Regent University School of Law alumnus Gabriel McCoy (’11) had never been a part of a Christian higher education institution before.
He recalls very clearly week one, first semester of his 1L year.
“I remember telling my dad that I never met so many people that were as intelligent, hard-working, hungry to compete and loved the Lord all at the same time,” said McCoy. “The caliber of people were elevated, and it was fun to run with this pack of motivated folks.”
To this day, McCoy still runs with his “Regent pack,” after co-founding Pierce/McCoy, PLLC, with Regent Law alumnus Nathaniel Pierce ’08 in April 2013. The firm, based in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, serves clients in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Texas, New York and even Serbia.
The decision to begin the daunting, yet “adventurous” task of beginning a firm came at a time when the legal market was extremely competitive and the “opportunities were few and far between.” McCoy walked in faith and in prayer asked that the Lord would “close the doors” to the wrong opportunities.
“This was the last door that was open that made sense,” said McCoy.
He gave himself a one-year deadline: It was either find enough financial success to support his family or give up and go into banking.
More than three years later, the firm has grown to eight full-time attorneys – five of which are Regent alumni.
“The best people I met in my entire life were people I met at Regent,” he said. Most of all, he said, was his wife, Regent Law alumna Sarah McCoy (‘11). The two dated throughout their three-year tenure at Regent together. And they were married two weeks after taking the Virginia Bar exam.
“Thank God for mothers, they stepped up big and helped us focus on the bar prep,” said McCoy. “Then it was off to the races.”
McCoy said that his time at Regent was a “period of enlightenment,” in his educational career – particularly in regard to the law and how it applies to different situations. While he was taught the rules and guidelines as an attorney at the bar, he believes law woven in with his faith gave him a “brighter North star” to follow when it comes to what’s right and wrong as an attorney.
“Regent’s integrating of its mission and its fundamental foundations was something that I personally enjoyed,” said McCoy. “They did a good job of integrating that law in the mission and not deviating from that mission.”
Apart from helping him pass the bar, McCoy said that the faculty and deans were just as integral in helping him build his practice.
“They were incredibly supportive and really spared nothing in giving me access to resources and people in the community,” said McCoy.
He explained that much of his job as an attorney is helping clients in their “darkest hours.” He’s found an opportunity to witness to clients and the people he works with, and even uses his office space at the World Trade Center to host a Bible study to offer “spiritual strength” to those in the area.
He said that if the only reason in hindsight of him starting his own firm was to have the opportunity to minister to the community in that way, it was worth it.
“It’s your job first to be a good attorney, and then if they’re open to counsel, presenting the opportunity of the gospel,” said McCoy. “Not only to solve [your client’s] immediate legal needs, but to also give them some level of strength and hope.”
Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.