Regent Law’s mission brought 2L Jared Birckholtz here from a law school in the northeast.
“Emphasizing a calling throughout your education makes a strong difference in how you will function as a lawyer,” says Birckholtz, referring to Regent Law’s motto, “Law is more than a profession. It’s a calling.”
“In thinking about changing schools, it was important that I find a place where there was opportunity for that emphasis,” he says. Accordingly, Birckholtz transferred to Regent at the beginning of his 2L year, and he says his inclination was right. “It’s been liberating to be here, to be able to pray with my classmates, to be supported in my spiritual walk. The culture is completely different and it’s helped me to grow.”
More than just a place to learn the law and hone legal skills, for Birckholtz Regent has quickly become home. Often the competitive environment of a law school makes transfers feel unwelcome among students, but Birckholtz says that’s not the case at Regent. “The people are friendly; I’ve been welcomed in,” he says. “The academic competition that is here doesn’t undermine the cooperative spirit.”
Birckholtz shares that his 1L class at his previous school was incredibly unified and worked harder than he’d ever experienced. Yet for him, there was something missing. “I want to be equipped to deal with all legal issues that arise; I felt as though I wasn’t being prepared to holistically tackle legal problems,” says Birckholtz. “[At Regent], the professors present history and legal ideas in a way that embraces absolute truth, and they push us to contemplate how our values shape the way we encounter these ideas.”
While the integration of faith and law is attractive to many students, some may fear that it waters down the level of academic excellence. Birckholtz doesn’t agree, but can compare his education at his previous school to what he is getting at Regent. “The importance of academics is evident here in the way people work,” he says. “People take their work very seriously, which challenges me and keeps me working hard as well.”
As a resident of a city near Virginia Beach, 2L transfer student Blair Toner has always been aware of Regent’s good reputation. It was the religious nature of the school that gave her pause. “I wasn’t sure that I would fit,” she says.
Now, after almost a full year at Regent, Toner is happy that she pushed past her fears. “When I took a minute to see how religious aspects are tied into the school, I noticed how they manifest themselves in the nurturing of students and in a concern for our overall well being,” she says.
“At Regent, I know professors care about the caliber of attorneys we will be down the road, not just what happens in the classroom today,” she says. “Regent professors put high expectations on students, but they make themselves accessible to help us reach those expectations. At my last school, I wasn’t sure that the law professors ever wanted to see me in their office. They felt distant and unapproachable.”
Toner says the professors’ attitude toward nurturing the whole student trickles down to the students, creating an atmosphere that isn’t cut throat. “The pressure [at Regent] is about how to be a better lawyer, not about how to be at the top of the class. The students understand that and consequently don’t pit themselves against you to get the cutting edge.”
Toner reports that she feels as though she fits in just fine at Regent. She is able to freely participate in class discussions and has found the community-driven atmosphere to be pleasantly welcoming.