Michael Helfand

Visiting Professor of Law

(spring term)


Michael Helfand is a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Professor at Law and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. A frequent author and lecturer, his work considers how U.S. law treats religious law, custom, and practice, focusing on the intersection of private law and religion in contexts such as religious arbitration, religious contracts, and religious torts. 

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Contact Information



Faculty Assistant


Alieta-Marie Lynch

Education & Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. (Political Science), Yale University, 2009
M.Phil., Yale University, 2007
J.D., Yale Law School, 2007
M.A., Yale University, 2003
B.A., Yeshiva University, 2002

Courses Taught


  • Free Exercise Clinic

Michael Helfand is a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Professor at Law and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. A frequent author and lecturer, his work considers how U.S. law treats religious law, custom, and practice, focusing on the intersection of private law and religion in contexts such as religious arbitration, religious contracts, and religious torts. His articles have appeared in numerous law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, NYU Law Review, and Duke Law Journal. He has also published work in popular outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and the Forward. Helfand serves as the Interim Director of the Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion and Ethics as well as a member of the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Prior to joining the Pepperdine Law faculty, Helfand was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where his practice focused on complex commercial litigation. Before entering private practice, Professor Helfand clerked for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.