Most women who want both a career and a family wrestle with feelings that they have to sacrifice one for the other. After nearly 20 years on the faculty at Regent Law, Lynne Marie Kohm, a happily married mother of two, proves that professional mothers can have the best of both worlds.
It was not until God taught her to view family law as a means of restoring families instead of ripping them apart that Kohm began to realize her passion for the field.
"We approach family law very differently at Regent. It is an opportunity to restore families rather than to make money as a divorce lawyer," states Kohm. "Your clients can become reconciled and restored in their family because of Christ and what Christ can do through a Christian lawyer."
Kohm's passion for family law was not the only aspect of her legal career that was unexpected. A legal career itself came as a surprise to the would-be missionary.
"I had already raised all my support as a missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ and was sitting in a John Whitehead biblical worldview class when I had an overwhelming sense that God said, 'You need to go to law school,'" reflects Kohm. "I prayed about it and spoke with my directors who said 'Do what you're called to now and if the law is God's call, it will remain.'"
Three years later, she knew the call was still there.
Five years after graduating from law school Kohm and her husband Joseph moved to Virginia Beach, where he began pursuing his JD at Regent. Kohm was interviewing with a number of law firms when her husband set her up with an interview to teach at Regent.
"I was six months pregnant, and when the dean offered me a part-time position, I realized that would be more suitable for me. I did not plan on teaching, but once I began, I started seeing the influence you can have and the discipleship opportunities."
So how does she balance her professional life—complete with numerous publications, television appearances, and world travel as a guest lecturer—with her family life?
"The key is priorities: Master, mate, mission. If you're called to be a spouse and parent, your legal calling shouldn't be at the expense of your marriage and children. That doesn't mean you slack off on the job, but proper priorities keep multiple mission callings in perspective. Always above all, is a daily, moment-by-moment relationship with God. He is your restorer and your highest calling."
To learn more about how Christian lawyers are impacting the field of family law visit Kohm's "Family Restoration" blog. Also, read more about her professional experience.
Associate Professor Gloria Whittico describes her legal calling as a ministry with a twofold mission: "To get the right people to Regent and to make sure that all of them know that law is a possibility."
Read more about Professor Whittico's professional experience.
Professor Bruce Cameron, Reed Larson
Professor of Labor Law, brings decades of experience working at the forefront of litigation surrounding compulsory unionism and Right to Work issues to Regent Law.
Professor Cameron is a distinguished attorney with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc., and is considered a pioneer in the area of religious liberty for employees whose faith prohibits them from supporting labor unions. He focuses his professional and scholarly activities on advocating for religious and political freedom for employees of faith, a topic that continues to receive media attention.
Professor Cameron teaches Religion in the Workplace, Public Sector Labor Law, and administers the Right to Work Practicum. He also publishes on the topics of religion, constitutional law, the rights of religious dissenters, and labor law. He appears frequently on television and radio shows, including programs such as Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. With 30 years of experience litigating religious freedom and constitutional law cases in the employment context, he never lost a Title VII religious accommodation case in court.
Read more about Professor Cameron's professional experience.
A personal and professional crossroads after 15 years in government work led Professor Eric DeGroff to Regent Law, initially as a student in the school’s first enrolling class.
“I had always felt that what I did for a living was not closely tied to who I was as a person,” he says. “I was excited about the concept that there were men and women here at Regent who had been successful professionally and were committed to teaching others how to integrate their faith and profession.”
Professor DeGroff graduated, spent five years practicing environmental law, and became a full-time faculty member, teaching property and school (educational) law, and coaching Regent’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Board negotiation teams.
“Over the years, the things that excited me about Regent remain the same, but the opportunities available to students now are so much broader than when I was a student—it’s like night and day,” he says. “While the school has changed and improved in many ways, I still see the same commitment in both the faculty and the students to serve people and to serve the Lord.”
He also notes that Regent Law maintains its unique emphasis on teaching the historical and biblical foundations of the American legal system.
“If we don’t understand why the legal system is the way it is, we will be susceptible to any kind of argument about what direction it ought to go,” he says.
One area of deep concern for Professor DeGroff is the declining freedom of parents to direct the training and education of their children, particularly the rights of parents, children, and teachers to express their faith within the public school system.
“Freedom of religion requires the intergenerational transfer of values,” says Professor DeGroff. “To the extent that our laws prevent parents from making choices for their children in the public schools, the public schools interfere with this transfer.”
Despite his concerns, Professor DeGroff finds cause for hope among the students of Regent Law, whom he considers to be the best part of his job.
“It’s rewarding seeing who they are now, looking at some of the things they accomplish when they graduate, and watching them make a real difference doing a long list of things I could never do!” he says.
Yet, it is what Professor DeGroff does do at Regent Law makes all the difference.
Read more about Professor DeGroff's professional experience.
"I didn’t plan on being a law school academic," says Regent Law Professor L.O. Natt Gantt. "I wanted to be a car designer or an architect, and my first love has always been psychology."
“I felt that was a call towards public service and the law,” says Professor Gantt. “When I got accepted to Harvard Law School, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
After clerking for one year for a federal judge and practicing law for two years in Washington, D.C., Professor Gantt earned his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Remaining in practice part time during seminary made him wonder what the Lord was preparing him for professionally.
Through a series of unique circumstances that he describes as “very directed,” Professor Gantt was led to Regent Law, where he uses both his theological and legal backgrounds to fulfill his vocational calling and challenges students to do the same.
“Hoping that you are impacting lives for the Lord, encouraging students to maximize the gifts God has given them, and helping them fulfill the calling that God has placed on their lives are the most rewarding parts of my job,” says Professor Gantt.
As a professor, Director of Academic Success and Advising, and Co-Director of the Center for Ethical Formation and Legal Education Reform, Professor Gantt is dedicated to preparing students to be successful professionals.
Alumna Adeline Allen knows the Professor Gantt well and describes him as a person of integrity.
“At orientation, I was blown away by his commitment to the Lord and to excellence in all he does," she says. "He doesn’t take his job lightly or do it shoddily. Professor Gantt is real, available, and a caring advocate.”
In addition to fulfilling his role as a model and counselor for students, Professor Gantt is also concerned about elevating the generally poor view of lawyers and the legal profession.
“Producing graduates who want to see the profession changed and want to bring integrity, professionalism, and a moral approach to the practice of law is what’s going to change the image,” he says.
With Professor Gantt’s influence and service, Regent Law is well on its way to reshaping the field into one that prioritizes ethics and professionalism.
Read more about Professor Gantt's professional experience.
A true intellectual and academician, Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law, Craig A. Stern attributes his career at Regent Law and more than two decades of teaching and scholarship, to Providence. After all, who but God could weave together such a unique personal story?
The same God who drew Professor Stern to Himself also directed him to Regent Law. Professor Stern’s job on Capitol Hill brought him face to face with Regent’s founding dean who invited him to teach a course at the law school years later.
“I found the place very exciting and the students very good," Professor Stern says. "I was quite impressed!”
In 1989, Professor Stern continued as adjunct professor while working as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He joined the Regent Law faculty full-time one year later. Currently, he teaches upper level courses, chairs the admissions committee and coordinates Regent’s partnership with Emanuel University in Romania. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.
Professor Stern finds the fit between his calling and his job as a rigorous legal scholar and educator very rewarding. The fit has kept him here and made him one of Regent’s intellectual pillars.
“I’ve stayed through the bumps and twists because it really is a wonderful place where I can exercise the ministry God has called me to with wonderful colleagues and great students,” he says.
Professor Stern also stays because the mission of Regent Law has remained the same: to train legal minds from a Christian perspective.
“The practice of law is a ministry to which God calls people as much as He calls people to be preachers, evangelists, and elders,” says Professor Stern. “Regent equips students really well to practice as Christian lawyers. It also changes the lives of the students while they’re here, making a difference in their spiritual life, their community life, and their understanding of calling.”
Read more about Professor Stern's professional experience.
“Faith can mitigate against paralysis in times of crisis when it is not possible to obtain all the salient pieces of information,” said former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
“We didn’t know whether this was an initial attack and additional assaults of one kind or another would follow,” he says. “We were concerned something else might happen, and we were working desperately to make sure that we did everything possible to prevent it. And, if something were to happen, that we would be better prepared to respond constructively.”
Under Ashcroft’s leadership, the nation’s law enforcement agencies were furnished with additional tools that greatly enhanced counter-terrorism efforts. The policy changes activated by the USA Patriot Act enabled federal officials to apply certain surveillance practices against suspected terrorists that were previously applied against organized crime and drug deals. The legislation won overwhelming approval in both houses of Congress.
General Ashcroft is credited with having overseen a remarkable period of safety and security in the months and years following the attacks. Under his watch, nearly 200 individuals associated with terrorist-related investigations were convicted. Ashcroft, now a distinguished professor of law and government at Regent University, endeavors to impart important lessons of leadership to his students.
He also emphasizes the role of faith in decision making.
“Making decisions with complete information is reserved to classrooms and theory,” he states. “When the nation is under attack, you have to make decisions absent the kind of comfort that comes from knowing all the facts. And in that event, you have to have a lot of faith in the people with whom you’re working, and you have to trust God to help you make successful decisions.”
Ashcroft is excited to be a part of the Regent Law faculty because it gives him greater latitude to pursue the truth than is commonly available in a secular environment.
“[At Regent] God is not placed off limits,” he says. “The integration of all truth is the business of philosophy and education and the reason for Regent’s existence.”
Read more about General Ashcroft's professional experience.