On Feb. 21-22, the Center for Global Justice hosted its third annual Global Justice Symposium, exploring the rule of law in East Africa. Students, faculty and staff participated in legal discussion about how to advocate for justice in an area where the law isn't respected or followed well.
"When people travel to these countries, they realize that the laws don't function like they do in the United States," said Walton. "Sure, laws are broken all of the time here, but when a law is broken, it's generally carried out to its consequences."
If no one is following the law, this can leave criminals of serious crimes out on the street to perform them once again. Guest panelist Brian Dennison, a missionary and lecturer at Uganda Christian University, explained that the absence of the rule of law in East African nations is a problem of a faulty, survivor-mode mentality.
"What's in our DNA as Americans is the desire to cooperate and work together," said Dennison. "But in Uganda, the thought process is, 'I've got to take care of myself, and I've got to navigate this place as best as I can.'"
Dennison explained that barriers in East Africa such as language, limited resources, a fear of altering law that is already in place, an immature common law, corruption and a fallen culture contribute to the absence of the rule of law.
Edward Sekabanja (pictured), managing partner of Sekabanja & Co. Advocates and president of Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity, explained that many of the challenges in the East African region arise from a mix of weak opposition to the way the laws have been governed in the past and apathy. He explained that the majority of people in Uganda don't vote or even register because they don't believe anything is going to change.
"Educated Christians must take the lead, because it is their role to fight for those who are poor and those who have been marginalized," said Sekabanja. "The Church needs to start making that move."
Walton agreed, explaining that while it is good for individuals to advocate for the larger, trendier human rights issues, such as trafficking and child sacrifice, the best way to combat these unfortunate realities is to attack the bigger problem beneath the surface—a task he hopes the Center for Global Justice will continue to take on.
"Regent is taking a serious look at how we can actually make effective changes on these issues and get to the root of the problem," said Walton. "We believe in long-term systematic change, and having this perspective is going to give us a real opportunity for influence, both with the people on the ground as well as with lawyers and with government officials."
Learn more about Regent University School of Law and the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.
By Brett Wilson
Professor Lynne Marie Kohm was interviewed by Voice of America for its Legal Issues television program on Tuesday, February 25 regarding same-sex marriage. The weekly program airs internationally on satellite television.
Professor Natt Gantt and a group of law students that included Kevin Hoffman, Holly Ortiz, and Rebecca Vermette, presented a CLE program, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Ethical Issues Surrounding Lawyer Mobility," to the James Kent Chapter of the American Inn of Court on February 19.
Professor Michael Hernandez is completing the final edits for his book for West Publishing on "Estates in Land and Future Interests."
Professor Bradley Jacob was interviewed by WVEC on February 14 regarding the recent ruling against Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.
On February 15, Professor Lynne Marie Kohm was a guest on the Moody Radio Network program Up for Debate. The program addressed whether pastors should marry cohabitating couples. Professor Kohm was also a guest on CBN News on February 14 and offered comments on a Norfolk federal judge's ruling that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Professor Lynne Marie Kohm’s article, “Marriage, State Domestic Regulations Power and Family Strength,” was published in the February 2014 edition of Virginia Lawyer.
On March 18, Professor Kathleen McKee will speak at the APA Film Screening on human trafficking at the Regent University School of Communication & the Arts.
Professor David Wagner sent an article out for publication. It addresses parental rights and home schooling based on his presentation at the 16th Annual Federalist Society Annual Meeting during the Association of American Law Schools Convention in New York.
Center for Global Justice Administrative Director Ernie Walton accepted an offer from Capital University Law Review to publish his article, "Preserving the European Convention on Human Rights: Why the UK's Threat to Leave the Convention Could Save It," this spring.
Professor Gloria Whittico sent her article, "The Persistence of Analogy: Motor Vehicles, 'The Broccoli Horrible,' Logic, Analogy and Rhetoric in the U.S. Supreme Court's Commerce Clause Analysis in National Federation of IndependentBusiness v. Sibelius," for publication. On March 13, Professor Whittico will also present at the Wells Conference on Adoption Law at Capital University Law School.
Professor Bradley Jacob was a guest on The Tony Macrini Show on 790 AM WNIS on February 14 to discuss a federal judge's recent ruling that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's article "Are We There Yet? Immigration Reform for Children Left Behind," which she wrote with alumnus Keila Molina '12, is the most downloaded immigration-related paper on SSRN since it was posted on January 20, 2014. This week, the article is also ranked number one in downloads for AARN: Kinship, Gender, the Body & Sexuality.
Judge Patricia West, distinguished professor and associate dean of Regent Law, was highlighted in The Virginian-Pilot andVirginia Lawyers Weekly regarding her new role with Regent Law.
"Regent Law received a very favorable report. The reviewers gave high praise for our faculty and our program of education, and they particularly emphasized our superior quality of teaching," said Jeffrey A. Brauch, dean of the law school. "They also noted the high level of respect between faculty and students."
The ABA's review process began with a site visit in fall 2012. The review team of legal educators submitted their evaluation report in mid-2013, with the ABA's formal notice of approval coming to Regent in early February 2014.
Regent Law has been fully accredited by the ABA since 1996. This is the second accreditation review that Brauch has experienced as dean, and one of several in his nearly 20 years with the school. The ABA visits each fully accredited school once every seven years. He described the intense preparation that precedes the ABA site visit, as well as ongoing work throughout the process.
"Doug Cook, our associate dean for academic affairs and student services, led the process, preparing materials for the review team and preparing us for the visit. I commend him for his diligent and excellent work," Brauch said.
For several years, Regent Law students have consistently placed well in regional and national law tournaments. In recent months, Regent Law has received a number of accolades that include being recognized among the Top 10 Law Faculty in the Nation by The Princeton Review. Last fall, Regent Law's Center for Ethical Formation and Legal Education Reform was included in PreLawInsider as among the "25 Most Innovative Ideas" in legal education reform.
Regent Law continues to offer legal education programs that prepare graduates for the changing legal marketplace. Learn more about Regent Law's full slate of academic programs, including a traditional J.D. program, as well as accelerated and part-time J.D. programs, a Master of Arts in Law and the school's Integrated Lawyer Training initiative.
On February 24–25, the Public Interest Advocates of Regent (PILAR) hosts its 12th Annual Silent Auction. All auction proceeds fund grants for students who have unpaid summer internships at public interest organizations.
|Dean Jeffery Brauch is auctioning his vintage Wisconsin cheese hat.|
“I’m ecstatic about the work the PILAR Board and friends have put into this auction,” says Rojo. “Student organizations have donated their time; faculty, staff, and students have contributed wonderful items; and others have gone out of their way to do outreach to recruit donations.”
The auction is only a few days away, and Rojo is pleased with the approximately 90 items that have been donated. Items on the auction block include:
- Dean Jeffery Brauch’s Wisconsin cheese hat
- Tickets to the Virginia Opera’s rendition of Carmen, valued at $150
- Estate Plan, valued at $5,000
- Themis, Kaplan, and Barbri Bar-prep vouchers
“Because of the PILAR grant, I was able to serve many individuals and families in the Virginia Beach area who were seeking counsel on family law matters,” says Skeans. “I was equipped to counsel individuals on family law issues, learned about the Domestic Relations Code in Virginia, and learned how family law attorneys can work with local service providers to support individuals dealing with custody and divorce matters.”
The auction runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on February 24–25 in Robertson Hall Lobby. All Regent University students, faculty, and staff are welcome to bid. Auction participants may also bid on the PILAR Facebook page. A complete list of items is available online.
If you would like to donate an item or money, please contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the PILAR page to review the donation form.
While exhibiting excellence in the classroom throughout their three years of law school is important to the legal profession, another vital component of training to become a lawyer is writing, researching and defending an argument.
Last week, a number of Regent University School of Law students were given the opportunity to exhibit their speaking and reasoning skills at three different Moot Court competitions in Virginia and New York.
"I continue to be amazed at the skill, preparation and success of our moot court teams. They excel in every aspect of their competitions," said Jeffrey Brauch, dean of Regent Law. "I am deeply proud of our students and their faculty coaches—and I praise God for their success."
Saturday, Feb. 8, Regent Law assistant professor Tessa Dysart led her team of 3L students, Andrew Stevener, Chelsea Schlittenhart and Drew Cziok (pictured above) through the 2014 National Religious Freedom Moot Court Competition. The team finished in second place overall in the competition hosted by George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.
"It's always exciting to see students succeed because you know how many hours they put into preparing for the competition—and I think that's really one thing that that makes our team stand out," said Dysart. "It also continues to show what an excellent program of legal education that we offer at Regent, and it gives us a great name as we go out and interact with other students and the judges."
Along with placing in the ranks ahead of big-name schools such as Georgetown University, New York Law School and Howard University, Schlittenhart was also awarded the title of "Best Oralist" for the entire competition.
"I am so thankful to have received the award, and excited that I had another opportunity to show off the quality of Regent's training," said Schlittenhart. "The truth is that any oralist is only as good as the rest of her team—Drew and Andrew played just as much of a role in the win as I did."
From Monday, Feb. 10 to Wednesday, Feb. 12, Regent students also competed in the National Moot Court Competition in New York City. Third year law students Sharon Kerk and Joshua Smith advanced to the top 16 in the competition, from 194 teams that entered the competition at the regional level. Kerk and Smith were led by Michael Hernandez, professor in the School of Law.
Hernandez explained that the importance of the competition lies within the ability to make good contacts and enhance the reputation of the caliber of legal education Regent has to offer.
"The team did an outstanding job, they performed with excellence—even in the round we lost, the judges commented on how persuasive and impenetrable our arguments were," said Hernandez. "It was a close round against our competition, and they did really well."
The national competition put Regent up against law schools such as Wake Forrest University, Texas Tech University and the University of Memphis.
Regent's team also participated in the College of William & Mary's 43rd Spong Tournament from Friday, Feb. 14 to Saturday, Feb. 15. Associate professor Kathleen McKee led second-year law students Danielle Bianculli, Stephen Cady, and Jeffrey Pommerenck. The team advanced to the top eight in the competition.
"I was just so impressed by the way the team collaborated to produce such a positive outcome; I think they really walked out what our university's mission is," said McKee. "What is important is that not only were our students skilled in their performance, but they also conducted themselves in a way that everyone commented on how positive their presence was at the competition."
Learn more about Regent University School of Law.
By Brett Wilson
Photo courtesy of Chelsea Schlittenhart
Twenty students received Eagle Awards for earning the highest grade in Fall 2013 law school courses. Read the full story here.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA) will resume their weekly tutoring program at the Norfolk Detention Center on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The tutoring program is open to all students.
The Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society (IPELS) will host a speaker series on Tuesday, February 11 at 12:00 pm in Robertson Hall 103. The panel will include local Talent Agent, Sylvia Hutson from Hutson Talent Agency, Regent University and CBN General Counsel, Lou Isakoff, Esq., Actor Derek Leonidoff, and Director/Producer and Regent University School of Communications Professional-in-Residence, Mark Paladin. Each member will describe his role in the industry, and tell law students what to expect when entering the field.
Spotlight on 3L Angela Desmond.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Board held the 2014 Intramural Negotiation Competition. Join us in congratulating the winners and finalists: First Place, Leah Achor and Brian Lagesse; Second Place, Robert Gould and Joel Lewicki; Third Place, Paul Davis and Sean Reilly; Fourth Place, Richard Cairnes and Cynthia Swift.
The Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society had its first speaker series of the Spring Semester on Tuesday, February 11. Speakers included local Talent Agent Sylvia Hutson, Actor Derek Leonidoff, Regent University and CBN General Counsel Lou Isakoff, and Director/Producer Mark Paladini. View the recording of the event here.
Jim Golden spoke at the Student and Faculty Retreat on Thursday, January 23 in the University Chapel.
Students in the Fall 2013 Child Advocacy Practicum (CAP) received a commendation from the State Deputy Commission and Director of Child Support Enforcement for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The director praised the services, resources, encouragement, and ingenuity that the CAP team put forth.
As a result of amicus work a group of CAP and Center for Global Justice students did regarding the protection of children and parental rights in L.F. v. Breit, the Virginia Code has been amended. The amendment states, “A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.”
In December 2013, Macy Gurley presented a Fathering Court initiative to the Tennessee District Attorney. The presentation was based on her article, “Daddy Do-Over: How Fathering Courts Address Tennessee’s Child Support Problems” and her efforts with the Portsmouth DCSE and Family Restoration Network.
The Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law hosts its 3rd Annual Symposium, The Rule of Law in East Africa, on February 21 and February 22. Visit the symposium website for a detailed schedule and registration information.