The Institute on Religion, Law & Lawyer's Work was established in 2001 as the culmination of Fordham's efforts to serve the increasing number of attorneys, judges, scholars and students who desire to integrate faith values and perspectives in the context of the challenges of legal practice. At a time when the role of religion in professional life and in the public square is hotly debated, the Institute aims to promote an open, positive and constructive dialogue on issues relating to religion and law.

The institute is led by Ana Renata Dias, a lawyer from Portugal with extensive experience in interreligious and intercultural dialogue and Russell G. Pearce, the Edward & Marilyn Bellet Chair Professor in Legal Ethics, Morality, and Religion, widely credited as a founder of what is now known as Religious Lawyering.

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