The J. Reuben Clark Law Society 2017 Annual Conference in Philadelphia is a month away. Please join us in a birthplace of the United States for an historic occasion. Use this link to register: https://www.regonline.com/jrcls2017annualconference
Held in the shadow of Independence Hall, conference sessions will focus on constitutional issues and the Founding. Additionally, sessions will address contemporary matters unique to Law Society members. Attendees may obtain up to seven CLE credits, including one ethics credit. Session highlights include:
- The Legal Legacy of the Birthplace of America
- Supreme Court Nomination Process: Personal Experiences
- Joseph Smith, the Preamble, and the Constitution
- The Meaning of American English in America’s Founding
- The Lawyer in the Foyer: Ethical Considerations
- How to Engage in Religious Freedom Today
The link to the full schedule is here: http://www.jrcls.org/annual_conf/conf.php#schedule
There’s only a week left to get the early bird registration rate, so make your travel plans and register today: https://www.regonline.com/jrcls2017annualconference
A couple of years ago, before I started law school, I worked at my dad’s firm. He does a lot of contract drafting for commercial developments, and his partner does construction litigation. As I spoke to my dad’s partner one afternoon, he clarified the difference between those two fields of law in a way that stuck with me. He said, “your dad prevents problems, and I clean up problems.” My dad, who happened to be in the vicinity, responded by saying, “many attorneys forget that we are not here to create problems, but to resolve them.” As a clerk at a family law firm this summer, I realized that those words are not only applicable to any field of law, but they are also important to remember as we work with clients that are passing through very difficult experiences.
Today I received an email with a link to a talk by James E. Faust, which was posted on YouTube by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. The video, entitled “Lawyers as Healers,” discusses the duties we, as attorneys (or future attorneys), have to society, and how we can best fulfills those duties. President Faust counsels, “you need to be more than skilled advocates, you need to be decent human beings trying to solve problems.” Of course, this is counsel that is applicable to all attorneys, and not just those of the LDS faith.
As I watched the video I was reminded of a talk by Boyd K. Packer that I read during my 1L year. In that talk President Packer declares, “The Lord needs you who are trained in the law. You can do for this people what others cannot do . . . You have, or should have, the spirit of discernment. It was given you when you had conferred upon you the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This counsel is both humbling and ennobling. Although President Faust’s words are applicable to all attorneys, President Packer notes that there is an added responsibility for lawyers within the church. If we live up to that responsibility by trying our best to resolve problems, we can bring peace to the lives of our clients and fulfillment to our own lives.
Religious Freedom Student Writing Competition
Open to all JRCLS Student Members
Form: Scholarly paper of at least 2000 words, but not more than 3000 words, typed, thoroughly cited and presented in publishable format. Papers must conform to bluebook requirements and may include footnotes. Word count refers to text, exclusive of footnotes.
Submission: All papers must be submitted no later than August 1, 2010 by e-mail to email@example.com. You will receive e-mail confirmation of submission. If you don’t get a confirmation, please call Jennifer at 1-703-753-4543.
Purpose: The purpose of the writing competition is to promote quality research and writ-ing by the student members of the Society on the important topic of religious freedom. The competition is being sponsored by the DC Chapter of the Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
Awards: First Place— $1,500 cash award plus a $500 travel reimbursement to attend the award dinner in Washington DC in the fall at which award winners will be recognized.
Second Place— $1,000 cash award.
Third Place— $500 cash award.
Honorable Mentions— Additional meritorious papers may be recognized. One or more of the award winning papers will be published online and possibly in print.
Submission: All papers must be submitted by no later than August 1, 2010 by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive e-mail confirmation of submission. If you do not, please contact Jen at 703-753-4543.
Form: A scholarly paper of at least 2000 words, but not more than 3000 words, typed, thoroughly cited and presented in a publishable format on the topic of religious liberty.
Selection: Awards will be announced the first week of September.
Questions: Questions concerning the writing competition may be directed to email@example.com.
Apart from his prominent position in the church, Dallin Oaks has had a remarkably distinguished legal career, beginning at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Law Review. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the United States Supreme Court and then worked as an attorney for Kirkland & Ellis. He then went on to teach at Chicago Law School for over a decade, serving for a time as interim dean. His tenure at the University of Chicago Law School ended when he was made president of Brigham Young University, where he also served for a decade. This position, in turn, gave way to an appointment to the Utah Supreme Court, where he served as a justice throughout the early 1980s. During this time, he was also chairman of the board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He resigned from the Utah Supreme Court when he was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a position he still holds.
The value of this opportunity to hear Elder Oaks speak, and to ask questions about the Mormon faith from one who can speak on behalf of the Church (and not just as a member of the faith) cannot be overstated. Moreover, Elder Oaks’s legal accomplishments are virtually unparalleled. In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court called his scholarly work “the most comprehensive study on the exclusionary rule” and in both 1976 and 1981, he was on the short list of potential nominees to the United States Supreme Court.
Hopefully someone who attends this event can share with us what they learn.
- The J. Reuben Clark Law Society student chapter publishes the October newsletter.
- Looking for a way to find more clients in this tough economy? LDS Legal Link continues to be a great resource for LDS attorneys. The website lists LDS lawyers from across the country, including their areas of expertise and where they are admitted to practice. If you haven’t registered with LDS Legal Link yet do it now it’s free.
If you happen to live in Utah or will be traveling there for General Conference, you should consider attending the BYU Law School reception for alumni and J. Reuben Clark Law Society members. It is held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. I’ve always thought it would be nice to attend, but it’s probably not worth the 3,000-mile drive just to have lunch. If you are interested, today is the last day for registration. Click here for details.