Center for Law and Public Policy

The Honors College at Washington Adventist University is committed to providing vibrant and innovative opportunities for students in a wide variety of academic areas. The Center for Law and Public Policy aims to prepare young Adventists for careers in law and/or public policy, to encourage dynamic civil discourse on a wide range of issues, to educate American decision-makers about religious perspectives on health-related and social issues – particularly as they bear on the highly vulnerable, and to inspire all students to engage in the legal and public policy questions of our time. The Center for Law and Public policy coordinates a variety of opportunities for students, including:

  • WAU Pre-Law Program: students interested in the study of law can add a Pre-Professional Pre-Law Curriculum program to the course of study. The pre-law curriculum focuses on the development of skill in analytical thinking and persuasive discourse, along with the introductory study of the American legal system and government.
  • Mock Trial: Mock Trial has been an active club on campus since 2000. It is structured
    Mock Trial members from WAU (2015)

    around a course called American Judicial System (PLST 327). The course allows students to not only study legal issues, but six students from the course are selected to join the mock trial team in the spring semester. The team competes in mock trial competitions against some of the most prestigious colleges and universities on the east coast and around the country. WAU is part of the American Mock Association (AMA), the nationally recognized governing body for intercollegiate competition, and was the first Adventist university to be a member of the AMA.

  • Advocacy and Lobbying: The Center for Law and Public Policy is engaged with local and national political leaders in Washington, DC on a variety of issues. The Center takes advantage of WAU’s location near the Nation’s Capital to help students participate in legal and public policy events around town. This may include observing a Supreme Court session, sitting in on U.S. House and/or Senate hearings, working with local organizations on issues of importance to the Center, and landing internships with some of the most influential legal and political organizations in the country.

The Center for Law and Public Policy has been associated with Washington Adventist University since the 1990s when it was founded by (then Columbia Union College) Professor Dr. Roy Branson. Under Dr. Branson’s leadership the Center developed the largest Pre-Law program among Adventist colleges and universities in North America, established an award-winning Mock Trial team, established an office on Capital Hill, engaged with members of the United States Congress and non-profit organizations on public policy issues, and connected local and national church leaders to WAU through lectures, symposiums, conferences and more.

As the Center for Law and Public Policy moves to the Honors College, our goal is use the Center as part of our mission to provide unparalleled opportunities for students at Washington Adventist University and to highlight the Honors College’s commitment to diverse intellectual thinking on campus.

To contact the Center for Law and Public Policy, please email Dr. Jonathan Scriven at jscriven@wau.edu.