Visit the Christian Legal Society official website
Christian Legal Society (CLS), founded in 1961, is a national non-profit organization serving thousands of Christian attorneys, judges, law professors, law students, and paralegals. It is headquartered in Springfield, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. CLS members are unified theologically by their affirmation of a common statement of faith setting forth the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. The Society's diverse, yet unified, membership contributes to its unique mission:
To be the national grassroots network of lawyers and law students, committed to proclaiming, loving and serving Jesus Christ, through all we do and say in the practice of law, and advocating biblical conflict reconciliation, public justice, religious freedom and the sanctity of human life.
CLS is represented by a broad and diverse Christian Membership: encompassing the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, as well as numerous denominations of Protestantism. CLS seeks to "seek justice with the love of God" through its four ministries:
1. Attorney Ministries
The goal of Membership Ministries is to foster a national network of Christians in the law by: (1) encouraging attorneys and others to represent Jesus Christ in all they do or say in the practice of law; (2) nurturing local attorney chapters and fellowship groups in cities across the country; (3) hosting national and regional conferences to explore important spiritual and legal topics and to provide networking opportunities; (4) encouraging members in their work with other organizations to promote justice, reconciliation, religious freedom and the sanctity of life; and (5) maintaining a comprehensive CLS website and a national directory of Christian lawyers-- the only ones of their kind-- as tools for ministry, fellowship, client referrals, and networking.
2. Center for Law and Religious Freedom
Founded in 1975, the Center for Law and Religious Freedom (CLRF) is the most experienced and sophisticated Christian advocate for religious liberty in the country. In addition to filing briefs with the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, the Center equips CLS attorneys to handle religious freedom cases at the trial level. Over the last two decades, CLRF has earned a reputation with the federal judiciary, members of Congress, churches, the media, and the public as a leading source of balanced First Amendment expertise. In 1993, the Center significantly expanded its scope by beginning to defend the sanctity of human life in precedent-setting appellate cases. Through its Religious Liberty Advocates, a public interest law firm established in 1999, the Center now has authority to initiate or intervene in litigation designed to defend and promote religious liberty and the sanctity of human life.
3. Legal Aid Ministries
Legal Aid Ministries serves the common good by building and nurturing a national legal aid network. In the spirit of the numerous Old Testament "widow and orphan" passages, this ministry equips full-time legal aid attorneys and volunteer pro bono practitioners and law students to provide free legal services to the poor, oppressed and unfortunate.
4. Law Student Ministries
Law Student Ministries (LSM) is the only national ministry committed to reaching the nation's law school campuses for Christ. LSM is discipling the next generation of lawyers for Christ by supporting Christian law fellowships and student groups at over 160 law schools and at a handful of strategic Christian colleges. In carrying out this mission, LSM seeks to encourage students in spiritual formation, compassionate outreach, and integration of faith and learning—to help students understand law as a Christian calling. This three-fold ministry model affirms that the Lord, "a God of justice" (Isa. 30:18), is the supreme lawgiver and that His "higher" law serves as an immutable standard by which to assess human "positive" law. LSM's logo, which depicts Michelangelo's majestic sculpture of Moses holding the Decalogue, stands as a constant reminder of this truth.
In addition, CLS and Regent University Law School created the Institute for Christian Legal Studies (ICLS), a resource center for Christian law students and professors. ICLS provides materials and encouragement to students who seek to serve God in their law school studies and in their vocation as Christian lawyers. The ICLS director visits approximately forty campuses a year to meet with students and professors and to encourage and support you in your ministry.
Seeking Justice with the Love of God
~ Luke 11:42 ~
A growing nationwide fellowship of Christian lawyers and law students
who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
~ Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:23 ~
We seek to help Christian law students integrate their faith with the law through regular group study of God's word, mutual support and various sponsored speakers and workshops. We recognize that the Christian faith is dynamic and vital and seek to make this faith available and comprehensible to the University of Maryland community at large. ~ UM-CLS Chapter Webpage
Page contents from CLS Student Chapter Manual