Koch Scholar Moves on to Law School Fully-Funded
By Amanda Morad | June 27, 2013
Before he started his senior year at Regent University's College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), Nathan Stech had never considered law school an option. Now, just a year later, he's earned a full-tuition merit scholarship to Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Mo.
"This scholarship has already made a difference in my academic and professional goals," Stech said. "Receiving a scholarship of this magnitude from such an illustrious school has both given me the confidence necessary to face the next three years of law school, and also broadens my options upon graduation."
While a student at Regent, Stech was chosen as a Koch Fellow in the Koch Leaders Program. Funded by The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the program provides a learning opportunity for students to critically explore the principles of political and economic freedom and investigate their relationship with Christianity.
"Nathan continually showed that he was one of the top students in a group of top students," said Koch Leaders Program director and assistant professor in CAS, Dr. William Reddinger. "He showed a maturity of thought and an ability to understand important ideas. His contributions to the reading discussions both helped other students to understand these ideas and to raise everyone up to a higher level in the discussion."
Stech had applied to several other law schools before Washington University entered the conversation, but late in the application cycle, he decided to apply and was soon surprised to not only be accepted, but to be awarded a major tuition scholarship. Since that time, the scholarship has been raised to cover Stech's full law school tuition.
"My undergraduate education at Regent prepared me in many ways both to receive the scholarship and to succeed in law school itself," Stech said. "One of the primary things I learned from the beginning at Regent was critical thinking. It is not enough to know what we believe, but why, and how we've come to these beliefs."
Citing debates in several key classes, along with his studies in the Koch Leaders Program, Stech said what he read and how he was taught to think prepared him for success on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The selection process for the merit scholarship was based primarily on the score from this test along with Stech's GPA.
"Nate was a wonderful and thoughtful student," said CAS assistant professor, Caleb Verbois, who led many of those debates Stech cited as key preparation for law school. "His comments in class were always worth listening to and frequently sparked longer conversations.
"He is also a careful writer who makes a real effort to get to the bottom of a subject and answer big questions. Those attributes, combined with his strong work ethic, will serve him well in the legal profession, where the ability to read and retain large amounts of information, think through it critically, and write about it succinctly, are key."
While his interests in law currently lie between intellectual property and corporate law, Stech said he's open to test the waters to find his niche—a luxury he may not have had without the scholarship. "As a married student attempting to work my way through undergrad and law school, anything helps," he said. "But I now have more freedom to look at career options that offer less monetary reward but more fulfillment, such as non-profit or government work."
Stech continues his education fully prepared for success in the classroom and the courtroom, but the most important thing Stech carried with him from Virginia to Missouri this summer transcends both.
"The integration of faith with education provided throughout my Regent experience has given me a firm foundation in my faith that is allowing me to step out into the world with a confident assurance in my relationship with Christ," Stech explained.
Learn more about the College of Arts & Sciences.
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