School of Law Black Law Student Association Hosts Dress for Success Event

Whether headed to a legal interview, a judicial clerkship, or a first day of court, first impression is vital.  Regent Law’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA) provided some "Do's and Don'ts" of successful dress to help the law student body.

The event began with a raffle and gift cards to help attendees put together their own professional wardrobes. 

The audience then gathered for a “Legal Trends” fashion show that presented both appropriate and inappropriate attire for legal professionals.  A panel of judges provided commentary to the models, offered tips to the audience about dressing for the job, and answered audience questions.

What Not to Wear to Court
“The Robertson Hall Atrium was transformed and it was extremely rewarding to see our vision come to fruition,” stated Natasha Delille (’17), Public Policy and Initiative Co-Director of BLSA. “We are happy with the positive feedback we received and thankful for all of the sponsors, participants and attendees.”

The event was both informative and fun, and provided valuable information to those beginning legal careers.

by Kassandra Sheaffer

School of Law Presents the Ronald L. Fick Book Award Ceremony

When Ronald Fick, shareholder and attorney at Dunwody White & Landon, P.A. in Palm Beach, Florida, learned that his daughter, Allison Fick ’14 (LAW) received the highest grade in her Contracts I course, he proudly proclaimed that she would receive the book award for her efforts.

But he didn't know that, at the time, Regent University’s School of Law had no book award program.

“I decided I’d make a concerted effort to see if I could convince Regent to begin giving these awards to honor future students, like today’s recipients,” said Fick.

Due to that effort, Regent launched its first set of book awards in January 2014. The second set was awarded in September 2014, just in time for Fick’s daughter to be presented with an award for the highest marks in her Corporate Tax class.

“All’s well that ends well,” Fick said to LAW students, faculty and staff at the Ronald L. Fick Book Award Ceremony on Thursday, January 21st. This semester’s ceremony honored students who received the highest marks in their fall 2015 courses.

“Today, I’d like to take a moment to thank the law school administration and faculty who are working very hard to prepare you students to become the next generation of lawyers,” said Fick. “Regent has assembled one of the finest law school faculties in the country. All of the men and women who serve on this illustrious faculty are not only accomplished in their particular area of law, but are also men and women of God.”

Additionally, Jared Birckholtz ‘10 (LAW), alumnus and staff counsel for Geico, presented a monetary award for excellence of performance in Negotiations and community service. He congratulated the book award recipients, and encouraged them to keep their focus on their character.

“I’ve come to realize the integrity that you have carries over and is a huge part of your practice,” said Birckholtz. “Seventy-five percent of my job is building relationships and being a man of my word. You all have the book-knowledge; you’re very smart. And you’re well-equipped because of the faculty here. Build on that integrity.”

Law students Cassandra Payton ‘16 and Sean Mitchell ’15 received the Geico honor. Mitchell said the honor was not something he won on his own, but was a collection of all his studies at law school and the guidance from the faculty. He recalled shopping in Home Depot the day he received an email notifying him that he had been admitted into law school.

“I immediately dropped to my knee in the middle of Home Depot and thanked God for all he’d done and what he was going to do. So my plan for late April after I take the bar exam is to go back to that same Home Depot and wait,” said Mitchell with a laugh. “My only hope is that I’ll do whatever it is that God has for me to do.”

Payton also received the book award for her Secured Transactions course, a feat that she never thought was possible until she changed her priorities. She began to find joy, and even fun, in her studies.

“I was so shocked that I’d achieved the highest grade in two classes, and it was the semester I wasn’t trying for the grade’s sake, I was trying for the sake of the Lord,” said Payton. “I think last fall was one of my best semesters because I had a great time. I enjoyed my work.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

Regent's School of Law Teams Make Waves in Start of Moot Court Competitions

by Brett Wilson Tubbs

The game is strong for Regent University’s School of Law (LAW) 2016 Moot Court competition teams.

Each January, the top 16 Moot Court programs in the United States are invited to participate in the annual Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship at the University of Houston. Regent was selected to participate after being ranked 8th in the nation by the University of Houston Law Center at the conclusion of the 2015 competition season.

Left to Right: Renee Knudsen, Marie Dienhart, Palmer Horst,
and Coach Michael Hernandez
Photo Credit: RUSL
During the competition January 28-29, students Renee Knudsen, Palmer Horst, and Marie Dienhart defended their way to second-place in the nation, just behind Georgetown as they competed with teams from schools such as Southern Methodist University, New York University and Texas Tech University. The Regent team also took home the award for best brief.

The team was coached by LAW dean, Michael Hernandez.

“The success of our teams is a testimony to the purpose and quality of a Regent Law education. Moot court competitions test the primary essential skills of lawyering—analytical ability, legal research, persuasive writing and speaking, teamwork, and advocating for a client under pressure,” said Hernandez. “These achievements reflect that the quality of the skills training and legal education provided by Regent Law stands out in the U.S. and around the world.”

Continuing the streak, Christy Hurst, Palmer Hurst and Sandra Alcaide won first place at Regional Rounds in the Americas of the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition in New York City this past weekend.

The team, coached by LAW professor Jeffrey Brauch, won the best brief, and Alcaide earned the marks for best oral advocate. This is the second year in a row that a team from Regent has swept the competition.

Left to Right: Christy Hurst, Palmer Hurst, Sandra Alcaide,
and Coach Jeffrey Brauch
Photo Credit: Ann LeBlanc - 2016
“Advancing to the international rounds is a tremendous honor. We know we’ll be up against the best in the world, which is an exciting opportunity, but still a daunting challenge,” said C. Hurst. “Looking back at all of our hard work, it is satisfying to know that it was well worth all of the time spent! It is also a testament to God’s blessing of our preparation that we are able to continue to Oxford. I saw His hand at every step of the way as he walked us through the rounds this week! From giving our team the side we wanted to argue in each round to removing potential obstacles, we were tremendously blessed.”

They will advance to the international championship rounds of the competition at Oxford University March 30-April 2nd, the same competition where Regent’s team placed second in the world in 2013.

Additionally, the team did a home-turf victory lap on Monday, February 1, making an appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club. Watch the interview here.

“I was very proud watching the Regent team compete this weekend. Palmer Hurst and Sandra Alcaide competed at a very high level and grew stronger by the round. Their diligent preparation combined with their natural giftedness made them a powerful team. I was also proud of the work the entire team – Sandra, Palmer, and Christy Hurst – did on the memorials (written arguments),” said Brauch. “To win the Best Memorial for the entire Western Hemisphere is a tremendous accomplishment. We praise God for his grace! And we are excited to compete for the world championship in Oxford next month.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

Child Advocacy Practicum Hosts "Advocating for our Adolescents" Forum

Hurt people hurt people. It's a vicious cycle that oftentimes began in the home for many United States juveniles lost within the pipeline.

On Thursday, November 19, Regent University School of Law's (LAW) Child Advocacy Practicum hosted "Advocating for our Adolescents," a panel discussion exploring what serves "the best interest of the child" in the realm of crime and punishment.

Special guests were brought to campus by Brittany Tabb '16 (LAW), who currently works with Lynne Kohm, associate dean of LAW Faculty Development & External Affairs and the Child Advocacy Program, and The Clapham Group, which represents clients to address modern-day injustices.

Abby Skeans '14 (LAW), an associate at The Clapham Group, took the practicum at Regent when the program was in its infancy. Kohm said that she is happy to see her students care for such important issues such as making sure incarcerated children are "treated like human beings."

"I knew Brittany was very interested in juveniles as in terms of the legal requirement for how to treat children when they're in court. I knew it should be Brittany, and she's done a great job," said Kohm. "She just has a heart for this."

The juvenile reform panel included Judge Patricia West, distinguished professor and associate dean of students in LAW, and Linda Filippi, executive director of Tidewater Youth Services Commission. Together they discussed the past, present and future of juvenile justice reform in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"I believe that prevention is cheaper than correction," said Gabriel Morgan Sr., sheriff of Newport News, Virginia, who was present for the panel. He said the "do the crime, do the time" philosophy of punishing non-violent juvenile delinquents is nothing more than a "codification of sound bytes."

He noted that it takes up to $31,000 a year to house one adult in a correctional facility and $155,000 to place one juvenile. On the flip side, $8,000-$9,000 is the average annual cost per student for K-12 education.

"We need to put our money up front and help them read, so that we don't have to pay in the back end," said Morgan.

According to Linda Bryant, deputy attorney general for Virginia's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Division, children who witness traumas at a young age are more likely to replicate them. This is why she believes in a mentorship, having spent much of her career finding children who had run away – and even going so far as to become a godmother to a six-year-old client who had witnessed her mother's violent death.

"If you're a decent person, you can't turn your back when the case is done," said Bryant. For Judge Randall Blow, who serves in the Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, the solution for dropping crime statistics among juveniles is finding more programs for parents.

"Children have to learn that they can't walk all over authority," said Blow. "Most of the time this happens, because 'the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.'"

He called for a "creative" and more flexible sentencing process that has less "zero tolerance policies" and uses "common sense." To him, "sparing the rod" isn't always an effective method for crime-prevention.

But for Gina Lyles, program leader at Art 180 Atlas Center, "prisons don't work." By many accounts, Lyles admittedly fits the description: witnessed trauma at a young age, an absent father figure, and a mother who was in and out of drug recovery programs. It was this chronic trauma which led her to landing in what she calls the "prison pipeline" herself at the age of 23.

"What helped me was watching my mother recover – she is my role model," said Lyles. "I went to therapy and acquired self-love and became a part of society."

The event also included a Juvenile Justice Art Exhibit & Panel of artwork by youth in the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center through an exhibit entitled, “Performing Statistics” featured in Robertson Hall. 

Learn more about Regent University's School of Law.

CAS Moot Court Team Takes Top Three - Prepares for National Tournament

Battling 44 teams and 88 competitors, Regent University undergraduate students took the top three places in the Moot Court Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament November 6 and 7 at Regent University. These top teams will go on to compete in a national tournament at California State University at Long Beach.

Eight teams from Regent competed in the tournament. Five of these teams placed within the top 16. Two Regent students received top-five speaker awards. Michael Maunder received second and Abigail Lisa received fourth. Marie Dienhart, a third-year law student in Regent’s School of Law, coached the team to success.

"Regent Law's Moot Court Board enjoyed hosting the ACMA Competition to foster the appellate advocacy skills of aspiring law students," said 3L Matthew Dunckley,Vice Chairman and Legal Research Director of Regent Law's Moot Court Board. 

By Brennan Smith

Regent 3L California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Mock Trial Team

Regent's California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) trial team in San Francisco U.S. District Court preparatory to trial competition. 

L-R: Chris Pocta, Katie Heyer, Joy Degenhart, Parker Wornall & their coach, Prof. Jim Metcalfe.

Katie Heyer & Joy Degenhart, both Regent Law 3Ls, on Golden Gate Bridge after California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) mock trial competition held in San Francisco U.S. District Court.

Regent Trial Team at Stetson Law School Competition, October 9–11, 2015

Regent 3L trial team at Stetson Law School National Pretrial Competition in Tampa Bay area in October 2015

L-R: Sam Gilbertson, Darden Barrett, Aubrey Cross. Crystal Barnett & their coach Prof. Jim Metcalfe.