By Nicolas Reynolds
On Thursday, September 12, Regent University School of Law commemorated the grand opening of Grace Community Law Clinic in downtown Norfolk. The primary mission of the new branch: to effectively provide pro bono legal aid to the Hampton Roads community.
Translated from Latin as “for the public good,” pro bono legal work is accomplished when professionals trained in law provide legal aid without fee. Regent University School of Law aligns its vision with just that – extending legal expertise in certain cases to those unable to pay to help lift our community and represent the underserved. The new branch’s facility enables Regent Law to reach more low-income families who have pending or ongoing cases before domestic courts.
Located on St. Paul’s Boulevard, mirroring the City of Norfolk Courthouse, the clinic’s site is suited for optimal reachability and efficiency in working with members of the community. Grace Community Law Clinic is set to render distinctive aid to family-related disputes, ranging from landlord/tenant issues to government benefits.
“This is a monumental step for us; this is something special as we’re able to connect with the community by meeting their needs,” said Regent Law Associate Professor Kathleen McKee, LL.M., who directs experiential learning for the school.
“This not only gives our excellent students vital hands-on experience, it lets them provide help to real people who are facing real problems,” she added.
Regent Law looks forward to extending a deeper level of student immersion into real and practical professional service – setting legal strategy, submitting briefs, and other critical legal processes.
Reflecting on the clinic’s significance, the Honorable Mark Martin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, noted the charge he gave during his installation as dean of Regent University School of Law earlier this year: “I continually challenge our students and alumni to commit themselves to a greater purpose and to excellence. That includes using their gifts to benefit others, and Grace Community Law Clinic is a shining example of this. I couldn’t be prouder.”
“It’s fundamental to our mission to help change the world,” Senior Associate Dean Marion Warren added. “The new branch allows our students to show we care – to walk alongside others with practical assistance. It’s a win for everyone.”
The Regent School of Law opened in 1986. The school’s more than 3,300 graduates practice law in 49 states and over 20 countries, and include 56 judges. The School of Law currently ranks in the top 25 percent of all law schools for obtaining judicial clerkships and achieved the highest overall passage rate on the Virginia bar exam (July ’17 and February ’18). The school offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.) in three-year and part-time formats, an online M.A. in Law, an online M.A. in Financial Planning & Law, an on-campus LL.M. in Human Rights and an on-campus and online LL.M. in American Legal Studies.
ABOUT REGENT UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1978, Regent University has 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Va., and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from a Christian perspective in more than 135 program areas including business, communication and the arts, cybersecurity and technology, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing and healthcare, and psychology. Currently, Regent University tops the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia and is listed among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report.