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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, and Duke Law Journal. In addition, Professor Helfand often provides commentary on clashes between law and religion, writing for various public audience publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Jewish Daily 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 Jewish 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

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Law Review Publications (14)

Book Reviews (2)

Books (1)

Other Academic Publications (7)

Contributions to Books (3)