There are multiple ways in which Catholic law schools can provide an education that supports and reflects a Catholic vision. Some schools align more closely to an orthodox view in which text and doctrine are the starting lens. Catholic law schools closer to the secular end of the spectrum play a powerful role by actively building bridges with the secular world. These schools, either implicitly or explicitly, start with values framed in more universal terms -- a moral or ethical worldview that can implement the common good in the secular world. A Catholic law school that emphasizes the universal generally offer multiple doors into their mission: a door through which faith is the dominant motivator; a door through which embracing the universal values is the dominated motivator; and one through which individuals seeking a good education can enter without regard to faith or universal values. Catholic law schools that emphasize universal values should state those values publicly and are always seeking to bring community members into a shared vision of those values. Members of the community who enter through the universal values door are not “guests” but integral members in the university. Under this vision, you are more likely to see student groups and faculty who promote positions that are inconsistent with Catholic doctrine. They are pursuing the central goal of a university, which is a place that facilitates the God-given power of reason to explore questions of the common good.
Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
- Journal title
Touro Law Review
- Date submitted
3 November 2023