Center Leadership

The Institute for Law and Religion brings together noted experts in the field of law and religion and outstanding scholars of diverse religious and secular perspectives to address issues of great constitutional importance and public interest.

Executive Directors

Lawrence Alexander

Professor Lawrence Alexander is the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the USD School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, criminal law and jurisprudence. The author or co-author of more than 250 scholarly articles, Alexander is also the author or co-author of Reflections on Crime and Culpability: Problems and Puzzles (with Kimberly Ferzan ) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018) and Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (with Ferzan, and Morse) (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Alexander serves on the editorial boards of the journals Law & PhilosophyEthicsCriminal Law and Philosophy, and the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. He is the co-editor of the international quarterly Legal Theory.

Steven D. Smith

Professor Steven D. Smith is a Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of law and religion, constitutional law, and torts. Smith has published multiple books including Fictions, Lies, and the Authority of Law (Notre Dame Press 2021) and The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom (Harvard University Press 2014). 



Maimon Schwarzschild

Professor Schwarzschild teaches and writes in the areas of comparative law, constitutional law, public international law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and evidence.chwarzschild served in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. during the Carter administration. He has practiced law as a barrister in London and with the Chadbourne law firm in New York. He was an accredited journalist at the United Nations for five years and had White House press credentials during the Nixon administration. Schwarzschild has been an appointed member of the California State Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission since 2015.

Thomas Smith

Professor Thomas Smith teaches courses on jurisprudence and legal theory, intellectual property, contracts, bankruptcy, law and economics, and business and corporate law. He previously clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He taught law at the University of Colorado and the University of California, Davis before accepting a position as senior counsel and economist on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors.

Michael Devitt

Professor Michael Devitt is the supervisor of USD's Appellate Clinic, the Director of the Summer Law Programs Abroad, and the faculty advisor of USD's Moot Court Program. Professor Devitt was the managing partner of his former law firm where he practiced large-scale sophisticated civil trial work in various jurisdictions around the United States. He was lead counsel in several high-profile cases dealing with fraudulent financial reporting, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in combined recoveries. 

Samuel C. Rickless

Dept. of Philosphy – UCSD

Professor Samuel C. Rickless is a professor of philosphy at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests include the history of European philosophy (with emphasis on Plato, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Shepherd), moral philosophy (particularly non-consequentialist ethics based on the doctrine of doing and allowing and a secular version of the doctrine of double effect), legal philosophy (including issues of legal interpretation and problems related to the right to privacy, as well as due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution), and the philosophy of language


Affiliated Scholars

Stephen L. Carter
Yale Law School

William Galston
School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Richard Garnett
University of Notre Dame Law School

Robert George
Dept. of Politics, Princeton University

Mary Ann Glendon
Harvard Law School

Douglas Laycock
University of Virginia School of Law




Sanford Levinson
University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Michael Perry
Emory University School of Law

Nomi Maya Stolzenberg
Gould School of Law, University of Southern California

Suzanne Stone
Benjamin N. Cordozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Jeremy Waldron
New York University School of Law