Regent Law Announces New Hispanic Law Student Association

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States and in 2009 comprised almost 16% of the nation’s population. Yet, despite this presence, only 5.2% of the students admitted into law schools throughout the U.S. classify themselves as Hispanic.

Regent is committed to building an academic community that is truly representative of the population at-large, and so Regent Law is proud to announce its newest student organization: the Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA).

HLSA’s mission is to “foster ethnic diversity and awareness within our law school community as well as to actively serve and maintain awareness of legal issues within the global Hispanic community.”

3L Melissa Bray is President of this fledgling organization. She attributes the low percentage of Hispanic law students across the country to “the unique cultural challenges that make academic success difficult for Hispanics.”

She went on to explain that HLSA is not only important to the Regent Law community, but to the local Hampton Roads community as well. At roughly 4%, the Hispanic population of Hampton Roads is significantly lower than the national average, augmenting the cultural challenges local Hispanics face.

“HLSA will help the Hampton Roads Hispanic community to combat cultural barriers, to promote higher education, and inspire Hispanic youth to pursue law,” said Bray.

Professor Michael Hernandez, whose field specialties include Race and the Law, serves as faculty advisor for the organization. “Hispanics are a vital part of the American community,” he said, “and this organization will help make Regent Law a more attractive place for prospective Hispanic students who want a Christian legal education.”

To get involved with, or for more information about the Hispanic Law Student Association, please contact Melissa Bray at: melibr3@regent.edu.

Regent’s 2010-2011 HLSA Board Members are as follows:

Melissa Bray (President)
Keila Molina (Vice-President of Academic Affairs)
Nicole Thurston (Vice-President of Community Affairs)
Jillian Shierts (Director of Finances)
Noah Tyler (Administrative Director)


 - By Molly Eccles

Law Chapel: Man's Knowledge v. God's Wisdom and Power

At last Thursday’s Law Chapel service Regent Law professor Michael Hernandez reminded listeners to rely on God’s wisdom and power, as opposed to their own knowledge, to fuel their calling.

“I don’t want people to think that sitting in the classroom and filling your head with knowledge is equal to wisdom,” he said. According to Hernandez, the most knowledgeable person can lack wisdom, and the wisest person can lack knowledge.

Professor Hernandez came to Regent Law excited to teach but unsure of what subject he preferred – so long as it was not property, a subject of which he had little knowledge. As God would have it, however, property was just the position that needed to be filled, so when asked if he would teach the course he humbly responded, “I am here to serve.”

“When you’re in a position like that, you know what you don’t know,” he remarked about feeling ill-equipped to teach the subject. But God honored his willing spirit, and now, 19 years later, not only is he Regent Law’s go-to professor on the subject, but he has contributed to a number of publications on property law.

After sharing this personal anecdote he gave examples of two Biblical personae who refused to rely on their own knowledge to fulfill their calling. The first he spoke of was ill-educated but “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit… and God’s grace and power” (Acts 6:5,8), and stunned the greatest minds of his day; the other was well educated but whose “message and [whose] preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Cor. 2:1-5). Hernandez explained that both Stephen (the former) and Paul (the latter) are epitome examples of people whom God used to make “foolish the wisdom of the world” (1 Cor. 1:18-21).

“The question,” he said, “is not whether we should pursue knowledge. The question is our perception and our understanding of that knowledge.”

Ultimately, Professor Hernandez wanted listeners to remember that their faith and trust should not be in the tools of their knowledge but in the Giver of the calling for which they are acquiring knowledge.


 - By Molly Eccles

Regent Law In the News


Professor David Velloney was quoted in this Thursday, Jan. 20, article in the Virginian-Pilot, discussing a recent shooting in Suffolk, Va.

Professor James Duane was a guest on Nightside with Dan Rea / WBZ Newsradio Boston (syndicated to 38 states) to discuss his lecture titled “Don’t Talk to the Police” which became a viral sensation on YouTube.

Regent University Law Review – A Sneak Preview

The latest issue of the Regent University Law Review is at press. Topics addressed in this issue include the undercurrents of abortion in the Establishment Clause cases, California’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), federal preemption and global warming, and the implications of Melendez-Diaz on computerized evidence.

Established in 1991, the Law Review is published by Regent University School of Law student editors and staff members, chosen on the basis of academic achievement and writing ability, under the guidance of the law faculty. Past contributors include United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Charles Colson.

The Regent University Law Review is published twice annually. To order your copy or subscribe, please visit www.regent.edu/lawreview.

Law Chapel: Velloney Speaks on “Elijah, Obadiah and You”

“Those who risk little achieve little; those who risk the most achieve the most,” was the premise of Professor David Velloney’s message delivered in Law Chapel this week. Velloney admonished Christians to be risk-takers, no matter our gifts, temperaments, or professional calling.

Citing the story of Elijah’s encounter with Obadiah in I Kings 18:1-15, Velloney contrasted the lives of these two unique risk-takers for God. During a time of societal disintegration and a spiritual apostasy, God raised up Elijah, a rough-and-tumble mountain man, and Obadiah, a political leader in a strategic position, to serve His interests. They are examples for us as we face the challenge of living for God in a difficult environment.

It was known of Elijah that the Lord was His God, despite his unruly, temperamental nature. Velloney asked what is it about your life that declares to those around you that the Lord is your God? If you feel inadequate in your boldness to stand for the Lord, consider Elijah’s perspective. He believed in a LIVING, promise keeping God, lived in God’s presence and obeyed Him, though it often led him through difficult places of training.

Obadiah, a very different person in a very different station, was another of God’s risk-takers. As palace administrator for wicked king Ahab, he was in a trusted position of favor and authority. He used his position to boldly serve God by protecting many of His prophets during Jezebel’s bout of genocide and to pave the way for Elijah’s meeting with the king.

Obadiah reminds us that God has placed each of us exactly where He wants us for his purposes. Instead of thinking so much about other people, the Lord admonishes us in John 21:20-22 to concentrate on following Him ourselves. The distinctive examples of Elijah and Obadiah challenge us to follow Christ, recognize our gifts, and live out our own calling individually as we unite to serve God.

By way of application, Velloney asked, “How do we become risk-takers?” The reference to Elijah in James 5:17 shows that being a risk-taker begins with a personal relationship with God reflected in a life of prayer. “Prayer should be a major part of what we do at Regent Law,” said Velloney in closing, and he alluded to more to come to make prayer a priority at Regent Law this semester.


-By Kristy Morris

Regent Law Alumni and Faculty in the News


Regent Law alumna Shantell Nashatka (‘03) was profiled in the Young Lawyers section of Virginia Business magazine’s list of 2010 Legal Elite, where Regent Law adjunct professor and alumnus Shawn Voyles (’98) was also recognized. Attorney-in-Residence Randy Singer was honored on the Civil Litigation portion of the list.

Alumnus Nathan Olanson, J.D., CPA, LL.M. (’00) recently became partner of Rack & Olansen, a Virginia Beach law firm which specializes in estates and trusts, fiduciary services, elder law, taxation and charitable entities.

Dean Gantt Challenges Students to Brand Themselves

After a two month break for finals and the holiday season Regent Law’s student chaplain Jake Warner welcomed students, staff and faculty back to Law Chapel where Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Professor Natt Gantt recently served as speaker.

Gantt shared how an article he read over Christmas break challenged him to “think of [himself] as a brand” and ensure that his clothes served as an appropriate tool of marketing himself to the world. Although his (and the audience’s) initial reaction was to balk at the importance the article placed on one’s outward appearance as a means of manipulation, he began to consider how this could apply to him as a Christian.

While displaying a number of photos of celebrities from Justin Bieber to Sarah Palin to Brett Favre onscreen he asked his audience to consider how they brand themselves. He concluded the slide show with the all too infamous blank Facebook profile picture. “That is you, in case you couldn’t figure it out,” he chuckled, pointing toward the photo. “What is your brand, your image? How do people see you?”

Dean Gantt went on to explain that since Jesus’s last words to His apostles were to “be my witnesses” (Acts 1:6-9), Christians need to be sensitive to their “brand.”

“What is the name of this University?” he asked. He then defined a “Regent” as “a person who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign.” So as regents, or what he described as “mirrors of Christ,” Dean Gantt challenged listeners to think about how they are going to brand themselves in 2011 in a way that truthfully testifies of their Sovereign.


 - By Molly Eccles

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