John Hoard, new Board Chair and current partner at Rubin & Levin, P.C., was raised in the Christian faith, but it took him a little time to make that faith his own. Thanks to his mother, a devout Methodist, John was no stranger to prayer groups and church camps while growing up. Leaders from the Southern Baptist Church and other denominations were frequent guests in his home throughout the 1960s. Young John was intrigued and inspired by these faithful men and women, but it wasn’t until he met his high school sweetheart and future wife Nancy that things began to fall into place.
Nancy, a member of the Episcopal Church, introduced John to her faith. He was drawn to the Book of Common Prayer and to the liturgy. During his first homily, John felt something new. “Everything about the Episcopal faith spoke to my need for organization and structure and order in my life,” says John. “This is also one of the reasons I gravitated towards Law School and Accounting.”
Throughout college, however, John found himself going through a time of questioning. Part of a predominantly Jewish fraternity, he witnessed the devotion of many of his brothers to their faith and took a closer look at his own. “I questioned all things in college—am I a Christian? Is there only one Son of God? Is there a God?” John says. “I questioned my relationship with Christ and then I was led to a deeper relationship with Christ through that questioning.” Eventually, he was confirmed in the Episcopal Church.
After becoming a lawyer, John found himself missing the active role of faith in his professional life. “Because of the separation of Church and State, the Law is very irreligious,” he says. He sought for a way to bring his faith and work closer together. Once he became acquainted with Clinic founder and then-Executive Director Abby Kuzma, John saw a chance to marry these two discrete aspects of his life. He joined the Clinic Board in 2005.
Over the years, his involvement in the Clinic has continued to grow. He has served as a volunteer through intake, attended fundraisers, and assisted with single-day events—all of which brought him to his current role as Board Chair. ”As a Christian, the Clinic serves a spiritual need of mine in order to both serve the Lord as well as people through my vocation,” says John. “If you look at the legal landscape, the Clinic is unique in terms of its mission as a Christ-based organization.”
This is an exciting time for the Clinic and John is looking to the future and how the Clinic can continue to serve more people. “We want to grow the Board with people that have strong faith and that understand the mission of the Clinic from what we’re trying to achieve as Christians first, and as lawyers second,” he says. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be associated with this organization.”