Regent Law School Receives Attorney General's Cup in Legal Food Frenzy

It's a combination of fire and spirit of cooperation among lawyers that allows a successful distribution of food to the community, according to Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell.

In a recent award ceremony for the First Annual Statewide Legal Food Frenzy, McDonnell awarded Regent University Law School representatives with the mini Attorney General's cup for collecting the most total pounds and most per capita of food for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia (FSEVA).The school's achievement resulted in 4,231 pounds of food. The award ceremony, held at FSEVA, celebrated the success of over 169 competing law firms, organizations and law school teams that raised 678,686 pounds of food, exceeding the goal of 500,000 pounds.

McDonnell, a Regent Law School alumnus, said lawyers are a great facet for community service: "Combine [their] generosity with competition and you have the first Attorney General's Cup Awards," he said.

Dean Jeffery Brauch of Regent's School of Law, believes Regent's success is due to a collective unity among faculty, students and staff committed to serve others.

"It was particularly gratifying to hear that we received the Food Bank award while making a concrete difference in the lives of people in need," Brauch said. "I am proud of the men and women God has called into this place."

Third-year Regent Law student Melissa Deem said Regent students often discuss service to the community in the classroom.

"The students really felt a heart for giving back to the community" said Deem, who is also president of Virginia Bar Association Law School Council. "I was really impressed with the students coming together in generosity and giving back to those really in need. They came together like a family."

According to Marianne F. Smith, chief development officer of FSEVA, there was a large increase in the Legal Food Frenzy participants this year because the competition was state-wide. Smith said Regent University is "time and time again extremely community-minded." The Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association organizes the Attorney General's Cup to assist FSEVA's cause to "feed the need" of the hungry.

Rising 3L to Publish Award-Winning Articles This Fall

It is a significant achievement to have a scholarly article published during a person’s three years as a law student. Not only has Regent 3L Leo Lestino published two articles during his tenure as a law student, but he also has won a nationwide writing contest in the process.

When asked about his recent writing success, Lestino said, “It’s been such a blessing and a great experience.”

One of Lestino’s articles titled, “A Mutated Standard of Review: the Not-So-Strict Deferential Scrutiny in Grutter v. Bollinger and Extending its Flawed Application to K-12 Schools,” won first place in the Pacific Legal Foundation’s 2008 Program for Judicial Awareness Writing Competition.

The article discusses the standard of review for race-based admissions that the Supreme Court used in deciding Grutter v. Bollinger and its extension to the K-12 context. Lestino addresses the error in the Grutter standard and why deferential scrutiny should not be allowed in university admissions or student assignment in the K-12 context.

The article will be published this fall in a Pacific Legal Foundation journal. For more information about the Pacific Legal Foundation and the competition please visit: http://www.pacificlegal.org/?mvcTask=pressReleases&id=831

Lestino’s second article, “Can Jiminy Cricket be Silenced? Congressional Federal Spending, Federalism, and the Federal Refusal Clause,” discusses the constitutionality of enacting a federal refusal (conscience) clause to be attached to health-related federal budget appropriations.

This legislation is aimed at preventing public health agencies that receive federal funding from discriminating against private health care entities that refuse to provide for abortion-related services. The legal issues surrounding refusal clauses are presented from a different perspective: the article addresses whether Congress has the constitutional authority under the spending clause to enact such restrictions and whether refusal clauses violate the general principles of federalism.

The article will be published this fall in the Thomas Goode Jones Law Review.

Lestino was born in Manila, Philippines, and then migrated to Ewa Beach, Hawaii. He received a degree in computer science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During his time at Regent, Lestino has competed in intramural and interscholastic trial advocacy competitions, and serves as vice-chair of Trial Advocacy Board, as well as notes and comments editor of Law Review. Following graduation Lestino plans to pursue a judicial clerkship.

Lestino will also be blogging for the law school during the 2007/08 year. You can hear more from Lestino and other students at www.regent.edu/lawblogs.

Regent Law Students Participate in John Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition

Three Regent Law students recently participated in the John Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition sponsored by Antonin S...