Religion Law: Becoming an expert

Without law, religion slowly slides into shallow spiritualism. Without religion, law gradually decays into empty formalism.

This notion is the driving force behind Emory University School of Law’s LL.M. program in Law and Religion, where students study the religious dimensions of the law and the legal dimensions of religion. 

“The field of law and religion appeals to lawyers who are deeply committed to principles of justice, freedom, and equality,” said Dr. Mark Goldfeder, Director of Law and Religion Student Programs at Emory Law School.

Lawyers who specialize in law and religion explore issues involving the intersection of religion, the constitution, social justice and human rights. Experts in this practice area serve as in-house counsel for churches and religious organizations, government officials, and as representatives of public policy centers, think tanks and lobbying groups. 

The place of religion in public life has been subject to a significant amount of debate, Goldfeder said. With the rise of fundamentalism, the clash of ideologies, and the intensification of religious warfare around the world, there is a need for experts who can help to help stabilize society and politics.

“The increasingly volatile relationship of law and religion in the past decade has only underscored the need for continued cultivation of this vital area of interdisciplinary inquiry,” Goldfeder said.

The LL.M. program at Emory Law appeals to applicants from a variety of law and religion related fields. The school’s potential student body includes politicians, policy makers, representatives of faith-based organizations, social workers, educators and lawyers working in areas of religious persecution and discrimination.

“There is important work to be done with organizations that represent a wide and ideologically diverse array of thinkers and activists across the political spectrum,” Goldfeder said.

Explore other specialized practice areas where you can become an expert.