Faculty Achievements: Week ending May 30, 2014

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's paper, "A Brief Assessment of the 25-Year Effect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child," was recently listed on SSRN's top-10 download list for PSN: International Law/Compliance (Topic).

Professor Kenneth Ching posted a new essay on SSRN: "Beauty and Ugliness in Offer and Acceptance."

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's article, "Roe's Effects on Family Law," is now available on SSRN.

Professors Lynne Marie Kohm and Kathleen McKee had their article, "Examining the Associations Between Sustainable Development Population Policies and Human Trafficking," accepted for publication by Michigan State International Law Review.

Regent Law in Top 10 Percent for Moot Court Programs

Regent University School of Law's Moot Court Program closed the 2013-2014 season with a strong finish. In May 2014, the University of Houston released its Moot Court Competition rankings for law schools, and Regent's Moot Court Program was listed among the nation's top 20, finishing in the top 10 percent for law schools across the nation.

According to the University of Houston, Regent's program ranked ahead of other universities such as Harvard Law School, Yale Law School and the University of Virginia Law School.

"I was really pleased to see our recognition in the latest ranking," said Jeffrey Brauch, dean of the School of Law. "It reflects the hard work, the dedication and the success of a lot of people—from our talented students to the outstanding faculty and coaches who prepare them."

Michael Hernandez, professor in the School of Law and faculty adviser to the Moot Court Board, agreed that this ranking accurately portrays the quality of Regent's Moot Court Program, and should be a factor for prospective law students when choosing their law programs.

"In this environment and this economy, prospective students want to know they're going to get the important skill sets to practice law well," said Hernandez.

Regent's Moot Court Program earned "Best Brief" and "Best Oralist" honors at several national competitions throughout the year, and also claimed second place at the 2014 National Religious Freedom Moot Court Competition in April.

According to Hernandez, the program couldn't have reached its current ranking without the help of his colleagues who worked well together to ensure the success of the students' arguments and briefs.

"We've also had some very successful years in the past—and it really shows the value of not only our staff, but our exceptional students," said Hernandez. "It's a team effort."

See a full listing of Regent Law awards.

By Brett Wilson

Andrew Butler’s Story

In April—only a few weeks before his first year at Regent Law would come to a close—Andrew Butler received news that he had a 6-centimeter brain tumor.

Andrew and his fiancĂ©e Jane flew to The University of Kansas Hospital to meet with Dr. Paul Camarata, one of the best neurosurgeons in the United States. After evaluating Andrew’s MRI, Dr. Camarata determined that the mass appeared cancerous. He scheduled Andrew’s surgery for May 1.

Andrew and Jane, photo by Chelsea Diane Photography

As Andrew prepared for his 8:30 a.m. surgery on May 1, the Regent Law community gathered to pray for Andrew, Jane, and their families.

About two weeks after Andrew first learned why he was having such excruciating headaches, he received great news: the tumor was benign.

Andrew recounted his experience on his Facebook page.

“The Lord has demonstrated His sovereignty, grace, and goodness to Jane and me in new ways over the last two weeks. It is impossible for me to think about where we find ourselves at this moment without seeing His handiwork and design. I cannot help but say with Paul: ‘If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied’ (1 Corinthians 15:19).”

“My hope is not in this life, but there is a very true sense in which this brain tumor has changed my life. The Lord has already allowed this circumstance to bless me and bless others. It is my prayer that we do not forfeit any of the opportunities made available to us in the Lord by this brain tumor. To God be the glory.”

Andrew and Jane will be married on May 25 as they initially planned. He will finish up his final exams this summer.

Joel Ready, a student in the Two-Year J.D. program, initiated a fundraiser for Andrew and Jane to help cover the couple’s medical and travel expenses. If you want to contribute to the fund, you may do so here.

Faculty Achievements: Week ending May 16, 2014

Professors Eric DeGroffNatt Gantt, and Benjamin Madison were invited to the Professional Formation Workshop: Helping Each Student Internalize the Core Values and Ideals of the Profession. The workshop will be held at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota from June 26-29.

In his latest video, Professor James Duane shares helpful tips on the law of hearsay to help students prepare for the bar exam.

Professor Natt Gantt will speak on May 29 at the 11th annual Prayer Breakfast at the LSAC Annual Meeting and Educational Conference in Asheville, N.C.

Professors Natt Gantt and Benjamin Madison are sending the final draft of their chapter on teaching ethical professional identity formation to Building on Best Practices in Legal Education. The chapter will be published this month.

Professor Benjamin Madison will speak at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference, which will be held August 1-7 in Florida. Professor Madison will serve on two panels related to new law teaching issues. He will also speak with a group of leading scholars on "Ways to Incorporate Ethical Professional Identity Formation into One's Law School."

Regent Law Review plans to publish Professor Benjamin Madison's article, "The Emperor Has No Clothes: How Law Schools Are Failing to Cultivate Professional Formation and Practical Judgment," in its symposium on this topic in the fall. Professors Madison and Gantt will collaborate on the article and speak together at the symposium.

Professor Scott Pryor, creator of Regent Law’s Bankruptcy Practicum, and attorney G. Russell Boleman, who mentors students in the practicum, are featured in two recent issues of the American Bankruptcy Institute JournalRead the full story.

Professor Gloria Whittico received an offer from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and its affiliate, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to publish her article, "A Woman's Pride and a Mother's Love: The Missouri Freedom Suits and the Lengths and Limits of Justice."

Bankruptcy Practicum Founder and One of Virginia’s Leading Bankruptcy Attorneys Featured in ABI Journal

Professor Scott Pryor, creator of the Regent Law’s Bankruptcy Practicum, and attorney G. Russell Boleman, who mentors students in the practicum, are featured in two recent issues of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal.

Professor Pryor (pictured), former 2013 American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Resident Scholar, is highlighted in the April 2014 ABI Journal regarding the inauguration of Regent Law’s Bankruptcy Practicum for the Spring Semester 2014.

Boleman, who is also the founding attorney of Boleman Law Firm, PC, Virginia’s largest consumer bankruptcy law firm, is highlighted in the May 2014 ABI Journal for his $50,000 contribution to the ABI Endowment Fund. Contributions to the fund fuel research and education initiatives dealing with bankruptcy and insolvency.

Regent Law’s Bankruptcy Practicum accepts about three students each semester. Through the practicum, students gain professional skills in applying legal concepts to real-life situations and interacting with clients facing financial hardship. Each semester, students spend 60 or more hours working in mentoring relationships with bankruptcy lawyers in Hampton Roads.

Faculty Achievements: Week ending May 9, 2014

Professor James Duane was quoted in an article featured on NorthJersey.com regarding the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal.

Randy Singer, attorney-in-residence and director of the Singer Civil Litigation Practicum, and several Regent Law students who clerk for Signer went to trial in Westmoreland County on behalf of a client whose stepfather was accused of leaving his wife to die of exposure during a snow storm in February 2010. Following the three-day trial, the jury awarded Singer's clients $6 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages. Read the story published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Two Regent Law Students Receive Competitive Blackstone Fellowships

Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a ministry of Alliance Defending Freedom, attracts top-notch law students who desire training in natural law and aspire to work for organizations that defend Biblical principles and seek justice for the oppressed.

This summer, two Regent Law students have the honor of serving as Blackstone Fellows, bringing the total number of Regent Law students who have been accepted into the program since it launched in 2000 to 100 students. Thirty-one students have been Blackstone Fellows in the last five years.

Sandra Alcaide (pictured) will work for the International Justice Mission in South Asia, and Leah Achor will serve Alliance Defending Freedom in Washington, D.C.

Leah was first impacted by Alliance Defending Freedom as an undergraduate student at Geneva College, which had filed a lawsuit against the Health and Human Services Administration. The contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act conflicted with the institution’s religious beliefs.

“I admired the ADF attorneys' passion for protecting my school's religious conscience and decided that I wanted to do the very same work,” Leah says. “The Blackstone Fellowship will put me steps closer to achieving that goal.”

Leah will spend her time researching and writing for ADF’s Marriage and Family section, which is dedicated to protecting the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Through Blackstone, Sandra received a six-week internship with IJM. She will review IJM advocates’ trip reports, create curriculum materials for training advocates in organizations that partner with IJM, research, and write briefs.

“After receiving an excellent but highly biased education as an undergraduate student at New York University, I was very interested in receiving training based on natural law principles, as well as practical experience that would allow me to make a difference in the current legal system,” Sandra explains. “I knew I wanted to practice the law in a way that honored God, and Blackstone seemed like a perfect fit in equipping me to think and practice law in a way that challenges the status quo.”

Before they begin their six-week internships, Leah and Sandra will spend two weeks attending lectures, seminars, and discussions designed to help law students develop a Biblical perspective of the law. The fellowships conclude with a one-week debrief.

Regent Presents the Class of 2014

On Saturday, May 3, an academic sea of caps, gowns, hoods and the graduates who earned them processed through the Library Plaza on Regent University's campus in Virginia Beach, Va.

There, more than 1,400 representatives from Regent's eight schools crossed the threshold from the role of student to alumni at the 2014 commencement ceremony.

Following the National Anthem sung by Cassidy and Tess Parroco, and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" led by Regent's worship team and Rev. Jason Peaks, Regent's founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, greeted the class of 2014, and the 7,000-member crowd who cheered them on through the ceremony's opening.

"This is a glorious time and a glorious day," said Robertson, announcing with joy that this year's ceremony honors the largest number of graduates in Regent's entire history.

Daniel Sellers, chairman of Regent's board of trustees, greeted the graduates and their loved ones. He said that he believes the "sun never sets" on Regent, because he has witnessed so many Christian leaders make an impact on the world.

"On this momentous occasion, I see the hope of our nation, and I see a vision for a bright future," said Sellers. "Remember, the prayers, blessings and support of the Regent family will always be with you."

Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D. (pictured), emeritus professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was the ceremony's keynote speaker. Carson is perhaps, best-known for pioneering the first successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins in 1987—a result of his pursuits of his childhood desire to become a doctor.

"There is a reason God gave us the capacity to dream," said Carson. "Because even if it seems as if those dreams will not come to pass, they are what give you the drive when everything seems to be falling apart."

Carson recalled a time in his personal history when his family was broken as the result of his parent's divorce. However, his mother persevered, holding onto several jobs to avoid needing welfare, and encouraging her sons to read often and learn on their own. The discipline Carson acquired as a result is what spurred him forward from being the classroom "dummy" to becoming the star pupil.

"The most important thing she did for us was to not accept excuses," said Carson. He explained that individuals who take responsibility for their actions and failures are more inclined to success.

"People who don't achieve a lot have a lot of excuses about everything and don't become problem-solvers," said Carson. "We're better than this."

Carson challenged his listeners to spend a half an hour a day focused on learning something new. "I guarantee you that in a year's time people who haven't seen you in a while won't recognize you, you will be so knowledgeable," he said.

Knowledge, according to Carson, is a "formidable foe to falsehood, and a formidable friend to truth." However, Carson also explained that courage must accompany knowledge in order to have a leading impact on the nation and the world. He asked his audience to reflect on the accomplishments of America's founders, who risked their lives in order to ensure a bright hope for tomorrow.

"Don't let the words of the National Anthem roll off of your tongue," said Carson. "Remember that it is impossible to be free if you are not brave."

Following Carson's address, Robertson offered a charge to the graduates. He encouraged them to reflect on the Old Testament passage of Jeremiah 29:11, being confident that God promises to "prosper and give hope and a future."

"You are prepared; don't be afraid. I want you to recognize that when you leave here today that you walk out into the hand of God," said Robertson. "Say with confidence, 'We're going to go forward!' and let's change the world we live in to bring forth those principles that will guarantee success."

Communication & the Arts graduate Elizabeth M. Litwak responded to the chancellor's charge on behalf of the class of 2014.

"As students, we all chose to come here for a reason. Hopefully one of those reasons was to learn something, perhaps to walk alongside distinguished professors, eventually landing a job," she said.

Litwak reminded her peers of the students of Galilee, who would be so submerged in following their teachers, that they would become dirtied with the dust of their Rabbi's feet. She encouraged her fellow graduates to follow Christ in the same light.

"So what will you do? Your training is complete. Are you willing to follow Jesus closely?" asked Litwak. "If you are, the future might look a little different than you think."

Following the keynote address, Dr. Paul Bonicelli, Regent's executive vice president, presented the annual Chancellor's Award to Dr. Mary Manjikian, associate dean of the Robertson School of Government (RSG) and RSG's University Accreditation Faculty Leader. Manjikian was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study, and has published three books and several articles in distinguished peer-reviewed journals.

Chancellor Robertson then announced Kevin Turpin '01 (School of Divinity) as the recipient of the 2014 Alumnus of the Year award. Turpin serves as the associate pastor of New Life Providence Church in Virginia Beach, Va. Throughout his ministerial calling, Turpin founded the Life Enrichment Center of Norfolk. The nonprofit organization serves at-risk adults and youth by advocating for literacy, mentoring and outreach programs for members of the Hampton Roads community. He currently serves as director for the organization.

Following these recognitions, graduates from each school crossed the platform to begin the next stage of their lives as leading world-changers. Regent University wishes a heart-felt congratulations to all of its 2014 graduates.

By Brett Wilson
Photo courtesy of Alex Perry.

Faculty Achievements: Week ending May 2, 2014

On April 9, Professor James Duane spoke about constitutional criminal procedure at the invitation of the Federalist Society at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Professor Kathleen McKee has given presentations at several local venues to educate the public on human trafficking. Professor McKee and Professor Lynn Marie Kohm will send their article on that topic, "Examining the Associations Between Sustainable Development Population Policies and Human Trafficking," to publishers.

Professor Scott Pryor was a panelist and presenter at Widener Law Journal’s April 14 symposium “Solving the Problem of Municipal Financial Distress.” His paper, which addresses taxpayer standing in municipal bankruptcy, will be published in theWidener Law Journal.

Alumni News Recap: April 2014

One hundred percent of Regent University School of Law graduates passed the February 2014 Virginia Bar Exam on their first attempt, according to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners. The average pass rate for state-wide first-time bar exam takers was 69.96 percent. Read the full story here.

David Cortman ('96) recently published "CORTMAN: Abortion pill mandate, Hobby Lobby, and why the Supreme Court should honor faith," in The Washington Times.

Alumnus Steven Fitschen ('99) filed an amicus brief this week, defending the right of the state of Virginia to limit marriage to one man and one woman.

Brian M. Latuga ('13) is the assistant commonwealth’s attorney in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Nicole Thurston ('11) joined the law firm of Poole Mahoney PC as part of the firm’s divorce and family law practice group. She works from the Virginia Beach office.

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...