About the Clinic


The freedom to practice one’s religion has been a cherished and controverted right since the Founding. Indeed, religious beliefs matter enormously to their adherents, yet are often invisible or unintelligible to others. This duality is especially salient today, in our religiously diverse society. Although the U.S. Constitution and many other laws offer protection for individuals and groups of faith, majoritarian policymakers and government actors sometimes fail to consider — and occasionally target — religious minorities and their interests. The Free Exercise Clinic provides an opportunity for students to defend the free exercise of politically vulnerable religious minorities. 

Cllinic students work under the supervision of experienced litigators at Sidley Austin LLP. Alongside lawyers at Sidley, students represent clients under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as analogous state constitutional provisions and laws. 

The Free Exercise Clinic was founded by Professor Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law at Yale Law School. 

Cases


Durell Sims v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections

Christian Mission John 3:16 v. Passaic City

Tanzin v. Tanvir

Spirit of Aloha Temple v. County of Maui

This place has always been imbued with a restless spirit, the assumption that being the finest law school in the world is never enough, and a deep belief that you, our students, can do anything.”


Heather Gerken

Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law