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On The Square

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The Power Of Small Numbers
by Hugh Hewitt, nationally-syndicated radio host and executive editor of TownHall.com

A veteran of nearly six years in the Reagan administration, Hugh Hewitt is an esteemed law professor, a best-selling author, an Emmy-award-winning television producer, and the host of a daily radio program heard in 120 major markets nationwide. He is recognized as a leading authority on Constitutional Law and has addressed several classes of the ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship – including this year’s (photo above). Here, he shares his perspective on one of the most important efforts of the Alliance Defense Fund.

Small groups of people can accomplish extraordinary things – for good, not-so-good, or bad.

America’s Framers were not large in number, though their handiwork has endured for 232 years. And FDR’s New Dealers were relatively small in number, but the changes they imposed on the U.S. were massive and far-reaching. Civil rights litigators advanced the genuine agenda of the 14th Amendment, but some of them have also worked to distort that Amendment’s meaning beyond recognition.

"This [Blackstone Legal] Fellowship opens the hearts of many students to the possibility that the law, too, is a holy calling."

Small numbers of lawyers, too, can accomplish extraordinary things, which is why the Alliance Defense Fund’s Blackstone Legal Fellowship program is so important to the future of the country.

The Fellowship combines a few swift weeks of concentrated “classroom” work in Phoenix with a few more weeks of intense but practical experience in the ADF organization and under the guidance of allied conservative legal organizations across the country and, indeed, around the globe. the goal is to train up another relatively small but effective-far-beyond-their-numbers group of lawyers, ready to defend the intentions of the Framers against those who believe in different approaches to the law, achieving their goals.

In June, I was privileged to speak to these first-year Christian law students about the dangers facing religious liberty in our nation today. I met many of them personally, and learned firsthand the impact this remarkable program is having on their personal and professional goals. I came away convinced that I’d just seen tangible hope for the future of our country: young men and women whose skill, intellect, and Christian commitment will soon transform the courtrooms and law offices of America.

Like the 600 graduates of the eight previous Blackstone programs, this year’s students came away with insights that are indispensable to any young lawyer seeking to defend Christian principles in our deeply compromised culture. Among them:

A thorough, thoughtful understanding of the Constitution.

You may think that's a given for every law student – but it isn’t. In truth, students can graduate law school these days without studying the Constitution at all … much less coming to a comprehension of the document as it was conceived by the Founding Fathers.

An accurate knowledge of history.

Experts like David Barton of WallBuilders expose the radical academic revisionism that has, in many cases, robbed American history of its solid Christian underpinnings and blurred the crucial connections the Founding Fathers made between biblical morality and the legal foundations of our Republic.

A profound appreciation for religious liberty.

Again, you might think an understanding of the essential freedom that brought so many to this country in the first place – and that continues to set America apart from virtually every other nation – would be required study in law school.

But in fact, it’s through the Blackstone Legal Fellowship that many of these law students come to their first real appreciation of how critical this freedom is to all the others … and how profoundly religious liberty is threatened by decisions being made in our courtrooms today.

A sense of spiritual calling.

When you hear of a call to service, most people think of the “ministry,” i.e., preachers, pastors, chaplains, and the like. But this Fellowship opens the hearts of many students to the possibility that the law, too, is a holy calling … and a profession particularly suited to selfless service and courageously communicating the Truth.

This training also incorporates times of meaningful worship and gives biblical context
for the law, while field internships give the students an up-close view of the difference a committed Christian lawyer can make in this contentious, litigious society that, more and more, is taking dead aim at any public expression of Christian religious faith.

All of these are resources the Alliance Defense Fund is uniquely equipped to provide –
and by providing them, ADF is sowing the seeds of tomorrow … inspiring and grounding these future lawyers, judges, and professors who will shape the laws that shape the country our children and grandchildren will live in.

I have seen the future of the American legal system, and believe it or not … it looks a like a lively crowd of young law students, praying, laughing, and learning in the sweltering Arizona sun. Can you think of a better place to prepare for the heat of the legal battles yet to come?

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