FACULTY STORIES

Jeffrey A. Brauch
Dean and Professor, Regent University School of Law
JD, University of Chicago

DeanDean Brauch did not set out to become the dean of a law school.

"Everyone in my family wanted me to be a doctor," he says. He thought so too until he shadowed a doctor for one day.

"That was the end of it right there: one day," Dean Brauch says wryly. From then on, he looked forward to a career in law.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in Economics and received his JD from the University of Chicago. After clerking for one year in Madison, Wis., with Supreme Court Justice William G. Callow, he worked with a commercial litigation firm in Milwaukee.

Through these experiences, Dean Brauch learned that he loved legal issues, research, and legal writing. However, he also realized that he did not enjoy the nature of cases. He asked God to lead his legal career in a different direction.

Dean Brauch considered teaching and attended a hiring conference. He interviewed with five schools on the first day, and although he knew little about Regent University except that it was a Christian school, he submitted his resume.

He planned to spend the entire next day touring Washington, D.C., with his wife Becky. Instead, he received a providential call from the Dean of Regent Law School.

"If the call would have come fifteen minutes later, we would have been out of the hotel—gone," says Dean Brauch.

After talking with the current dean, he became excited about Regent's mission. Regent Law hired him, and in the fall of 1994, he began teaching.

"It was my dream job," says Dean Brauch. "The thought of doing administrative work or becoming a dean never entered my mind."

When the current dean unexpectedly left, Dean Brauch was asked if he would consider serving as interim dean. Skeptical of his administrative abilities, Brauch reluctantly agreed. Over the next year, however, he was surprised by how much he enjoyed the opportunity to teach and shape the direction of the law school. He applied for the job and was hired as the official dean in the fall of 2000.

Dean Brauch says his favorite aspect of his job is spending time with students.

"I like being involved in students' lives and training them to be lawyers, but also to encourage them spiritually and have fun," he says.

For Dean Brauch, student interactions are not only the most rewarding, but they are most important aspects of his job. The entire Regent faculty has the unique opportunity to encourage and shape a generation of men and women to carry out Regent's mission—not only as lawyers, but as faithful Christians. For Dean Brauch, being even a small part of that is all he could ask for.

Read more about Dean Brauch's professional experience.

Gloria Whittico
Assistant Professor, Director of Academic Success Program
JD, University of Virginia

DeanAssistant 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."

After graduating cum laude from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy, Professor Whittico felt well-prepared to excel as a student at the University of Virginia School of Law. Once there, however, she found the academics more difficult than she anticipated.

Professor Whittico persevered with support from Christ and her family, graduating from UVA Law, passing the bar exam, and enjoying a successful legal career. She worked for IBM and Starbucks before joining Regent as a faculty member and Associate Director of Regent Law's Academic Success Program.

Reflecting on the ups and downs of her legal journey, Professor Whittico finds that her experiences help her interact with students with a greater depth of understanding. She has a special affinity for underrepresented students from underserved backgrounds, particularly those who do not have the support she received from her family.

"I believe the Lord gave me this specific legal experience so that when I'm sitting in my office working with students who are doubtful, concerned, and frightened, I would know what it was like," she says. "I like to think I had it all planned, but I didn't. He did."

Read more about Professor Whittico's professional experience.

Professor Bruce N. Cameron
Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law
JD, Emory University School of Law

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.

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm
John Brown McCarty Professor of Family Law
JD, Syracuse University College of Law

KohmMost 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, Professor Lynne Marie Kohm, a happily married mother of two, proves that professional mothers can have the best of both worlds.

As the John Brown McCarty Professor of Family Law, Professor Kohm dedicates her legal career to family restoration.

"It was totally an accident that got me into family law—and now it's my thing," she muses.

It was not until God taught her to view family law as a means of restoring families instead of ripping them apart that Professor 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 Professor Kohm. "Your clients can become reconciled and restored in their family because of Christ and what Christ can do through a Christian lawyer."

Professor 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 Professor 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 Professor Kohm and her husband Joseph moved to Virginia Beach, where he began pursuing his JD at Regent. Professor 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 Professor Kohm's "Family Restoration" blog. Also, read more about Professor Kohm's professional experience.

Professor Eric DeGroff
JD, Regent University School of Law

Prof. Eric DeGroffA 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.

Professor L.O. Natt Gantt, II
JD, Harvard Law School

Dean Gantt"I didn’t plan on being a law school academic," says Regent Law Professor and Director of Academic Success and Advising L.O. Natt Gantt. "I wanted to be a car designer or an architect, and my first love has always been psychology."

Raised in a Christian home in small town South Carolina, Professor Gantt graduated from Duke University and decided to forego graduate study in psychology based on his father’s advice: “Son, go where you feel you can do the most good.”

“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.

Professor Kenneth Ching
JD, Duke University School of Law

As a student at Duke University School of Law, Professor Ching thrived on the “lively and rigorous dialogue” he had with professors and fellow students. Now, he is thrilled to walk through the same challenging process of helping his students become the best they can be.

“I love being in the classroom. It is a dream job for me,” he says.

Professor Ching was attracted to Regent’s commitment to the integration of the Christian faith through classroom devotions and curricular explorations of how the Christian faith informs what the law is and what it can become.

For Professor Ching, opening each class with prayer allows for a level of professor-student interaction that would be difficult to find at other law schools.

Yet as much as he enjoys his role, it is only one of the things he loves about being on faculty.

“Since I was a little kid, there were only two things I wanted to do. One was to be a lawyer and the other was to be a writer,” he says.

Professor Ching has written multiple novels on topics ranging from skateboarding, which is one of his favorite pastimes, to historical fiction, science fiction, and life as a law student. As a law professor, his scholarship allows him to integrate his love of writing with his passion for law.

“It’s really a wonderful experience to get to carve out large parts of my day to analyze and write about important issues,” he explains.

Professor Ching hopes to continue to work closely with his students in developing their own scholarly work.

“I am incredibly blessed to be doing this work,” he says. “The whole experience is an unmitigated blessing.”

Read more about Professor Ching's professional experience.

Professor Craig A. Stern
JD, University of Virginia School of Law

Prof. Craig A. SternA 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?

Raised in a Jewish home in Cleveland, Professor Stern earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University in three years. During college, his exposure to classical Christian literature and fellow students who were believers eroded his intellectual prejudices against Christianity. At the same time, he grappled with inconsistencies in his Jewish faith.

Mental and spiritual satisfaction came to Professor Stern during his first year at University of Virginia School of Law. His friendship with a fellow Yale graduate and Christian sparked a nine-month theological debate that eventually led to his conversion. 

Professor Stern’s final obstacle to faith in Christ was his reservation about renouncing his Jewish heritage, a reservation that was relieved after reading Corrie Ten Boom’s Tramp for the Lord. Ten Boom explains to a man with similar fears that Jews who embrace Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, fulfill Judaism. The mark of Professor Stern’s true scholarship was his ability to recognize truth regardless of its source.


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.

Professor Eleanor Brown
JD, University of Richmond

Prof. Eleanor BrownA decline in civility, coupled with an overall erosion in professional standards, motivated Eleanor Brown to become a law professor so she could help train students to reverse unsavory trends in the legal profession.

“I have a strong desire to influence the direction of the legal profession. It is not just a matter of public perception; there has been a decline in civility at the bar and a decline in ethics,” she says. “I knew of individuals who kept the clock running longer than necessary just so they could keep billing. To me, this was appalling.”

After earning her JD from the University of Richmond, receiving her LL.M. in Taxation from The College of William and Mary, and practicing as a tax attorney for 15 years, she became aware of a teaching opportunity at Regent Law.

In the classroom, Professor Brown endeavors to instill high ethical standards in her students, employing a “two-pronged approach” to teaching tax law that brings life and zest to a subject that may seem dry.

To prepare her students for times when professional satisfaction is not immediately forthcoming, Professor Brown tells students they will ultimately receive compensation commensurate with the amount of dedication they give their professional responsibilities.

“If you do good work and help your clients to solve problems, the fees will come,” Professor Brown states.

While she acknowledges the many demands associated with law school, Professor Brown encourages students to practice “Sabbath living” and make time prayer and worship.

“We get so wrapped around the axle in our modern lives,” she says. “But with prayer and fellowship, Christ will bring order to it all.”

Read more about Professor Brown's professional experience.

Distinguished Professor Attorney General John Ashcroft
JD, University of Chicago

Attorny General John Ashcroft“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.

When terrorists struck New York City and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Ashcroft, a former Missouri governor, senator, and state attorney general who served with President Bush as the nation’s Attorney General for four years, was charged with the daunting task of charting an effective response.

He also implemented comprehensive policy changes that bolstered security for the American homeland.

“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.

 

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