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Copyright (c) 2008 California Western School of Law
California Western Law Review

Article: Spirituality and Academic Performance at a Catholic Law School: An Empirical Study

Fall, 2008

California Western Law Review

45 Cal. W. L. Rev. 89


Scott A. Taylor*


Ordinarily, I would not start an article with a quote, much less four quotes. However, these quotes reflect the importance of God, faith, and Catholic identity at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. The year after the Law School opened, I joined its faculty in the fall of 2002 to teach the required federal income tax course and some electives. I was drawn to its faith-based mission and its emphasis on promoting social justice. As a non-Catholic, I understood that I would be in an environment where Catholic social teaching and the Catholic intellectual tradition would be two important threads in the fabric of my classes and in the broader intellectual life of the Law School. I looked forward to connecting with students in such an environment because of my successful experiences in encouraging law students and staff to rely on their spiritual identities to help them through difficult and stressful times. In those individual instances, I discovered that a person's faith could be a source of strength and comfort. This was my personal context at the time I started teaching at St. Thomas after having taught law for twenty years at the University of New Mexico.

The University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota, USA) is a relatively new law school founded in 2001. 5 The Law School remains serious about faith and its Catholic identity. 6 Faith, especially with a connotation focusing on God and on Catholicism, has a lot to do ...
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