Steven T. Collis

Director, Bech-Loughlin First Amendment Center and Law and Religion Clinic
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Phone: 512-475-9090

Steven T. Collis researches and teaches on religion and law and other First Amendment topics. He is the founding faculty director of the Bech-Loughlin First Amendment Center and of its Law & Religion Clinic. Prior to joining Texas, Steven was a Research Fellow in the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School.

His scholarly work has been cited by justices of the Supreme Court and has appeared in The Michigan Law ReviewThe Nebraska Law ReviewThe University of Denver Law Review Online, and in his book Deep Conviction, which brings to life the history of free exercise law in the United States for lay audiences. He is also the author of the nonfiction book The Immortals and the historical novel Praying with the Enemy, which the American Library Association hailed as "establishing [Collis] as a literary force in historical fiction."

On the topic of religious freedom law, he is a sought-after speaker to academic and lay audiences across the United States, including foreign diplomats from countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South America on behalf of the United States State Department. He has been interviewed by and quoted in various news and media outlets, including The Deseret News, Bloomberg, NBC, The Washington Times, Law360, NPR, The Washington Post, The Salt Lake Tribune, PBS, The Denver Business JournalLaw Week Colorado, CBN News, and numerous podcasts and television shows.

Steven serves as the chair-elect for the AALS Law and Religion Section and is the immediate past chair of the JRCLS International Religious Freedom Committee.

Earlier in his career, he was an equity partner at Holland & Hart LLP, where he chaired the firm’s nationwide religious institutions and First Amendment practice group and was a member of the firm's complex civil litigation and employment practice groups. He has appeared before or practiced in multiple federal appellate courts, many state courts, and the United States Supreme Court. He also clerked for Chief Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Steven graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an editor on The Michigan Law Review and The Michigan Journal of Race and Law. He also holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served as the associate editor of the literary journal Blackbird. He completed his undergraduate studies, with university honors, at Brigham Young University.