In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course is designed to give students familiarity with the field of law and religion. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and undertake at least 10 hours/week of fieldwork with organizations in the Washington, DC area that work on issues related to religious freedom.
SEMINAR: President Obama called religious freedom "central to the ability of peoples to live together." Professor Martha Nussbaum observes, "America now contains a religious diversity unparalleled in its history." This seminar will examine society's ability to enable those with the deepest of differences to live in community peaceably. Substantively, it will promote an understanding of the law that governs the relationship between religion and government, defines protections for the free exercise of religion, and provides the framework for civic life among people of all religions and none. Although law and religion will be the uniting theme of our work, there is a broad range of modalities that we can pursue in this field—litigation in workplace disputes, amicus briefings for the Supreme Court, researching the effect of public policy initiatives—providing a myriad of opportunities to hone professional legal skills. Seminar participants will gain doctrinal competency in current religious freedom law, engage in a principled examination of religious freedom as an essential Constitutional and basic international human right, and gain experience interacting on a “hot topic” issue in a professional manner by focusing on common ground and building principled consensus. Interested students who have questions should feel welcomed emailing Professor Inks directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIELDWORK: Students will work for 10 hours/week with organizations in the Washington, DC area that focus on issues related to religious freedom. Examples include: the ACLU, The Interfaith Alliance, The Center for Inquiry, The Center for Islam and Religious Freedom, The Christian Legal Society, The Native American Rights Fund, the Genocide Working Group, and Alliance Defending Freedom.