Regent University School of Law students had an exceptional opportunity to witness appeals-in-action as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held case hearings at the law school on Thursday, March 28. Three Court of Appeals judges, hosted by Regent's Moot Court Board, heard oral arguments on three cases.
"Regent was honored to host the Fourth Circuit for the first time in the history of our law school," said Law dean Jeffrey Brauch. "This was an outstanding opportunity for our students and our faculty to see the work of the court in person and also interact with the visiting judges."
During its 2012-13 term, the Court, which is based in Richmond, Va., visited several law schools in Virginia and West Virginia to hear arguments. More than 300 Regent Law students, faculty and other guests filled the university's Moot Courtroom to observe the proceedings.
"This is one of the highest court systems in our country," said third-year law student, Ottie Allgood. "And for the Fourth Circuit Court to take the time to be here is a big deal."
Allgood explained that the court's presence on campus was not only an honor, but it also served as a reminder to students that their law school education will one day be put to practical use in their aspirations to become practicing attorneys.
"These cases today were real-world problems, and they will have real-world consequences," said Allgood. "It just really puts it into perspective as to why we're all here."
Aside from witnessing the oral arguments, Regent Law students also engaged in a question and answer session with the judges immediately following the hearings. The judges urged and encouraged current students to "write, write, write" and to tackle their briefs as though they would never have the opportunity to vocalize their arguments in court. They also encouraged the students as they begin to pursue careers at the end of their legal education.
At the invitation of the law school, about 20 students and teachers from the Legal Studies Academy at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach also attended the hearing. Sarah Benhoff, third-year law student, was impressed to see prospective law students in the audience.
"When I look back as an alumna, it will be good to see the school I attended helping future students," said Benhoff. "I'm already proud of my future alma mater."
Learn more about Regent University School of Law.
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