Luke Schafer is a graduating senior from Williamston, Michigan who studied economics and Constitutional Studies at Notre Dame. He will be attending Harvard Law School in the Fall of 2023.
Schafer grew up reading the Wall Street Journal, which led him to pursue a major in economics. In the spring of his sophomore year, he registered for the Constitutional Studies course in Roman law and governance with Professor Tadeusz Mazurek, which covered the development of Roman and civil and criminal law and jurisprudence throughout the Roman Empire.
The Constitutional Studies minor sparked his interest, and he declared the minor soon after the class began. He also met several students who were a part of the center’s Tocqueville Fellowship and applied for the program himself.
Within the Constitutional Studies minor, Schafer took a myriad of courses, including the minor’s gateway course — “Constitutionalism, Law, and Politics” — with CCCG Director Vincent Phillip Muñoz, a course about American foreign policy in the Cold War with Fr. Bill Miscamble, and the Core Texts sequence with Professor Patrick Deneen and Professor Muñoz.
“Professor Muñoz’s ‘Constitutionalism, Law and Politics’ class was the most important class that I took at Notre Dame. Professor Muñoz expected a lot from students, and it was the course in which I worked the hardest in all of my four years,” Schafer said. “This all paid off, as I developed a greater appreciation for the American regime while also gaining a greater understanding for where it has diverged from the regime conceived by our Founders. After taking this course, I knew that I wanted to attend law school to study constitutional law.”
Throughout the summers during undergrad, Schafer gained invaluable experience working for the Illinois Policy Institute and for Michigan State Senator Tom Barrett. Schafer also helped write an amicus brief for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Over the summer before his senior year, Schafer received a grant from the Notre Dame Kellogg Institute for International Studies to conduct international research about the constitutional process in Chile, where he had studied abroad. Schafer had just completed a constitutionalism class with Professor Munoz and was “interested in comparing Chilean constitutionalism with American conceptions,” he explained. His thesis, entitled “Student Confidence in the Chilean Constitutional Process,” captured his experience in Chile and the conversations about constitutionalism and governance happening in their nation.
Schafer was also accepted to the Röpke-Wojtyła Fellowship with the Catholic University of America, which provides an opportunity for graduating seniors to participate in the study of market order and Catholic social thought.
In the fall, Schafer will be attending Harvard Law School. He hopes to find a way to tie international law, constitutional law, Catholicism, and economics together in his career.
Schafer credits the CCCG for “all of the most formative academic experiences of my college career” at Notre Dame.
“I am profoundly grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had through the CCCG, and I certainly would not be going to law school in the next year without them,” Schafer said.
Article contributed by CCCG Writing Fellow Merlot Fogarty.