Regent Law Alumnus Named Assistant to Norfolk City Manager

Wynter Benda ‘02 (Law) was named assistant to the city manager of Norfolk, Va., according to this Friday, Feb. 25, article in The Virginian-Pilot

BLSA Symposium: Changing the Horizon – Fairness in Sentencing

In observation of Black History Month, Regent’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) hosted its first ever symposium. The Saturday, February 19th event focused on “Changing the Horizon – Fairness in Sentencing.”

“The purpose of this program [was] to foster an academic dialogue about legal issues that affect the black community,” said a BLSA representative. “The dialogue explored the recent Supreme Court decision regarding disproportionate sentencing guidelines and how those guidelines have a disparate impact on the black community.”

The morning kicked off with a meet and greet breakfast generously sponsored by the South Hampton Roads Bar Association.

The first session featured guest panelist Dr. Valerie Wright, a criminologist who works as a research analyst for The Sentencing Project, and Professor and Director of Regent Law's Civil Litigation Clinic, Kathleen McKee. During the session they answered the question “If racial and ethnic disparities exist, how do we eliminate the gap?”

Next, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Newport News, Howard Gwynn, and Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney, Greg Underwood, discussed “The Reality of Recidivism – Public Safety vs. Offender Outcomes.”

In the day’s final session Dr. Wright and Professor McKee returned to address sentencing guidelines in a session on the impact of Kimbrough v. United States and the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 on minority communities.

The day concluded with participants attending a soul food cafĂ© luncheon, where they discussed everything from the colloquium’s concepts and conclusions to classes, work, and personal lives.

The Regent Black Law Students Association exists “to promote community service in neighboring black communities and to be a vehicle of spiritual, academic and cultural awareness and support for black law students.”

For more information on the symposium and on the Black Law Students Association please contact

- By Molly Eccles

Law Chapel: The Heart of the Life Issue

“Life is about relationships,” began Regent’s John Brown McCarty Professor of Family Law, Lynne Kohm, at last week’s Law Chapel. She explained that communication is what builds them up, while a lack of it can tear relationships down.

“New life begins with communication,” she said. Her cheerful tone suddenly morphed into one of sober compassion. “The progression from a relationship to an abortion goes something like this: Relationship leads to sexual activity; sexual activity leads to pregnancy; pregnancy leads to new life - or abortion.”

Kohm then went on to share the results of multiple statistical studies, including one by the Guttmacher Institute and another by the Barna Group, both of which concluded that around 70% of abortions in America are performed on women who claim some kind of a relationship to Christianity while over 80% are performed on unmarried women. She explained that the majority of these pregnancies are clearly as a result of sexual impurity.

“‘Christians are fighting to make something illegal – a practice whose largest client base is comprised of other Christians,’” she quoted from commentary she encountered while preparing for her message. “Can you not see that this smacks of hypocrisy? Can abortion be eliminated in the world if it is not first eliminated in our own [church] body?”

To do that, she proposed that we must get to the heart of the life issue, which she explained is none other than the heart itself. She shared another slew of heartbreaking statistics surrounding Christians’ and church leaders’ approval of/ participation in such areas of impurity as adultery, porn, and drunkenness. Instead of discouraging abortion and other sinful behavior by picketing abortion clinics and attempting to pass litigation that makes them illegal (which, she explained, are not necessarily bad pursuits), Professor Kohm emphasized the need to eliminate the source of the sin by encouraging purity of heart through integrity (2 Cor. 1-2), genuine repentance (Ps. 51:1-9), and Christ’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

Although she earlier admitted that this was not the subject she initially intended on sharing, but was one which she felt compelled by the Lord to share only the day before, chapel attendants were left humbled, challenged, and impassioned as Professor Kohm walked away from the lectern.

To learn more about the heart of the life issue visit Professor Kohm’s Family Restoration blog.

- By Molly Eccles

Regent Law Hosts 2011 National Moot Court Competition

The Regent Law Moot Court Board was honored to host Regent’s 10th Annual National Constitutional Law competition held on campus February 11-12.

As the event hosts, Regent Law Moot Court Board teams did not participate in the competition.

3Ls Justin Hoover and Jessica Kuehn (pictured with Chairman Linh Flores) of the William and Mary School of Law won by a 5 to 4 panel decision against 3L Spencer Drake and 2L Mark Hicks of the newly accredited Liberty University School of Law in the final round of competition.

Participating teams represented 11 law schools from around the country including regional teams from the University of Virginia, University of Richmond, and Villanova and teams from as far away as Roger Williams in Rhode Island, the University of Florida and Brigham Young University in Utah. 

Teams argued a hypothetical case involving a challenge to the recently enacted healthcare legislation before a distinguished panel of volunteer judges including Judge John C. Gemmill of the Arizona Court of Appeals who served as Chief Judge, Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. of the Virginia Court of Appeals, Judge David S. Cayer, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and Judge Glen E. Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.  Mrs. Candice Hooper, Assistant Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Richmond, Va., served as keynote speaker for the event.

Regent’s Moot Court Board will send two teams to the William B. Spong, Jr. Invitational Tournament this coming weekend at William and Mary, and two Regent Law teams will also travel to New York for the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) National Appellate Advocacy Competition March 3 - 5.

Moot court competitions offer opportunities for participating students to hone their legal skills by preparing and arguing cases before experienced, practicing legal professionals.  The judges, attorneys, and law professors offer invaluable commentary and feedback to the students, helping them become better written and oral legal advocates.

Click here for a listing of Regent Law’s most recent Moot Court and other championships.

- By Kristy Morris

Law Chapel: Homelessness and Reconciliation

Last week Regent Law welcomed Rev. Dr. Sang-Ching Choi to campus as a guest speaker at Law Chapel. The only ordained, Korean Mennonite pastor in the world and an adjunct professor at the Southern Baptist Seminary, Dr. Choi founded the APPA Ministry Center in Washington, D.C., a service to the homeless community that includes a shelter, church, legal and medical clinics, and after-school programs.

Dr. Choi opened his talk with a powerful video depicting the homeless men, women and children of Washington, D.C., who are served by the APPA Ministry Center.

Dr. Choi, whose surname means “peacemaker,” shared a personal story of how the conflict between his father and uncle - who fought on opposing sides of the Korean War - spawned his interest in issues of peace and reconciliation. When he came to the United States from Korea in the 1990’s to earn a Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution from George Mason University he was struck by the racially motivated violence against Korean Americans he encountered in our nation’s Capitol.

During his time in the U.S., Dr. Choi said God touched his heart, and he responded to God’s call in Isaiah 6 to be sent to the homeless of Washington, D.C. Fifteen years ago, Dr. Choi founded the APPA Ministry Center which grew rapidly, and today is headed by nine of the homeless men and women touched by the ministry. Through their efforts the ministry estimates that several thousand homeless have come to know Christ.

Dr. Choi shared how recently he voluntarily spent 30 days living like a homeless person. During his homeless experience, Choi said he found Jesus to be all He said He was as mediator, negotiator, and reconciler. He referenced Matthew 8:20 and reminded listeners that Jesus Christ himself was homeless, and that through His homelessness we are saved and given entrance to Heaven.

He challenged students not to draw stereotypes about homeless people, stating that the primary reason 3.2 million people in the U.S. are without a place to live is not due to drug or alcohol abuse but to war trauma.

Stressing the need to promote peace and reconciliation, Dr. Choi appealed to Regent Law students to respond to that need. He suggested that the world does not need more lawyers, but that it does need more Christ-centered lawyers who will answer the call to serve as reconcilers and mediators in the legal profession.

 - By Kristy Morris

Regent Law In the News

Regent Law Professor James Duane was recently referred to as “one of the most interesting lawyers in the country” while being interviewed on the 5th Amendment “right to remain silent” on Boston WBZ 1030’s NightSide with Dan Rea.

In January, Virginia native and Regent Law alumna Dawn Layton became the first woman to be appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney of Richmond County. Click here to read the article lauding her promotion.

Regent Law Community Refocuses at the Student Faculty Retreat

Morning classes were canceled on Wednesday, January 26, so that deans, faculty and the entire student body could gather for one of the events that makes Regent Law distinctly Christian: the annual Student Faculty Retreat.

Held just down the road from campus at the New Covenant Presbyterian Church, the Regent Law Retreat was a time for the law school community to set aside the rigors of academic study and reflect on and reorient around the mission and vision that drives them, namely what it means to serve God in their legal calling.

A time of singing followed an invocation and opening prayer from Regent Law Dean Jeffrey Brauch. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Doug Cook, emceed the event, introducing the keynote speakers: Mike Schutt, faculty member and director of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies (ICLS), a cooperative ministry of Regent Law and the Christian Legal Society, and alumnus Jonathan Feavel (’94), a private, general practitioner in Vincennes, Indiana.

From 1 Pet. 4:10-12, Schutt reminded participants that serving God and sharing in His work as recipients and stewards of His grace is a privilege. “I don’t think there is any better place in the world [than Regent] to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to figure out the implications of that on legal calling.”

Schutt also warned against pride and spiritual sloth which reject God as the principal focus of life. One symptom of spiritual sloth can be workaholism, filling time with busyness to distract from asking the tough questions that show whether or not we are really serving the Lord. Schutt ended with a challenge to practice living generously and gladly now and to embrace drudgery as part of God’s calling.

In the same tenor, Feavel reminded the community that the chief end of man, as stated in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” He shared personal examples to illustrate how this plays out in his particular legal calling and said the key principle is to “make your practice of law worship.”
Feavel also reminded faculty and students that their personal counsel was not good enough. “We glorify God in our practice when we submit to the eternal counsel of God ourselves, so we can give that counsel to others, ” he said.

The morning ended with impromptu testimonials from students who shared how the Lord brought them to Regent Law and has worked in their lives here. Several prayed for the group.

Dean Cook closed the retreat with prayer and invited faculty and students to gather for lunch back on campus in the Regent Library atrium to discuss the implications of the morning’s messages with one another. The retreat was an opportunity for the Regent Law community to be reminded that law is not just a profession. It’s a calling.

- By Kristy Morris

Regent Law Secures Victory at 12th Annual Statewide Legal Food Frenzy for Third Year Running

Regent University School of Law students, faculty,  and staff contributed to the 1.5 million pounds of food collected by the local legal com...