Regent Law Faculty Achievements - September 25, 2015

Regent University's School of Law Faculty members willingly share their knowledge and expertise beyond the classroom to spark scholarly debate and advance the practice of law. Their latest endeavors include the following.

Professor Natt Gantt’s and Assoc. Dean Ben Madison’s paper, "Teaching the Newly Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Values in a Changing World," was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: AARN: The Legal Profession.  View/Download their paper.
Next week, Professor Natt Gantt is presenting on “Leadership Development for Law Students” at the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Conference in Denver, Colorado.

On October 13, Craig Stern, executive director of the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights & the Rule of Law, is presenting "Positive Rights: Threat or Menace?" to kick off the 2015-16 Center for Global Justice Forums.

Assoc. Dean Lynne Marie Kohm's paper, "The Unspoken Consequences of Obergefell: Calling Convictional Christian Scholars," was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: AARN: Case Studies of Religious Groups (Topic); AARN: Christianity (Sub-Topic); AARN: Family Law (Topic); LSN: Family Law (Sexuality) (Topic); and PSN: Post-Conflict Reconciliation (Topic). View the abstract | Full article. She will also present this work in progress as part of the new Faculty Colloquium Series.


Regent School of Law Welcomes the Honorable Leslie H. Southwick to Campus

Judge Leslie Southwick was nominated as a federal judge and lives to tell about it.

At least, that's what he said Monday, Sept. 14, at a luncheon hosted by Regent University's chapter of the Federalist Society, where he took School of Law students and faculty through the steps on his occupational road less traveled.

Asst. Professor Tessa Dysart with
Judge Leslie Southwick
It happened, as it does with any federal judge nomination: clearing a list of hurdles including selections, questions, presidential selections, waiting and even FBI investigations.

"And a whole lot of luck," added Southwick.

It's a process he's written about in his book, The Nominee: A Political and Spiritual Journey; what he expresses feeling like a character from the Pixar-animated film, Toy Story.

"We were all waiting to see who 'Andy' would pick to take off the shelf next," said Southwick with a laugh.

Tessa Dysart, assistant School of Law professor, formerly worked as a counsel in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice on vetting judicial nominees and assisting them through the confirmation process. One of the nominees whose nomination she worked on was Southwick's.

"I wanted the students to hear Judge Southwick's story, not just to understand the confirmation process," said Dysart. "But also to see the importance of civility, grace under pressure, and character, which are all qualities that Judge Southwick emulates."

But Southwick's story is a little more complicated and even, according to him, a bit "awkward" to talk about. Because when George W. Bush nominated Southwick to the federal appeals court, Fifth Circuit, he had no idea the controversy that would arise.

Just days before his hearing, a progressive advocacy group brought attention to two cases Southwick had been involved in at the state level: A case involving a racial slur spoken in a workplace, and a case regarding the custody of a child in a family with a father and a bisexual mother.

Despite the flurry of media attention and the general perception that he was being treated unfairly, Southwick explained that he tried to have faith.

He found solace in Habakkuk 3:17-18 which states, "Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines…"

"Still I will rejoice in the Lord," recited Southwick. "This was very meaningful to me."

And it was there, in that place of battling and questioning, that he learned to strike a balance between trusting the Lord and expecting a miracle. After a long journey, he received surprising support from a Democrat senator, and thus enough votes to receive his confirmation.

He continues to talk about his story, and encourages those he meets on his path today.

"Keep your priorities straight. Be willing to take chances and leave your comfort zones," said Southwick. "At the same time, avoid being rash – follow your dreams very carefully, and think about your options if your pursuit fails."

Learn more about Regent University's School of Law.

By Brett Wilson Tubbs

Professor Serves on State Advisory Committee to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

For 40 years, Bruce Cameron, professor in Regent University's School of Law, has dedicated his career to bettering the lives of employees with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Now, as a result of his years of dedicated passion to litigating Foundation-funded cases representing employees whose religious or political beliefs have been compromised due to compulsory unionism, Cameron has been appointed as a member of the Virginia State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

"The goal of my life is to advance the Kingdom of God," said Cameron. "The employees I help are extremely grateful to be able to keep both their faith and their jobs. Regent Law students are able to work with me in helping these employees. Being a blessing to employees and students in a way that advances the work of God is extremely gratifying – it is a privilege to do this work."

Cameron will carry over this passion to serve both his clients and his students during a five-year term with the committee, advising the Federal government on civil rights issues in the commonwealth of Virginia.

He hopes to translate this "real-world" experience to his classroom of Regent Law students, helping them develop the tools they need for such litigations from a unique vantage point: the inside.

"Litigating cutting-edge constitutional, civil rights and labor law cases, and serving on the Virginia Civil Rights Commission, allow me to shape the law I teach to my students and to share with them the inside knowledge that will allow them to become superior lawyers," said Cameron.

"And if the Federal government values my opinion on civil rights, hopefully the law students in my Employment Discrimination will value the class."

Learn more about Regent University's School of Law.

By Brett Wilson Tubbs


Regent Wealth Management & Financial Planning Concentration CFP® Board Registered

Regent Law's M.A. in Law - Wealth
Management & Financial Planning
Concentration is CFP® Board Registered.
Regent University School of Law has registered with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) to provide a new concentration focusing on financial planning as part of its Master of Arts in Law program.

An independent certifying organization, CFP Board owns the CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification marks, which it awards to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements. Students completing the financial planning curriculum at Regent will have met the Education requirement for the CFP® Certification Examination administered by CFP Board.

“CFP Board is pleased to approve the program at Regent University as a CFP Board Registered Program,” said Richard P. Rojeck, CFP®, chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors. “As student interest in financial planning as a career continues to grow, we anticipate that Regent University’s program will contribute significantly to the number of qualified candidates seeking to attain the CFP® certification, the standard of excellence for competent and ethical financial planning.”

Regent Law has received recognition for the high quality of its professors. The Princeton Review has ranked Regent among the top 10 law schools in the nation with the "Best Professors" for two consecutive years.

In its letter approving Regent’s financial planning program, CFP Board observed that “the academic and professional experience of this faculty can enhance the learning experiences of the student as well as the professional standing of the program, bringing student placement opportunities, additional resources, and other forms of engagement to the students at Regent University.”

“At a time when many Americans are hoping to enjoy a happy retirement period, the need for financial planning expertise is greater than ever,” said Janis L. Kirkland, director of Regent’s Wealth Management & Financial Planning curriculum. “CFP professionals are uniquely qualified to help individuals solve financial problems and achieve their financial goals.

“Working as a financial planner can be both personally and financially rewarding. Financial specialists were identified among the top career fields for coming years in a recent article by Money,” Kirkland continued. “Regent’s Wealth Management & Financial Planning curriculum will provide students with the educational component required to enter this robust field. Furthermore, Regent’s program integrates the love of Christ into its degree programs, supplying students with moral and ethical training important in a financial professional.”

Students can begin the new 30-credit Wealth Management & Financial Planning concentration, which is offered online, as early as October 26, 2015, and finish in about a year. More information can be found here.


Regent School of Law Alumnus Joins Faculty at Texas A&M School of Law

Jack Manhire.
Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University.

Regent University alumnus Jack Manhire '97 (School of Law) leads his life and career with one philosophy: bloom where you're planted.

In August, Manhire, his wife, and his family of nine children will re-root themselves to Fort Worth, Texas, as he takes on his new occupational role as director of program development at Texas A&M University School of Law.

"Like most, my career wasn't a straight path. It took a few years and a few different jobs to find the right fit and a practice-specialization that resonated with me," said Manhire. "None of it was really planned out. I just remained open to new opportunities that came my way."

For Manhire, this full-time teaching opportunity has been a dream in the making. In the midst of a successful career as the chief of legal analysis for the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, and national program chair of the Executive Education for the U.S. Treasury Executive Institute, teaching and helping students succeed was always his "first passion."

"This is really an opportunity for me to do what I love full time," said Manhire. "I was certainly looking for a teaching opportunity, and I was on the market for a couple of years. I don't want to make it seem like things fall out of the sky for me."

Manhire's legal experience and his constant practice of pursuing a "deeper calling" is what he hopes to evoke in his own classroom. Because in today's "complex world," Manhire explained, being an excellent attorney isn't enough.

"You need to be a leader in whatever you do. You need to know how to navigate the law and navigate the diverse marketplace in which both you and your clients exist," said Manhire. "So, bringing leadership as well as legal lessons to students – whether in the classroom or through informal career coaching – is desperately needed to ensure our students succeed in today's global marketplace."

Manhire said he learned these principles as a law student, experiencing first-hand the theoretical grounding in the law and how it translates into the real world.

"My time at Regent was a unique high-point in my career. It's where I believe I grew the most as a person and as a professional," said Manhire. "I was constantly challenged to not only do more than I thought possible, but also to be better than I thought possible."

He explained that Texas A&M is dedicated to the same principles, making the transition to his new venture all the more natural.

"Like Regent, Texas A&M is committed to creating excellent attorneys and professionals of character," said Manhire. "I’m just honored I can be a part of that."

Learn more about Regent University's School of Law.

By Brett Wilson Tubbs | August 6, 2015


Regent Law Student Donates Part of Her Liver to Five-Year-Old Stranger

Molly Bricker (right) visits with Sage and Sage's mother
after surgery. Photo courtesy of A Liver for Sage
Facebook page.
It was just a regular day at the nail salon. Molly Bricker, a rising 2L in Regent University's School of Law, was in the midst of her very first round of challenging finals in December 2014. She sat with her friend waiting among the colorful splashes of nail polish when a news story on the salon's television screen caught her eye:

The little girl’s name was Sage, a five-year-old from Portsmouth, Virginia, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia as an infant – and in dire need of a new liver. Her early illness required a bone marrow transplant, rendering her blood type different from the rest of her family.

Bricker was struck. "I remember thinking, 'This little girl is so cute, and so small and so happy,'" said Bricker. "I didn't even know you could donate a portion of your liver. But in that moment God made it really clear that I had to do something."

Bricker spent the next hour before her exam on the phone, discerning whether she'd be a blood-type match and beginning the donor application process. Bricker was later notified several others were ahead of her on the list, so she began making plans to spend her summer months bolstering her legal career with a prestigious clerkship. She thought she was "off the hook."

But her story wouldn't end there. "I'd almost forgotten about it when they told me I was on the top of the donor list," said Bricker.

Recalling how strongly she felt when she first learned Sage's story, Bricker moved forward with testing in early June to see if she was a match. Tests on Monday, June 1, proved she was. Her surgery would be that Thursday. Surgery and recovery meant she needed to turn down the summer clerkship.

"The week before the surgery, God was constantly reminding me that He was in control," said Bricker. "I tend to need a schedule, I need a routine. So, I was shocked by my lack of anxiety I had throughout the process, which I 100 percent attribute to God."

So, what is it that prompts a first-year law student to start the organ donation process during finals week? Bricker attributes it to nothing other than God's conviction. "It was definitely a challenge, but because I felt so sure that this was what the Lord wanted me to do, I just trusted that He would sustain me," said Bricker.

Sage is now in recovery, supported by a portion of Bricker's liver that will continue to grow as she does. Bricker's own liver is expected to heal to its full size within the next few months as she recovers with her family in Massachusetts.

"Every day I'm feeling better," she said, explaining her recovery process has entailed eating lots of protein – specifically hamburgers." The body craves what it needs, I guess. I'm a hungry, hungry person," Bricker said with a laugh. Bricker experienced a hunger for something much more than burgers, though. She's experienced a hunger for justice and God's sovereignty.

Her story has been told by several local and national news organizations. But whether she's entertaining an interview with the local news or People Magazine, her humble, yet convicting takeaway is seamless.

"Anybody who's asked about my experience, I've just wanted them to hear about God's sovereignty. He's the only reason I applied, and the only reason the surgery was successful," said Bricker. "Everyone who writes about this needs to know that God is the focal point, that's all I really want."

By Brett Wilson Tubbs | July 6, 2015

Regent Law Adds New M.A. in Law Concentrations

Seek justice. Encourage the oppressed. Plead the case of the orphan and the widow.

These charges to believers and the growing interest in global justice spurred Regent University's School of Law to develop new concentrations in Human Rights and General Legal Studies for its Master of Arts in Law (M.A.) program, launching Fall 2015.

Both of these 30-credit hour programs are designed for adult learners seeking to enhance their careers in fields such as business, human resources, criminal justice, national security and non-profit management.

The concentration in General Legal Studies will include courses in Christian Foundations of Law, American Legal System & Writing, with the opportunity for students to complete 24 credits in one or more M.A. in Law concentrations. The Human Rights concentration will train graduate students in areas such as child advocacy, national security and international law.

"There are few law schools that have the same breadth of concentrations that Regent offers, and offer quality online education," said James Davids, associate law professor and director of Regent Law’s L.L.M. and M.A. programs. "Regent has more M.A. in Law courses and students than any other law school in the country. This entrepreneurial education should be attractive to anyone who wants to advance their resume and career with a quality, practical degree."

Davids explained that these two new programs were created with the acknowledgement that students want to follow their own path to academic success. These programs will allow them to do just that.

Regent began the M.A. in Law program during Fall 2014, and currently enrolls more than 100 students.

"We seeks students with academic gifts, passion and time to graduate successfully from these programs," said Davids. "If someone has the ability to succeed, plus the drive and passion for human rights in general, then we want to help them reach their calling through the human rights program."

Learn more about Regent University's School of Law and the Master of Arts in Law.

Regent University Ranked in 2015 Legal Publication

In its spring 2015 edition, The National Jurist, a publication for aspiring law students, listed Regent University School of Law among schools such as Duke University, Wake Forrest University and Syracuse University as having highly effective practical training in the legal fields.

The National Jurist also listed Regent as among 33 schools in the nation for its stellar bar exam preparation, listing its 80.91 percent bar pass rate among its competitors such as the University of Virginia, Penn State Law, and Baylor University.

Read the full National Jurist article.

"These objective measures validate the excellence of our curriculum, faculty and students. A school cannot excel without excellent students, and we are blessed with a quality student body. Our curriculum does an exceptional job of preparing our students both substantively and practically to excel in the practice of law," said Michael Hernandez, dean of Regent's School of Law.

Programs within the school, such as the university's moot court competition teams and the Center for Human Rights, Global Justice, and the Rule of Law, along with proximity and access to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), contribute to Regent's consistent ability to provide students with ample courtroom and writing experience before they are launched into the legal field.

This year's Moot Court program finished 8th in the nation. Students who attend law school at Regent are assured that they are receiving the best education in and out of the classroom, a fact that Hernandez does not take for granted.

"Our faculty has stellar credentials and has been ranked for two consecutive years in the top 10 in Princeton Review surveys of American law students. I am blessed to lead a team of such exceptional people, supported by excellent programs," said Hernandez.

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.

By Brett Wilson | June 25, 2015