Eight years ago, we launched at one of the world's great universities the nation's only full-time law-school clinic to train future lawyers and leaders in and through the perennially important, yet endangered, field of religious liberty. Stanford Law School's Religious Liberty Clinic has since become a fixture on campus and one of the school's most popular offerings. Its faculty director has been elevated to full professor and expanded his role and impact on campus and beyond; its students are thriving, serving more and diverse clients of all faiths, and helping set important legal precedent across the country; its alumni are taking top positions in the field (including Supreme Court clerkships, elite law-firm and government posts, and academic appointments); and other law schools are hailing and working with it to launch partner programs in its image.
The Clinic continues to rise and looks forward to the coming years as a transformative period of further progress in rooting itself as an institution and leader of a movement. To these ends, the Clinic will continue developing and refining efforts in the classroom, courtroom, and academy to teach and protect religious liberty at the highest levels. But it will also shepherd now-fledgling offshoots at other top schools as part of a network in legal education. And throughout it all, the Clinic will bring to ever-new and wider audiences its salutary message of religious liberty's universality - that it includes everyone, regardless of politics, worldview, or chosen faith (or lack thereof) - and that, rather than a cause of division or partisanship, such liberty is a uniting value best viewed through the lives of ordinary people and communities struggling to live, work, and serve in a manner consistent with their dignity as human persons.