Stockton Brown, Class of 2015
“The Regent Mentoring Program has been a great experience both in my law school career and beyond. My mentor is Ashley Warner, and we met at the end of my 1L summer. Ashley provided great insight and encouragement regarding the challenges of law school. We stayed in touch after our initial meeting, and I interned at the same firm where she practiced during the summer after my 2L year. After graduation from Regent Law, I first practiced law at that same firm where I had interned.
During my law school career at Regent and as my career begins, Ashley has been a great encouragement. She has helped me to wrestle with questions of how to grow in Christ-likeness as a lawyer, serving each client and person that I meet with respect and love.
I am very thankful for the Mentoring Program and the ways in which it has brought friends alongside me to help me develop as a lawyer who seeks to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”
Sarah Morris, Class of 2015
After I toured Regent as an undergrad and interacted with the professors, I saw that Regent was a unique institution from the others that I had researched and visited. I knew that Regent was going to not only equip me academically and professionally, but it is also supportive of my values, viewing law as a means to glorifying God with our talents and knowledge.
When I signed up for the program at the end of my 1L year, I personally knew few attorneys. I wanted the chance to learn more about the legal profession from not only an experienced attorney, but also one who sought to integrate his or her values into their profession. I wanted to see practically what that might look like in real life application.
My assigned mentor, Virginia Van Valkenburg, is an Assistant United States Attorney with the Eastern Division in Norfolk. Virginia works in the civil division and has been there for ten years. I’ve met with Virginia both at her office and at professional events, such as a meeting at the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association (NPBA), which I recently joined. Virginia is the President of the NPBA, so I have learned more about how they are involved in helping our community. Through talking with Virginia, I’ve also learned about the civil division at the USAO and the many types of cases she has handled there. Virginia has been a real encouragement to me. I so appreciate her openness as we have talked about both professional and personal topics. I have also found that we have a lot in common, such as our mutual love for exploring new countries!
Our reputation in the legal community can be either one of our greatest strengths or weaknesses. I have learned more about how the manner in which we relate to the opposing side especially speaks volumes about our character. I am grateful for Virginia’s friendship. I have someone I can meet with or call to get insights and learn from as I begin my own journey in the legal profession. Every attorney (and law student) has a unique opportunity to integrate his or her values in the legal profession. I think we need to prayerfully use discernment as we seek to find what that might look like in our own career. I believe we are to treat every person with respect and dignity, whether they are on our “team” or not. Personally, as a law student, I can also say that I have learned more to walk by faith in the Lord, taking one day at a time and leaning on His daily strength rather than my own.