Many of Regent Law's 2,500+ alumni are presently working in human rights law or are involved in agencies and organizations dedicated to rescuing the enslaved, trafficked, and oppressed.
We hope you enjoy reading the following alumni profiles which represent a small portion of our many alumni literally changing the world.
|Kyle Westaway '07|
Ann Buwalda is dedicated to seeking justice for the oppressed. In 1996, she opened Just Law International, an immigration law firm in the Washington, D.C. area representing businesses and individuals worldwide. Through asylum cases alone, her staff has represented clients from more than 32 countries.
1989, Buwalda launched the United States branch of the Jubilee Campaign. Formed in London in the early 1980s, the Jubilee Campaign aims to promote human rights and religious liberties in countries that imprison, terrorize or otherwise oppress minorities.
Under Buwalda’s direction, the Jubilee Campaign’s U.S. branch advocates for children’s protection and refugee issues, and against religious and political persecution. The organization works to bring international intervention and assistance, which requires some creative and daring work at times.
While the Jubilee Campaign will push for change in law when necessary, Buwalda explains its main mission: “We support and empower partners within countries. We seek out partners who are already doing the work within our mandate and assist them in areas of need.” Currently, Jubilee Campaign partners with organizations in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Egypt and the Philippines.
Since 1990, Buwalda has participated almost annually at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where she has given numerous interventions under various categories.
In 2004, she labored with other advocates before Congress to successfully pass the North Korea Freedom Act. In 2005 she testified before the Subcommittee on International Relations concerning North Korean refugees in China. That same year, her work in organizing speakers for a congressional hearing and briefing to free “Kids Behind Bars” in the Philippines led to a change of law to release Philippine children from adult prisons and transfer them to rehabilitation.
Buwalda teaches a course on International Religious Freedom at Regent.
Tony Brewer is working to “trade tears for hope.”
In 1993, while working as a lawyer, he was asked, “Will you help us adopt a child from China?”
“That short, simple question uttered back in 1993 ended up capturing
me . . . because on the other end of it was a beautiful, sometimes expressionless, needy child -- the kind that your heart yearns to help as soon as you see him or her, and who unfortunately lives all over the world,” writes Brewer.
Through that exchange, he was propelled to establish A Helping Hand Adoption Agency, and eventually Orphan Voice, A Helping Hand’s outreach ministry to orphans around the world. Through these vehicles, Brewer has orchestrated several thousand adoptions.
The two organizations aim to plant hope into the lives of children by providing Christian education, care-giving, nutritious food, vocational training and love. A Helping Hand specializes in adoptions in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Guatemala. Through Orphan Voice programs, Brewer’s team is ministering to over 660 children in countries including China, Cambodia, India and Myanmar.
He says his legal education helps him to be strategic in his work. After graduating from Regent Law in 1991, Brewer went on to complete an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown Law.
“I loved the international law courses that I took at Regent,” says Brewer. “Later, my LL.M. helped to prepare me to think about dealing with other cultures and legal systems. In some of the countries in which we work, there is no developed legal system, and my legal education has helped me see how legal protections should be put in place for the protection of children.”
The great contributions Brewer makes in the lives of the world’s orphans is a leading example of how Regent is preparing leaders to impact the nation and the world. Brewer sees his work as the natural extension of his Christian faith. “It has been my privilege to serve those of different cultures, and I feel greatly blessed by it.”
After earning his J.D. from Regent Law, Steve's legal practice in criminal defense and juvenile and domestic relations took him into the jails, detention homes and city projects. He soon found himself ministering to his clients, who were very receptive to spiritual matters.
Within a few years, Steve realized that the Lord was calling him to the ministry, not in the local church, but in the local jail, as a chaplain. He became a chaplain at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center with Good News Jail & Prison Ministry in 2002, and in 2003 became the Senior Chaplain.
"The Lord used my work as a defense attorney to prepare me for the jail ministry," he says. "My clients were so open to spiritual matters that I was shocked. I could see that these people were looking for something, and were willing to listen to their legal counselor, who in my case, became their spiritual counselor."
"We can't help inmates escape the consequences of their actions," he says, "but we can give them hope."
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry mobilizes spiritually mature, equipped, and motivated Christian chaplains to serve in correctional facilities nationally and internationally, and works to meet the spiritual needs of both inmates and staff through ministry that includes evangelism, discipleship, and pastoral attention, while facilitating other religious faiths within the guidelines established by law and the individual correctional facility.
Mick Cummins ’92 manages the gift planning team at the National Christian Foundation (NCF). NCF is a public charity which works closely with ministries, churches and several affiliated Christian foundations across the United States in serving their donors by introducing creative, tax-efficient charitable giving strategies and providing educational offerings on gift planning and Biblical stewardship principles.
NCF makes sure that donors’ charitable gifts are structured to achieve more for Kingdom purposes, often leveraging non-liquid assets such as closely held business interests or real property. Once a donor is convinced they should give, and know who they want to give to, NCF’s gift planning team strategizes the “how” of the gift by identifying the most efficient and effective way to achieve maximum impact.
After Mick graduated from Regent University School of Law he managed the gift planning programs at Emory University, The University of Texas-Austin and the University of Missouri-Columbia. In his career, he has also spent 16 years divided between practicing law as an estate planning attorney and managing small bank trust departments.
Mick’s call to Regent Law was crystal clear. “The Lord called me at mid-life with a wife and three kids to go Regent - and Regent only,” he says. “The call was very clear, we obeyed and came, and in retrospect it’s clear that every step of the journey since that time has been designed to prepare me for my current job.”
Mick and his wife, Pam, live in Alpharetta, GA, and have been married over 35 years. They have three adult children and two wonderful grandchildren.
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.
Read a first-hand account of Evan’s work here.
In today’s society, any large organization, especially an international one, needs legal support to function effectively and efficiently.
As a staff attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of Campus Crusade for Christ, International (“CCCI”), Tara and other staff attorneys handle the legal aspects of ministry so that the staff on the ground can focus on the mission: building spiritual movements everywhere so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Christ.
CCCI began its legal internship program while Tara was a second-year law student at Regent. She competed with students from Pepperdine and other candidates interviewed by CCCI at the Christian Legal Society’s national conference to land the internship which eventually lead to her present job.
It turns out that Regent Law’s strong reputation went a long way towards CCCI choosing to interview Regent Law students for its new legal internship program, and toward CCCI eventually bringing Tara on staff. “I never would have imagined that this is where I would be after law school,” she says. “I didn’t even know working for CCCI would be an option,” she continues, “and if I had not gone to Regent, I probably would not be an attorney for Campus Crusade right now.”
Hugo attended Regent University School of Law feeling called to serve the immigrant community in the United States. Since graduating from Regent University he has lived out this calling. From 2005 - 2006 he was selected to serve as an attorney advisor to the Immigration Courts in Oakdale and New Orleans, Louisiana, and Memphis, Tennessee. The U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review selected him for this position under the U.S. Attorney General's Honors Program. In late 2006, he opened the private practice law firm of Valverde & Rowell P.C. with fellow Regent alumni, Barry Rowell, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Hugo is committed to the citizen-lawyer ideal. He served as co-chair of the Immigrant Outreach Committee of the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference, where he helped coordinate several educational opportunities on immigration for attorneys and the community. In 2007, he served a legal advisor to the Illegal Immigration and Crimes Task Force of the Virginia Crimes Commission. In 2008, Hugo received the R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award from the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference. He is an active advocate in the Hispanic community, serving on the Board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, participating annually in the Virginia Hispanic College Institute, helping to establish educational opportunities in the form of scholarships for Hispanic youth, and sponsoring Hispanic children to attend local summer soccer camps.
In the fall of 2009, Hugo began to teach immigration law at Regent University, and recently in Spring of 2012, he began teaching an immigration law practicum. Through the practicum, Regent law students are representing asylum applicants, victims of domestic violence, and victims of serious crimes in preparing and submitting immigration applications on a pro bono basis. Hugo's passion for immigration law stems from his own family's immigration experience. His father and mother came to the United States from Peru fleeing political persecution, and as he grew up, Hugo spent many summers in Peru. Hugo uses his experience growing up in an immigrant family and time abroad to understand the conditions where his clients or their employees may have come from and the challenges they face when they come to the United States. He is one of the few attorneys in the Virginia Beach area that is fluent in Spanish.
Kyle believes in the power of the market to create a positive social and environmental change. He runs operations for The Blind Project, where he has helped build Biographe -- a sustainable style brand that employs and empowers survivors of the commercial sex trade. Kyle is the founding partner at Westaway Law -- an innovative New York City law firm that counsels social entrepreneurs.
Kyle is a Cordes Fellow. He lectures on social entrepreneurship at Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School. He launched Socentlaw -- a blog dedicated to the legal side of social enterprise as well as writing for Triple Pundit, Social Earth and Law for Change. He sits on the board of Explore -- a charter school in Brooklyn -- and The Adventure Project -- a nonprofit that seeks to add venture capital to social entrepreneurs in the developing world.