Integrating Religion, Ethics, and the Law

Ave Maria recognizes that law and morality are inherently intertwined. Ave Maria students consider how the unchanging moral imperatives of the natural law should affect a lawyer's approach to the practice of law. This approach to the study of law provides students with a deep appreciation for the origins of law and an understanding of moral and intellectual principles germane to the American legal system, including unalienable rights, federalism, and separation of powers.

Students examine ethical issues though four required courses focused specifically on ethics: Moral Foundations of the Law; Jurisprudence; Professional Responsibility; and, Law, Ethics, and Public Policy. These courses explore the philosophy of law and the foundations of democracy in America. Students also learn the interrelationship between law, ethics, and Catholic moral and social principles, and how to apply these principles.

Faculty members address and explore moral and ethical issues in substantive law courses, such as Criminal Law and Constitutional Law. In Criminal Law, for example, the professor might discuss the Catholic teaching on capital punishment. In Constitutional Law, the professor might reference the Catholic teaching on human rights, society's responsibility to the poor, and the culture of life.