September 20, 2021 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
On Thursday, the Liberty University School of Law in partnership with the Helms School of Government held its first professionalism event of the semester featuring Marc Short, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence, who encouraged students to maintain integrity throughout their future careers.
The School of Law, which announced its largest incoming class in the last 10 years with 135 first-year students, invited Short to his second professionalism event at Liberty; he last spoke in April. The professionalism series was designed to offer students the opportunity to learn from successful professionals who have stayed true to their devotion to Christ while making an impact in their respective fields.
As he did last spring, Short shared stories of inspiration from his time spent working under Pence, whom Short said was a godly influence on his staff.
Previously, Short was Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs at the White House for President Donald J. Trump, where he worked to successfully pass tax cuts and the Jobs Act and shepherded through the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.
During Thursday’s session, Short explained how empowering it can be to work with someone of similar values who does not push comprising integrity on colleagues.
“Having a principled (leader) like (Pence) who sets the standard makes it a lot easier to work in an office like that,” Short said.
He said that in the various positions he has worked throughout his career, he has learned to rest in God’s sovereignty.
“I’ve tried to learn that it isn’t always my decision,” he said. “And what I should be doing is to try and pray for discernment — if there’s a door He opens, I should step through it, and if He doesn’t want me to go through a door, I should pray He closes it.”
Short has also worked as a partner at GuidePost Strategies, a commentator for CNN, and as a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Prior to joining the Trump/Pence campaign, Short was president of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the largest free-market business league in the U.S. with an annual budget exceeding $300 million. He also served as Chief of Staff for the House Republican Conference, chaired by then Congressman Pence (R-Ind.) and for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.). In his early career, Short was the executive director of the Reagan Ranch from 1998-2001 and served as the executive director of Freedom Alliance from 1995-98.
Short graduated from Washington & Lee University and received his MBA from UVA’s Darden School of Business. He lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife and their three children.
Next month, former Virginia Governors Bob McDonnell and George Allen will visit the School of Law for its second professionalism event. Lawyer Kannon Shanmugam is scheduled visit in November for the final event of the semester.
In addition to Short, McDonnell, and Allen, last semester’s series also included Liberty alumna and former Department of Justice employee Kerri Kupec who shared stories about how she maintained integrity while working in high stress situations.
“Our hope and our goal is to give you the opportunity to be exposed to and learn from folks who are true professionals,” School of Law Interim Dean Joseph J. Martins told law students on Thursday. “We want you to leave here and to be a true professional. There is much more to being a lawyer than simply winning a case.”