Pagans and the Law: Understanding Your Rights is the first book written by a lawyer for a non legally-trained audience that attempts to explain the rights people have in the United States with respect to religious freedom and religious discrimination.

Beginning with how to find a lawyer willing and able to take your case, a brief explanation of how the various state and federal court systems work, the rest of the book deals with specific types of issues: First Amendment issues, child custody issues, employment discrimination, landlord/tenant issues, and land use issues. (A short chapter on God and government closes the book.) Each issue is discussed in considerable detail with numerous examples from case law. These examples come with appropriate legal case citations, providing immediate value as a lot of legal work consists of finding similar cases from the past to use in legal arguments. Despite all the citations, Pagans and the Law tries hard to be both readable and understandable by those without a law degree -- and generally succeeds.

This book is one that you must take to your lawyer to help her understand your practice, your situation, and how the courts have ruled in the past regarding specific situations. It can also help you decide how you want to handle your own part of being involved in a court case. How should you address your particular issue? Do you even have a case... how to know when to see a lawyer? What is it going to cost you? Is there anyway you can locate a pagan friendly lawyer or can you use a lawyer you have locally? What groups would be available to assist you in your case? How should you present yourself to a court?  It can save your lawyer hours of research (and your money).

Pagans and the Law should be required reading for everyone who claims to be a Pagan leader.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author:  Dana D. Eilers

New Page Books, 2003

pp. 250, $15.99