in the midst of the rigors of law school. Along the way, we talk about "mentoring," false measures of success and unrealistic expectations, and the difficulty of building relationships. Follow up and let us know what you think!
Richard Leiter is the Director of the Schmid Law Library and Professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law. He is also the editor of the award-winning law reference work National Survey of State Laws (7th ed., Wm S. Hein & Co.).
Mike Schutt is Director of Attorney and Law Student Ministries at the Christian Legal Society.
Leah Boyd did not take the straight path to a career in human rights work in Africa. She graduated from a good law school, went to work at one of Texas' largest law firms doing commercial litigation, and was laid off. After a fellowship with International Justice Mission, a trip to Antarctica (of course!), and a gentle reminder from God, she became the Director of Justice Initiatives at ALARM -- African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), encouraging lawyers in Africa and the West to live out their faith with their legal talents.
Leah takes teams of lawyers to Africa, encouraging and equipping local law enforcement, lawyers, and judges to fight human rights abuses in their communicates. Listen in as Leah tells a small piece of her story and of the story of ALARM, and some stories of those who have been blessed through their work. You'll be encouraged and challenged as you listen!
You can learn more about the work of ALARM at www.ALARM-inc.org and you may contact Leah Boyd at Leah@ALARM-inc.org. We pretty much guarantee that she is willing to get you involved in serving Africans with your legal skills.
Contact Cross & Gavel host Mike Schutt at email@example.com.
Does it matter how we "experience" the the Bible? Do we encounter it as a reference work, in which we look up stuff, or as a text in which to immerse ourselves? C&G guest Mark Bertrand believes that these are important questions. Bertrand says that the Bible involves one of the most important-- and most challenging-- design projects in history. Design decisions create or remove barriers to entering into the text, and often traditional design choices actually hinder our reading and interpretation. These are significant issues, to say the least.
Join Mark and host Mike Schutt as they discuss Bible design and its implications, and you'll find out, among other things, whether St. Paul will be offended if we remove the verse numbers from our Bibles, whether Jesus actually spoke only in red, and whether you are more holy if you read the Bible on see-through pages.
J. Mark Bertrand is a novelist living in South Dakota. His crime noir works are Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide. His book [Re]Thinking Worldview is a great primer on Christian thought and action, and he serves on the faculty of Worldview Academy. He blogs at the world-renowned Bible Design Blog, sharing thoughts and photos on a multitude of design issues. His initial claim to fame was that he was interviewed by Ken Myers on Mars Hill Audio Journal, volume 90, which also features Mike Schutt talking about Redeeming Law.
On January 11, 2010, Jim Gash, then Dean of Students at Pepperdine Law School, met Henry, a Ugandan boy accused of two murders, in a Ugandan "Remand Home," a sparse jail for juveniles awaiting trail. Henry had been held there since 2008, awaiting a hearing. This meeting, by God's grace, changed Jim's life. It also helped change the criminal trial court system in Uganda and bring justice to hundreds of children awaiting trial without hope. As Jim says, "I took a step of faith, and it changed everything."
Listen to Jim tell his story and Henry's story-- ultimately God's story of grace and mercy and justice-- as he talks about his new book, Divine Collision: An African Boy, An American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom (Worthy 2016). Jim talks about how God brought about justice for Henry, how He used American lawyers to effect legal reform, and how He can overcome our "fear of success" to take us where He wants us to go. Jim admits that had he known the plans that God had for him, he might have stayed at home-- but he is forever grateful that he did not.
This is a beautiful and compelling story for anyone interested in justice-- or for those who long to hear God's call to "do" His work in the world.
Jim Gash is Professor of Law and Director of the Global Justice Program at Pepperdine University School of Law. He graduated first in his class at Pepperdine Law in 1993, clerked with a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and practiced at Kirkland & Ellis in Los Angeles. When Jim argued Henry's case on appeal, he was the first American lawyer to argue in a Ugandan court.
Learn more about the book at DivineCollisionBook.com
Cross & Gavel Audio host Mike Schutt is Director of Attorney Ministries, Law Student Ministries, and the Institute for Christian Legal Studies (ICLS) for the Christian Legal Society. Cross & Gavel Audio is a project of ICLS, a cooperative ministry of CLS and Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, CA.