Jeffery Ventrella

Imagine you are a young conservative and are enrolled in or admitted to an American law school. Now imagine that you are also a Christian and dare to support traditional values. What will law school be like? And what kind of legal education will you get? Your suspicions are probably right.

If you simply go to class and read the assigned casebooks, the prospects are not good. At most American law schools you will find a culture that heralds abortion and same-sex “marriage,” mocks Justices Scalia and Thomas, and believes that judges should serve as “superlegislators” and enact liberal policy preferences for the “common good.”

The prospects for Christians in law school are even worse. Christianity is often ridiculed, the religious heritage of the Founders is ignored, and many Christian Legal Society chapters have been harassed or decertified for “discriminating” against non-Christians—that is, for requiring that officers be professing Christians.

So what are conservatives and Christians to do?

For starters, these students need to respectfully counter the liberal, “living Constitution” model provided in American law schools with constitutional theories that are actually consistent with the Founding Fathers and a Christian worldview. The Blackstone Legal Fellowship promotes and energizes this endeavor.

This nine-week leadership and development program infuses students with the historical and philosophical foundation that is missing from the American law school education. By addressing the works of the founders, the Judeo-Christian roots of the American legal system, and the belief that many rights are “unalienable” (that government can neither grant nor take away certain rights), the Blackstone Legal Fellowship equips law students to restore the legal culture that the Founders envisioned.

The program consists of three separate phases: a two-week curriculum of constitutional law and Christian worldview; a six-week legal internship with a public interest law firm or similar advocate; and a final capstone week of career envisioning and clerkship preparation.

But why is this necessary? Do Christians need to study law through a particular worldview? Can’t they simply attend our country’s law schools and be “Christian” in their private life?


Jeffery Ventrella

Jeffery J. Ventrella is senior vice president of strategic training with the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation (www.telladf.org), and is author of the new book, The Cathedral Builder: Pursuing Cultural Beauty. More information on the Blackstone Legal Fellowship can be found here.