Skip to main content

About Michael A Helfand

Professor Michael (Avi) Helfand is an expert on religious law and religious liberty. A frequent author and lecturer, his work considers how U.S. law treats religious law, custom and practice, focusing on the intersection of private law and religion in contexts such as religious arbitration, religious contracts and religious torts. His academic articles have appeared in numerous law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, New York University Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Boston University Law Review, and University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. In addition, Professor Helfand often provides commentary on clashes between law and religion, writing for various public audience publications, including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the National Law Journal and the Forward.
Professor Helfand currently serves as an associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law and associate director of Pepperdine University's Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies. Since joining the faculty in 2010, he has taught Contracts, Arbitration Law, and seminars in Law and Religion as well as Multiculturalism and the Law. In addition, he also serves as both an arbitrator and consultant for the Beth Din of America.
Prior to joining the Pepperdine Law faculty, Professor Helfand was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where his practice focused on complex commercial litigation. Before entering private practice, Professor Helfand clerked for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2007 and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University in 2009.


Present Associate Director, Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies, Pepperdine University
Present Associate Professor, Pepperdine University School of Law, Pepperdine University

Curriculum Vitae

Law Review Publications (11)

Books (1)

Other Academic Publications (7)

Contributions to Books (1)

Expert Testimony (1)