Law and Religion Clinic
The Law and Religion Clinic will be part of the Law School’s clinical education program. Our clinics allow students to learn how to practice law under the guidance and supervision of experienced faculty. The students serve as advocates for clients who would otherwise be unlikely to find representation. The Law and Religion Clinic will represent clients in cases that involve challenges to their religious liberty.
The Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, similar provisions of state constitutions, and various state and federal statutes all seek to ensure that people of diverse religious beliefs and nonbeliefs can live alongside one another peacefully and on equal terms under the law. In this spirit, the Law and Religion Clinic will work to protect individuals and groups from discrimination on the basis of their religious commitments, from unlawful burdens on religious exercise, and from unlawful coercion of religious exercise.
Examples of the principal beneficiaries of the Clinic’s efforts will include: (1) individuals seeking to practice the tenets of their religions in the restrictive environments of prison, military, and educational settings; (2) religious institutions discriminated against in municipal land-use decisions; and (3) individuals denied benefits or opportunities because of their religious exercise or beliefs, in the employment context or elsewhere.
Texas Law is a diverse and inclusive institution. The Law and Religion Clinic will contribute to that inclusivity, both by representing parties with a wide range of beliefs and nonbeliefs and by respecting the interests of those who study and work here. The Clinic therefore will not engage in litigation that can succeed only at the expense of the legal rights of groups represented in our community.
The Law and Religion Clinic will launch in January 2021.