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The Center for Law & Religious Freedom, the advocacy ministry of Christian Legal Society, defends and advances all Americans’ inalienable rights to religious freedom and life in the public square.

Founded in 1975 as the advocacy arm of the Christian Legal Society, the Center for Law and Religious Freedom is America’s original Christian ministry designed to advance religious freedom. For forty years, the Center’s mission has focused on the protection of religious freedom and the sanctity of human life in the courts, legislatures, and the public square. The Center pursues a pluralistic vision of a free civil society that respects all Americans’ religious freedom and free speech. The Center also believes that strengthening international religious freedom depends on Americans’ robust commitment to domestic religious liberty. To that end, the Center works with organizations across the political and religious spectrum to defend religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the sanctity of human life.

THE CENTER TEAM

Laura Darien

Acting Director, Center of Law & Religious Freedom

Kim Colby

Of Counsel, Center of Law & Religious Freedom

Jim Davids

Staff Counsel

David Nammo

Executive Director & CEO

Courtney Herron

Director, Development
& Communications

Q

Kim Colby

Of 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.

Q

Laura Darien

Acting Director,
Center of Law &
Religious Freedom

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.

Q

Jim Davids

Staff Council

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.

Q

Courtney Herron

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.

Q

David Nammo

Executive Director
& CEO

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.

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