VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 24, 2020) – Jay Sekulow, J.D., Ph.D., gave the keynote address at the Regent University School of Law’s opening ceremony for new students. Sekulow serves as Counsel to the 45th President of the United States, leading a team of lawyers representing the interests of the President in multiple venues. Sekulow is also a distinguished professor of law at Regent University School of Law and chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
The ACLJ is a premier national public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law and the defense of religious and civil liberties. Sekulow has argued several landmark cases before the United States Supreme Court, which have become part of the legal landscape in the area of religious liberty litigation.
“Regent’s School of Law provides preeminent legal education by integrating real-world experience into its academic programs,” said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Regent University. “The School of Law’s exclusive partnership with the ACLJ allows it to enhance the world-class legal education it provides to its students so that they can become world-changing top attorneys and legal experts.”
“We are honored to have Jay Sekulow’s expertise at Regent Law,” said Regent Law Dean Mark Martin. “His accomplishments in the legal profession are an inspiration to us all. What a tremendous opportunity for our incoming law class to hear from one of the top attorneys in the nation.”
Sekulow enthusiastically addressed Regent’s first-year law students after thanking Regent founder, chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson for the opportunity to speak. “Right now, you are our students. In three years, when you take the bar exam and pass it, you will become our colleagues and officers of the court,” he began in a poignant address on the topic of professionalism and ethics.
“The issue of professionalism is something I take very seriously,” explained Sekulow. “The obligation the lawyer has is always to the client. In pursuing justice, you have to remember to protect the interest of your client.” He then offered these warnings: “You will have that [commitment to your client] tested. You will also have to be prepared for the unexpected.”
Sekulow stressed the importance of representing clients with fervor, not just in the role of attorney, but also as a counselor of law. “Zealous representation is the hallmark of what a lawyer’s job is,” he stated. “Our job is to keep our clients out of harm’s way, do justice, and protect our client.” He emphasized that lawyers hold a particular “position of trust.”
“You are going to be world changers. A world changer doesn’t mean that you’re arguing before the Supreme Court,” said Sekulow. He offered the example of serving with significance and honor in an adoption case: “It’s about how you become the world changer for that kid, for that family … and how your role as a lawyer impacts real-life decisions for real people, right where they are.”
Sekulow encouraged students “to be salt and light in the culture” – to take on the role of “the preservative” and to offer hope.
Referencing Deuteronomy 16:20, he ended his address by emphasizing the biblical priority of justice: “Justice, justice shall you pursue. If you do that, you inherit the land. It’s a command and a promise.”
Following Sekulow’s address, Martin expressed the importance of professionalism and described the book for the signing ceremony — a gift from the Class of 2009. Associate Dean Natt Gantt then led the students into an Affirmation of Pledge and book signing.
In partnership with the ACLJ, the Regent University School of Law offers select students the chance to study constitutional law, the courts, and Congress in Washington, D.C., alongside practicing constitutional law experts. Students participate in the daily research and advocacy of the ACLJ at offices in Washington, D.C. and Virginia Beach as well as offices around the globe.
Regent Law’s more than 3,300 graduates practice law in 49 states and over 20 countries and include 38 currently sitting judges. The School of Law currently ranks in the top 25 percent of all law schools for obtaining judicial clerkships and ranked 20th in the nation for Ultimate Bar Passage in 2019. 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 and online LL.M. in Human Rights and an on-campus and online LL.M. in American Legal Studies.
Founded in 1978, Regent University has more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from a Christian perspective in 135+ areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare and psychology. Regent University, ranked among top national universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2020), is one of only 23 universities nationally to receive an “A” rating for its comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum.