Helen M. Alvaré

As a legal scholar and master communicator whose work intersects theology and the social sciences, there are few, if any, more skilled in advocating for and serving religious institutions than Helen Alvaré. 

Professor Alvaré’s services include: advocacy, development of legal theories and strategy, religious liberty defense, sexual abuse prevention, and defense; theological contextualizing of disputes; amicus and appellate briefs, pleadings, and motions; expert testimony or identification or recruitment of experts; public communications strategies; board training regarding organizations’ faith values.

Helen M. Alvaré is Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia and a member of the District of Columbia bar. Her primary areas of legal scholarship include religious liberty and family law. At the law school, she has served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Co-Chair of the hiring committee, and advisor to many student groups including the Thomas More Law Society, the Christian Law Society, the Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latina/o Law Students Association. Her most recent books include Religious Freedom After the Sexual Revolution: A Catholic Guide (2022), and Christianity and the Laws of Conscience: An Introduction (2021).

Prior to her teaching at the Antonin Scalia Law School, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University and served the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in its pro-life and general counsel offices. She began her career as a litigation associate with the Philadelphia law firm Stradley, Ronon, Stevens and Young.

Professor Alvaré is a member of the board of directors of the Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Benefits Association, a member of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, a member of Pope Francis’ Vos Estis Commission, and a consultant to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the Organization of American States in Washington D.C.


M.A. Theology, Catholic University of America, 1989 (additional years of study toward Ph.D. in Systematic Theology)
J.D. Cornell University, 1984
B.S. Economics, Villanova University, 1981 summa cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia
United States Supreme Court



  • Helen M. Alvaré, Religious Freedom After the Sexual Revolution: A Catholic Guide (Washington DC: Catholic University of American Press, 2022)
  • Helen M. Alvaré and Jeff Hammond, eds. (and Helen Alvaré, contributor) Christianity and the Laws of Conscience: An Introduction (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021)
  • Helen M. Alvaré, Putting Children’s Interests First in American Family Law and Policy: With Power Comes Responsibility (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • Helen M. Alvaré & Steven Lopes (eds.), Not Just Good, but Beautiful: The Complementary Relationship Between Man and Woman (Walden, NY: Plough Publishing, 2015)
  • Helen M. Alvaré, ed. and author, The Conscience of the Institution (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine Press, 2014)
  • Helen M. Alvaré, ed. and author, Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves (Fort Wayne, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2012)

Selected Law Review Articles

  • Families, Schools and Religious Freedom, Loyola Univ. L. Rev (forthcoming 2022)
  • Nearly 50 Years Post-Roe v. Wade and Nearing its End? What’s the Evidence About Abortion’s Effects on Women’s Health and Equality? 34 Regent Univ. L. Rev. 165 (2021-22)
  • Church Autonomy After Our Lady of Guadalupe: Too Broad or Broad as it Needs to Be? 25 Tex. Rev. of L. and Pols. 319 (2021)
  • Gender Mistrust as a Public Health Crisis: A Preliminary Proposal, 108 Georgetown L. Rev. 1401 (2020)
  • Beyond Moralism: A Critique and a Proposal for Catholic Institutional Religious Freedom, 19 Conn. Pub. Int. L. J. 149 (2020)
  • A Perfect Storm: Religion, Sex and the Administrative State, 92 St. John’s L. Rev (2019)
  • Is This Any Way to Make Civil Rights Law? Judicial Extension of “Marital Status” Nondiscrimination to Protect Cohabitants, 17 Geo. J. of L. & Pub. Pol’y (2019)
  • The Opposite of Anarchy and the Transmission of Faith: The Freedom to Teach after Smith, Hosanna-Tabor, and Obergefell, 53 San Diego L. Rev. 1 (2016)
  • Religious Freedom versus Sexual Expression: A Guide, 30 The Journal of Law and Religion (Cambridge Univ.) 475 (2015)
  • Marriage and the Family as the New Property: Obergefell, Marriage and the Hand of the State, 28 Regent U. L. Rev. 49 (2015-16)
  • Same-Sex Marriage and the Reconceiving of Children, 64 Case W. L. Rev. 829 (2014)
  • No Compelling Interest: The “Birth Control Mandate” and Religious Freedom, 58 Villanova L. Rev. 379 (2013)
  • Bishops versus “Nuns in Jeeps,” Why a Facially Intra-Catholic Health Care Dispute Matters, 25 Notre Dame J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 563 (2011)
  • Father Absence, Social Equality and Social Progress, 29 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 123 (2011)
  • Gonzales v. Carhart: Bringing Abortion Law Back into the Family Law Fold, 69 Montana L. Rev. 409 (2008)
  • The Consistent Ethic of Life: A Proposal for Improving its Legislative Grasp, 2 University of St. Thomas L. J. 326 (2005)

Book Chapters

  • Christianity and Family Law, in John Witte and Gary Hauk, Christianity and Law (Oxford University Press, forthcoming December 2023)
  • The Family and the Melting Pot, in Michael Welker and John Witte, eds., The Impact of the Family on Character Formation, Ethical Education, and the Communication of Values in Late Modern Pluralistic Societies (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt GmbH, 2022)
  • Domestic Violence Law: A Perpetual Search for the Best Legal Solutions, Chapter 4 in Grzegorz Blicharz, ed., Marriage, Children and Family: Modern Challenges and Comparative Law Perspective (Poland: Prawo Publiczne, 2019)
  • The Sexualization of Children: A Massive Problem with Insufficient Solutions, Chapter 6 in Grzegorz Blicharz, ed., Marriage, Children and Family: Modern Challenges and Comparative Law Perspective (Poland: Prawo Publiczne, 2019)
  • The Struggle for Conscience Protection in an Increasingly Secularized Context, Chapter 7 in Grzegorz Blicharz, ed., Freedom of Conscience: A Comparative Law Perspective (Poland: Prawo Publiczne, 2019)
  • Hate Crimes: A Delicate Balancing of Speech and Harm Prevention, Chapter 11 in Grzegorz Blicharz, ed., Freedom of Speech: A Comparative Law Perspective (Poland: Prawo Publiczne, 2019)
  • Religious Displays: The Interplay of Free Speech and the Nonestablishment of Religion, Chapter 4 in Grzegorz Blicharz, ed., Freedom of Religion: A Comparative Law Perspective
  • Abortion, Sexual Markets and the Law, in Stephen Napier, ed. Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments (Vol. 11 Philosophy and Medicine) (Springer Pub. 2011)

Selected Additional Writings

Professor Alvaré also writes, from time to time, for Scotusblog on Supreme Court opinions touching religious freedom or the family; for the family social sciences blog of the Institute for Family Studies; for The Hill, for the Catholic press, including the National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, America Magazine; and for the mainstream press including The Hill, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

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