Jeffrey R. Baker is an Associate Professor of Law and the Director of Clinical Programs. He supervises and teaches the Family Violence Clinic and the Externship Program. Prof. Baker designed and launched the Elder Law Clinic, and he also teaches Pre-Trial Practice and Law & Literature.
His scholarship focuses on domestic violence, family law and gender issues, law and religion, legal history and lawyering. He has a particular interest in the religious and moral principles of social justice and in the limits of law in interpersonal relationships.
Prof. Baker also coaches the School of Law’s advocacy teams for the ABA’s Negotiation competition and its Representation in Mediation competition. In 2010, the School of Law’s Representation in Mediation team advanced to the national rounds as regional champion, and in 2011, the team was a regional finalist. He is the founding faculty adviser for the Jones Public Interest Law Foundation.
Prof. Baker joined the School of Law in 2006 after several years of practice in Mississippi. With the firm of Phelps Dunbar, he worked in its health care regulatory practice. With the firm of Watkins & Eager in Jackson, his trial and appellate practice involved medical malpractice, pharmaceutical and industrial products liability, insurance and commercial claims, sovereign immunity issues and diverse tort matters.
Prof. Baker received his undergraduate degree in political science and vocational ministry from Harding University, and he received his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.
He is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and the Alabama State Bar and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Mississippi and Alabama and before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2011, Prof. Baker became a registered mediator on the roster of the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution. He is a member of the Clinical Legal Education Association and the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education.
In Mississippi, he served on the board of directors for two non-profit organizations: the Communication Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Northeast Mississippi and DREAM, Inc., an organization dedicated to preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy lives in young people. He also taught American Constitutional History as an adjunct instructor at Belhaven College.
In Montgomery, Prof. Baker is the co-chair of the Montgomery County Task Force on Domestic Violence. He serves the Alabama State Bar on the task force for Pro Bono Celebration. He has served on the University’s Faith and the Academy committee. He served on the founding committees for the One Place Family Justice Center, a critical partner for the Family Violence Clinic.
In 2009, Prof. Baker received the Montgomery Advertiser's King Spirit Honors Award, "created to recognize young adults in the community who show the hope that King's dream will continue for generations to come." He also received the 2009 Justice for Victims Award from the Family Sunshine Center in Montgomery.
Professor Baker received the Professor of the Year award for 2011-2012.
The Failure and Promise of Equity in Domestic Abuse Cases, 58 Loyola L.R. - (forthcoming 2012).
Trifling Violence: The U.S. Supreme Court, Domestic Violence and a Theory of Love, 42 Cumberland Law Review 65 (2012) (also presented at the 2011 Journal of Faith & the Academy Conference, Faulkner Univ.).
Necessary Third Parties: Multidisciplinary Collaboration and Inadequate Professional Privileges in Domestic Violence Practice, 21 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 283 (2011) (Columbia Law School).
Whom Would Jesus Cover? A Biblical, Ethical Lens on the Contemporary American Health Care Debate, 23 Journal of Law & Health 1 (2010) (Cleveland State Univ. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law) (also presented at the 2008 Christian Scholars Conference, Lipscomb Univ.).
Enjoining Coercion: Squaring Civil Protection Orders with the Reality of Domestic Abuse, 11 Journal of Law & Family Studies 35 (2008) (Univ. of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law).
Teaching Troublemakers: Experiential Learning in Christian Higher Education, 1 Journal of Faith & the Academy 61 (Fall 2008) (Faulkner Univ., Institute of Faith and the Academy)(also presented at 2008 Christian Scholars Conference, Lipscomb Univ.).
PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS
Association of American Law Schools:
Testimony and Teaching II: The Role of Religion in the Student-Teacher Experience, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, scheduled May 2012 (with Profs. Keith Blair of Univ. of D.C., Deborah Cantrell of Univ. of Colorado, Robert Lancaster of LSU).
Testimony and Teaching: The Role of Religion in Law School Clinics, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, June 2011 (with Profs. John Ammann of St. Louis Univ., Richard Peterson of Pepperdine Univ., Yoli Redero of Vanderbilt Univ., Christina Zawisza of Univ. of Memphis).
Teaching Courage in Legal Clinics, Concurrent Session, AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, May 2009 (with Prof. Margaret Drew, Univ. of Cincinnati).
Southern Clinical Conference:
Beyond Referrals - Community Collaborations in Clinical Practice, University of Alabama, August, 2011 (with Profs. Marie Cope of the Univ. of Mississippi and D’lorah Hughes of the Univ. of Arkansas).
Christian Scholars Conference:
Race and Reconciliation in Churches of Christ: Civil Rights Activism at Harding College, 1949 - 1964, co-convener (scheduled Lipscomb Univ. June 2012) (with Dr. Michael Brown of UAB, Dr. Joel Anderson of UALR, Dr. Barclay Key of Western Illinois Univ.).
Beyond Forgiveness: The Relationship of Justice to Reconciliation, respondent, (scheduled Lipscomb Univ. June 2012) (with Dr. Ron Clark, George Fox Theological Seminary).
Social Networking and Christian Education panelist, Lipscomb Univ., June 2010 (with Dr. Mark Elrod of Harding Univ., Dr. Jim Miller of Harding Univ., Mr. Edward Carson of Houston Christian Academy).
Christian Perspectives on Domestic Violence and Discrimination in the Workplace, Session Convener, Lipscomb Univ., June, 2009 (with Dr. Andy Borchers of Kettering Univ.).
Necessary Control or Control Freak? For and Against Faculty Selection of For-Credit Field Placements for Externship Students, Externships 6, scheduled Mar. 2012 (with Profs. Kim Bart of Duke Univ., Meta Copeland of Mississippi College, Danny Schaffzin of Univ. of Memphis, Kelly Terry of UALR).
Continuing Legal Education:
Legal Ethics for Pro Bono Lawyers, Alabama State Bar, ABA, for Pro Bono Celebration Week, October, 2011. (Available online at the Pro Bono Celebration website)
Ethical Issues in Communication with Victim-Witnesses, Federal Public Defenders, Middle District of Alabama, July 2011.
Update on 2010 Protection from Abuse Act Amendments, Wallace State Community College, February, 2011
Storytelling and Narrative Structure in Trial Advocacy, Montgomery Bar Association, May, 2010.
Professional Responsibility in Pro Bono Practice, Alabama State Bar, CLE and curriculum for statewide use during the ABA’s National Pro Bono Celebration, Oct. 2009, reproduced nationally in Aug. 2010 for the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. (Materials available at the Pro Bono Celebration website).
Professor Baker's published work is available at his SSRN Page.