Who We Are
“Seeking Justice with the Love of God”
Luke 11:42; Matthew 23:23
Christian Legal Society (CLS), founded in 1961, seeks to fulfill God’s command found in Micah 6:8 by bringing glory to God by inspiring, encouraging, and equipping Christian attorneys and law students, both individually and in community, to proclaim, love, and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, through the provision of legal assistance to the poor and needy, and through the defense of the inalienable rights to life and religious freedom.
- To proclaim Jesus as Lord through all we do;
- To defend the religious freedom of all Americans through the legislatures and courts;
- To defend the religious freedom of students to gather on their campuses as Christian organizations;
- To promote justice for the poor, religious freedom, sanctity of human life, and biblical conflict resolution;
- To encourage Christian attorneys to view law as a ministry and help them integrate faith and their legal practice;
- To provide Christian attorneys a means of society and fellowship;
- To encourage and disciple Christian law professors and students;
- To provide a forum for discussing issues related to Christianity and the law;
- To encourage attorneys and law students to serve the poor and needy.
Our Invitation to All
Professor Elton Trueblood called it the “Strategy of Jesus.” This strategy, as set forth by Professor Trueblood, well describes what we all need and the kind of “society” CLS aspires to be:
What we need is not intellectual theorizing or even preaching, but a demonstration. One of the most powerful ways of turning people’s loyalty to Christ is by loving others with the great love of God. We cannot revive faith by argument, but we might catch the imagination of puzzled men and women by an exhibition of a fellowship so intensely alive that every thoughtful person would be forced to respect it. If there should emerge in our day such a fellowship, wholly without artificiality and free from the dead hand of the past, it would be an exciting event of momentous importance. A society of genuine loving friends, set free from the self-seeking struggle for personal prestige and from all unreality, would be something unutterably priceless and powerful. A wise person would travel any distance to join it.
Should you seek such a society, you are cordially invited to join CLS, and add your voice to the many other Christians in the legal profession.
All are encouraged to associate through a CLS attorney or law student chapter. If there is not yet a convenient local chapter to join in your area, we would invite all to associate with at least three like-minded attorneys or law students for the purpose of starting a chapter. CLS will help you join or start a local chapter. It’s easy. Just ask for a copy of our Attorney or Law Student Manuals.
If you are already a member of Christian Legal Society, use the CLS membership brochure and membership application to encourage a friend or colleague to join.
In the memorable words of former Chaplain of the Senate, Dick Halverson, we believe that each member of this Society can be like “a garment which Jesus Christ wears every day to do what Jesus wants to do” with his or her life. Seen from this perspective, “we don’t need power; our weakness is an asset. If Christ is truly in each of us as we all have confessed, then what more do we need to follow Him?” And so, as we move forward, we are committed to following the example of servant-leadership Jesus has modeled for us. John 13:14-15
Statement of Faith
Christian Legal Society (CLS) is a non-denominational Christian membership association whose members participate in the broad and rich variety of Christian congregational life and traditions. Membership in Christian Legal Society is open to all who believe in and sign CLS’ Statement of Faith.
As most recently reaffirmed by CLS’ Board of Directors on May 4, 1996, CLS “affirms that the Society welcomes believers in Jesus Christ of all denominations and traditions consistent with the Christian Legal Society Statement of Faith.” Subsequently, the CLS Board of Directors has approved a CLS Community Life Statement and its principles, which informs all CLS ministries and is affirmed by all officers (local and national), directors, and staff.
All officers, directors, members, advisory council members, and staff of CLS shall, as a condition of their employment or membership in CLS, acknowledge in writing their acceptance of, and agreement with the following Statement of Faith, as set forth in Article II, Section 1 of CLS’ corporate by-laws, as amended:
- Trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I believe in:
- One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
- The Deity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; His vicarious death for our sins through which we receive eternal life; His bodily resurrection and personal return.
- The presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration.
- The Bible as the inspired Word of God.
Executive Director & CEO
Chief Operations Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Director, Attorney Ministries
Director, Law Student Ministries
Acting Director, Center of Law & Religious Freedom
Counsel, Center of Law & Religious Freedom
Barnabas Fellow, Chicagoland
Attorney Ministries Coordinator
Brent practiced transactional law in the Chicago area for forty years, specializing in corporate business and non-profit work. That practice was split about equally between private practice as a partner at two law firms and in-house corporate practice for two publicly-traded companies, first as an Associate Counsel and then as General Counsel. As of December 31, 2014 he retired from the practice of law.
Brent has sought to integrate his Christian faith and his law practice through (i) the Christian Legal Society (as former Board member and President and now Staff member, working with lawyers and law students); (ii) Peacemaker Ministries and Crossroads Resolution Group (as a Certified Christian Conciliator for conflict resolution, mentor and teacher); (iii) Administer Justice (whose mission is to meet the legal and spiritual needs of the poor) and (iv) Judson University (as a Business Law Adjunct Professor).
Over these years, Brent has been a speaker and teacher at national, regional and local law-related conferences.
Brent serves as an Elder, Community Group Coordinator and Leader at his Church.
Sports and grandparenting are his two favorite extra-curricular activities.
Brent is married to Sherrie (his “better seven-eights”) and has been blessed with two children and six grandchildren.
Director, Attorney Ministries
Lakuita Bittle is the director of Attorney Ministries at Christian Legal Society. Previously, Lakuita worked for the Office of the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County (Maryland), which she joined in 2015 as a law clerk in the Grand Jury Unit. She was sworn in as an Assistant State’s Attorney in 2017 where she first handled misdemeanor criminal and jailable traffic cases before prosecuting cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, motor vehicle theft, armed robbery, attempted murder, and other related felonies. Lakuita is a graduate of David A. Clarke School of Law at The University of the District of Columbia. Lakuita also has her associate’s degree from Guilford Technical Community College and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from High Point University. Lakuita also has over nine years of professional work experience in the legal field prior to attending law school.
Lakuita is actively involved in her church as a deacon and worship leader. She also serves as founding the board vice president and the executive director of Kadesh Community Development Corporation, which provides community outreach and support to families in need in the DC and Maryland areas. In her spare time, Lakuita enjoys music, traveling, mentoring youth, and coaching and playing softball, as well as spending time with friends and family (especially her cherished nieces and nephews).
Counsel, Center of Law
& Religious Freedom
Kim Colby has worked for Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981. She has represented religious groups in several appellate cases, including two cases heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has filed numerous amicus briefs in federal and state courts. In 1984, she assisted in congressional passage of the Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. § 4071, et seq., which protects the right of secondary school students to meet for prayer and Bible study on campus. Ms. Colby has prepared several CLS publications addressing issues about religious expression in public schools, including released time programs, implementation of the Equal Access Act, and teachers’ religious expression.
Ms. Colby graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois with a major in American History and a particular interest in slavery in colonial North America.
Center of Law &
Laura Darien is currently serving as the acting director of CLS’ Center for Law & Religious Freedom. Laura has been working in the Center for six years, with a focus on ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). In a previous life, Laura practiced intellectual property law, both litigation and patent prosecution, for over 20 years. Laura began her IP law career at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in Chicago, working closely with one of CLS’ founders, Henry Brinks. She then served as in-house patent counsel for BASF. Family brought her to the DC area where she joined an IP group that worked at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, DLA Piper and finally at Squire Patton Boggs LLP, where Laura was elected to the partnership. She resigned after the birth of her fourth child and spent some time at home before returning to work. She was of counsel for Troutman Sanders immediately prior to joining CLS. Laura is a graduate of North Carolina State University (BS, Chemistry) and The George Washington University Law School. Laura lives in northern Virginia with her husband David, whichever of their six children happens to be in residence at the time, and a Saint Bernard.
Jim Davids is Chief Counsel of the Founding Freedoms Law Center. Jim is a Chicago native who, after graduating from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and Duke University School of Law in Durham, NC, returned to Chicago to begin practicing law. At church on a Sunday night in 1977 he met Sue, and after a two-year courtship they married. They raised four children in Chicago, and now have 14 grandchildren.
After 25 years defending doctors and hospitals in malpractice suits and trying cases ranging from employment to civil rights, Jim left Chicago to join the U.S. Department of Justice to help set up the Faith-Based Initiative. His work there included performing an audit of federal programs to determine how much faith-based organizations partnered with the federal government. After concluding his work at the Department, Jim received a joint appointment in the Schools of Government and Law at Regent University, where he was also an assistant Dean. At Regent, Jim established the cornerstone worldview class in the School of Government, which he taught along with a course in constitutional law. In the School of Law, he continued teaching constitutional law, and also taught appellate advocacy and trial practice. At Regent, Jim earned a PhD degree and also worked part-time practicing law. Jim has authored seven law review articles in constitutional law, and he recently finished a book comparing the worldviews of Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Blackmun.
Jim has lectured throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia (Ukraine, India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Belarus) on worldview, and particularly the Christian View of Law and Government. Jim is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Virginia, and Florida (inactive). Jim has been a member of the Christian Legal Society for decades, and has served on its Board and as its President. Jim has also served on the Board of The Family Foundation (TFF), and on the Board and as Acting Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, which is TFF’s sister organization in Illinois.
Director, Development & Communications
Courtney Herron is the the director of development and communications for Christian Legal Society. A graduate of Regent University (M.A. Political Management) and the University of Central Florida (B.A. Political Science/Business), she has worked in nonprofit fundraising since 2002. An advocate for underserved communities, she recently served on the Board of Directors of Let My People Go, a national nonprofit ministry dedicated to empowering the local church to fight human trafficking, and is a foster care advocate in her community.
Ken Liu joined the Christian Legal Society as the Director of Christian Legal Aid in 2014. He is passionate about helping to start and grow Christian Legal Aid programs around the country. Ken has served with Good Samaritan Advocates (GSA), a Christian Legal Aid program in suburban Washington, D.C., in multiple capacities as volunteer attorney, board member, clinic co-director, and president. Through his work with GSA, Ken is experienced in providing legal and spiritual counseling to low-income clients, and in many aspects of managing a legal aid program, including starting a program, recruiting and training volunteers, board governance, and fundraising.
Ken is also a part-time attorney at Gammon & Grange, P.C. where he has practiced intellectual property and nonprofit law since 2001. He serves a broad range of nonprofits, churches, ministries, and small businesses. Through his work there, Ken has extensive knowledge in the operational and legal aspects of nonprofit organizations.
Ken is a proud Wahoo from the University of Virginia and a graduate of Cornell Law School. He lives with his wife in northern Virginia, has two boys in college, and worships at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA.
Erin McLaughlin serves Christian Legal Society as a communications coordinator. Erin is very active in her church and community. She is a leader in the women’s ministry at her church and also serves in the student ministry, specifically with fifth and sixth graders. Erin graduated from International Business College in Indianapolis, IN, and studied communication at Ball State University. Erin is married to Sean and was blessed with three beautiful “bonus” kids when they married.
David Nammo has served as executive director and CEO of Christian Legal Society since 2012.
He is the former executive vice president of the Leadership Project for America, where he worked closely with conservative leaders such as former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, Publisher Al Regnery, Club for Growth founder Steve Moore, and U.S. Rep. David McIntosh, in preparation for the 2012 election cycle.
He also was the executive director of the Family Research Council Action (FRCA), the 501(c)(4) arm of the Family Research Council, where he worked on political issues, interfaced with Congress, and met with candidates from across the country. He also started the first PAC for the Family Research Council and engaged in the 2008 election cycle in over 40 states.
David consulted and worked for a variety of employers over several years, including Gammon & Grange, a Virginia law firm; defense consultants for the Defense Intelligence Agency, and as a sole practitioner practicing trademark and business contract law. His prior employment at the Christian Legal Society was as the former director of attorney and law student ministries of Christian Legal Society. He also helped found the IVCF/CLS joint taskforce and restarted The Christian Lawyer magazine in 2005.
He has been interviewed by national and international media, including the NBC Nightly News, Fox News, the Associated Press, CBN News, as well as various radio stations from across the country and around the globe. His op-eds have been published in USA Today, the Washington Times, the National Review, and many online news sites. Prior to attending law school at both George Mason University School of Law and Chicago-Kent College of Law, David worked as a journalist for the Fox News Service, a Middle East wire service, and WTTG-TV in Washington D.C.
David writes an occasional blog called Babylonian Thoughts, given his Chaldean heritage, as the son of a Christian-Iraqi. He is co-owner of a record label out of Southern California. He resides in Northern Virginia with Laura, his wife (a patent attorney), their six children, a cat, and a St. Bernard dog.
Chief Operations Officer
Soon after meeting his would-be wife of 31 years, Brian Patlen gave his life to Jesus Christ in what was a “Paulian” conversion. But it wasn’t until a few years later that he really began to seek wisdom and study GOD’s Word which has been a personal commitment for the past 25 years. Professionally, Brian Patlen is a 32-year career veteran of many industries. He began as a chemist in the environmental field, worked his way up through various management roles, was an entrepreneur in business quality systems, auditing, business consulting and most recently served in several director-level positions. During this long career, he has learned and experienced what GOD tells us in Proverbs 16:9 “A person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” which is especially fitting given the many seemingly disparate businesses he has been involved in. Throughout this time, he has received recognition and awards at various times but all of these he refers to as “the wall of hay and stubble.” In contrast, there are real walls adorned with pictures of children and family along with their stories and victories which he calls “the precious walls.” Brian Patlen is married to his college sweetheart, Wendy, has four children, one grandchild and another on-the-way.
Director, Law School Fellows
Mike Schutt is the director of CLS Law School Fellows program. He worked for CLS for nearly 20 years but is now the CEO of Worldview Academy. He continues to run our Fellows program because he remains passionate about helping law students understand their calling. Professor Schutt taught at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach and practiced law in Fort Worth, Texas with Thompson & Knight. He is an honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.
Mike is the author of Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession (InterVarsity Press 2007), a vocational exhortation for law students and lawyers. His other publications include Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Decline of the American Lawyer: Social Engineering, Religion, and the Search for Professional Identity, 30 RUTGERS L. J. 143 (1998) and What's A Nice Christian Like You Doing in a Profession Like This? 11 REGENT U. L. REV. 137 (1998-99). He has also authored supplements on biblical principles for use by his students in the law school classroom.
He lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, with his wife, Lisa. They share three children, three children-in-love, and many beautiful grandchildren.
Chief Financial Officer
Director, Law Student Ministries
Anton Sorkin is the director of Law Student Ministries at Christian Legal Society. He previously practiced employment law and religious freedom litigation. His research and writing is focused on the confluence of law, religion, and public policy – with a number of academic publications in journals that range from the University of Memphis Law Review, Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender, and the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. Anton has presented his research in various international and domestic forums, including at St. Hugh’s College in Oxford, England; Pepperdine University in Malibu, California; and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada.
Anton earned a doctorate (SJD) at Emory University School of Law under the supervision of Professor John Witte. He also received an LLM from Emory in law and religion, a JD from Regent University School of Law, and an engineering degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
In his free time, Anton likes discovering new music, attending film festivals, discussing political theology, and dabbling in the game of golf. He has a passion for strengthening Christian students to live out their faith in the complexity of the modern condition. He also seeks to engage in pressing questions of concern by studying various mediums through which pain is processed and displayed.
Attorney Ministries Coordinator
Austin Suter is a graduate of George Mason University and current student at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), where he is pursuing a Masters of Divinity. Austin first joined CLS staff in 2012 and is back after a few years working with other ministries. Austin is married to Michelle and they are active in ministry at their local church.
Alanna graduated from the University of Central Florida where she studied interpersonal communication and marketing. She enjoys putting her research skills to work as the grants coordinator in support of the mission of Christian Legal Society. On weekends, Alanna enjoys serving with the two-year-olds at her church.