August 10, 2023 | Blackstone Legal Fellowship
In August 2023, Fellow Rachel N. Morrison was interviewed by the Blackstone Legal Fellowship about her experience as an alumni of the program and her current legal work directing EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project:
Rachel Morrison has known since a young age she was called to be an attorney. But the road leading to that calling required trust in the Lord.
“You have a direction you’re going—that’s good. But you have to be willing to let God derail you,” Rachel says. “My legal career was taken one step at a time…I couldn’t have planned which jobs I ended up at.”
She studied law at Pepperdine University, where her education was integrated with faith. It was also at Pepperdine that she heard of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship and its summer program for Christian law students for the first time—and she knew it sounded like a good fit. The summer program, which is only the beginning of a lifelong investment ADF makes in those who attend, gathers together some of the nation’s best law students for training in constitutional law and legal theory. And, as Rachel found out, Blackstone equips students with a professional network to thrive and helps them reimagine their careers as a way of serving the Lord.
“The connections and exposure to thinking holistically about faith and the law at Blackstone was essential,” Rachel told us. She discovered she could use her law degree in various ways to “promote religious freedom and Christian values.”
She was able to learn from some of the nation’s most respected legal experts free of charge. She was also connected to a broader network of faith-based attorneys who could mentor and encourage her in her work.
“Over the years, the network has paid dividends and been invaluable,” she says. “Blackstone is one of the best things that happened to me,” Rachel tells us. “All the Fellows are doing amazing things, from working in law firms and policy to raising families.”
Rachel’s life after Blackstone, however, may not have been what she had originally pictured—but it was the path on which God was preparing her for future legal work. After law school, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and then got sucked into the legal policy world. Rachel eventually landed a role at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she was able to weave her expertise and interest in religious freedom into her work. But after President Biden was inaugurated, she was called up to work on the HHS Accountability Project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
“We’re working on so many issues coming out of the Biden administration; abortion, religious freedom, the redefinition of sex…” says Rachel. “It’s really been cool to see how God has used shut doors to guide my life—and then how he has opened other doors.”
It’s because of Blackstone, however, that Rachel has confidence that what she’s doing is one important way of being faithful both to her vocational calling and to the Lord.
“We won’t win all the time,” she says. “We’re not called to win—but to faithfulness. I want to be faithful through whatever the battles—whatever the opportunities—are.”
This is the kind of faith-based framework that Rachel carries with her as she approaches her work, thanks in large part to her experience at Blackstone.
ADF is proud of Blackstone Fellows because we believe that changing the legal culture and keeping the doors open for the Gospel begins with individuals like Rachel. Thank you for being a friend of the ministry.
Now as much as ever it’s crucial that our current and future Christian leaders, like Rachel, have a community to support them professionally and spiritually for whatever vocation the Lord calls them to.