Skip to main content

Law School Launches Uganda Summer Program

For Regent University School of Law students longing to fulfill the Biblical charge of "seeking justice" and "encouraging the oppressed," changing the world begins in Uganda.

This summer marked the pilot summer program as Regent partnered with Uganda Christian University (UCU), located just outside of the nation's capital city of Kampala. Students participating in this month-long program earned four credit hours toward their law degree as they studied courses in the East Africa Legal Environment and Human Rights in Africa.

"We wanted to develop a summer program for our students who want to work in East Africa," said David Velloney, School of Law adjunct faculty member and developer of the summer program. "We've seen an increase in undergraduates and older students coming to law school who are interested in social and international justice issues. This program will help all of our students be better trained in that."

Velloney credits simple awareness of the many international social justice issues—such as slavery and sex trafficking—as the catalyst for the program. Students, while learning within the East African context, have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to combat these issues that are prevalent in many East African nations.

"God is in the business of reconciling the world to Himself," said Velloney. "These are hurting, oppressed people—and helping them is on the hearts of our students because it's on the heart of God."

During the program, UCU provided administrative and logistical support, offered areas for students to study, and coordinated guest lecturers and visits to the nation's legal institutions.

"We look at Uganda Christian University as a great school to be affiliated with because they're doing things right in terms of their influence within society and their influence in training leaders for the country," said Velloney. "And they're doing it in East Africa."

Progress for the program began in February 2012—the start of the 18-month long process of beginning and accrediting the summer program. Velloney's 20-year tenure in the U.S. Army as a lawyer and his experience as a law school professor, along with his own passion for aiding oppressed peoples, prepared him for the initiation of the program.

And while it is essential for students to have a strong calling to alleviate major social justice issues in the world—whether in the United States or overseas—Velloney explained that true opportunities to make a global impact is to have the patience to learn basic legal skills.

"Develop a heart and vision for the world, but also develop your skillset now and work hard," said Velloney. "It will pay dividends down the road."

Learn more about the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

By Brett Wilson
Photo courtesy of David Velloney.

Popular posts from this blog

Regent Law Trains Lawyers Called to Fight for Social Justice

As Regional Legal Coordinator with Freedom Firm in Maharashtra, India, Evan Henck ‘07 helps unravel the complex legal and social difficulties that come with prosecuting sex trafficking.
Evan’s virtual journal entry below depicts the sobering reality of the sex trade even as it celebrates the Freedom Firm’s recent progress. It originally appeared in the 2010 Spring/Summer edition of “Brief Remark”, Regent University School of Law’s new biannual publication.
From giving papers at a national human rights conferences and training human rights attorneys, to subsidizing summer internships within the nascent Center for Global Justice, the Regent Law community is committed to furthering the cause of justice at home and abroad.
If you feel called to the legal profession and to the fight for social justice, a Regent J.D. might be for you. Learn more here.

Jan. 16 2010
Maharashtra, India
In January an informant phoned Suresh Pawar, a human rights activist with the Freedom Firm in Maharashtra, India,…

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Speaks at Regent Law Chapel

Raising nearly 30 children has provided Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann with negotiating skills that serve her well in the nation's capital. Bachmann, a passionate advocate for foster care and adoption, visited Regent University on November 20 as part of the university's recognition of National Adoption Awareness Month.

Bachmann and her husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, are the parents of five biological children and 23 foster children. She shared their story as parents and also their connection to Regent during a special law chapel for students, faculty and staff.

"It's been a marvelous experience for us. Being foster parents has allowed us to teach our biological kids that they're not the only kids in the world," Bachmann said. "Our foster care kids have been able to see what a picture of an imperfect 'normal' family is like. And we saw the beauty and worth in them.

"Twenty-three times, we've seen these kids graduate from high sc…

Regent Law Dean Appointed to Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association

On Saturday, January 21, the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) inaugurated its statewide representatives for their 2017 term.

Regent University School of Law (LAW) Dean Michael Hernandez was among those new leaders as he accepted his appointment as a representative by the Board of Governors of the VBA.

Hernandez will represent law schools on the VBA board for a minimum of a one-year term. He is the first Regent LAW faculty member to be appointed to this distinction.

“It is an honor to serve as the sole law school representative on the Board of Governors and a privilege to be a part of this accomplished group of prominent attorneys.  I am excited to work with the other Board members to build on and continue the standard of excellence that the VBA has upheld since it was founded in 1888,” said Hernandez.

“The other members of the Board of Governors are the most accomplished lawyers in Virginia, and the Board is collegial and committed to the highest standards of professionalism,” …