Last week, the Southern Hampton Roads Bar Association (SHRBA) recognized Regent University School of Law (LAW) student Regina Williams ’21 with their Student Member of the Year Award as part of their annual bar section awards.
“The SHRBA dates back to 1923 and is known for its support of the local community,” said School of Law dean, Chief Justice Mark Martin (Ret.). “It is a high honor for Regina to receive the Student Member of the Year Award, and I am so proud that she has taken the time to become involved in such an organization and that she is committed to helping others.”
“I am extremely humbled and honored to have been recognized by the SHRBA as Student Member of the Year,” said Williams. “As a member of this organization, I have been able to partake in discussions about issues affecting our community at large and have gained new perspectives from lawyers emerging in the field.”
Williams currently serves as chairwoman of the school’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and as staff editor for the Journal for Global Justice & Public Policy.
According to their website, “SHRBA strives to build upon its rich legacy as an organization that champions justice in the local community and fosters a strong support network for members of the local bar and aspiring attorneys.”
The organization aims to serve the needs of local African-American judges and lawyers.
“SHRBA felt like home to me and gave me the boost of confidence I needed to succeed in the legal field,” Williams said. “I want to be a role model to other young African-American women who struggle to find their identity in this society and wonder if they have the ability to succeed in this field.”
The group facilitates opportunities for members, such as Williams, to network with other professionals in the legal field and grow in their capacity to serve communities.
“Law students who take the initiative to become involved in a local bar association such as SHRBA are taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity to interact with members of the professional community and to begin building a support network that will last a lifetime,” Martin said. “Regina honors Regent University School of Law through her service and the recognition of her service by others with this award.”
According to former SHRBA president and Regent Law alumna Sheneka Hankins ’11, ideal candidates for the Student Member of the Year Award are active in attending SHRBA, and participants in African-American student law associations.
Hankins worked for the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for more than six years before joining Invictus Law as an associate attorney.
“Regina embodies someone who I believe understands and practices the Regent motto that law is more than just a profession, it’s a calling,” she said. “Most recently we were impressed with the events hosted during Black History Month by Regent BLSA.”
“Making the commute from the Peninsula, supporting a family, pursuing academic studies, student leadership, and internships, not to mention her warm, kind, and positive demeanor, demonstrate her personal drive,” Hankins added. “I’m very excited to see what she does next.