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10.17.2017

Regent Law Grad Recommends CEFLER’s Mentoring Program

Regent Law grad Barrett Luxjoh (’13) recently spoke to Professor Ben Madison’s State Civil Pretrial Practice and Procedure class. Mr. Luxjoh answered several questions from Professor Madison.  He then took questions from students.

As a former Regent Law student, Mr. Luxjoh was familiar with CEFLER’s mentoring program, which pairs Regent Law students with lawyers and judges from across the country. Mr. Luxjoh strongly encouraged students to get a mentor. He explained that a mentor is critical for development as an attorney and that attorneys have to rely on more than a set of rules, but a moral compass, when they practice law.

See Luxjoh’s full answer below, including a fantastic movie quote that applies to all attorneys.



If you would like to be part of CEFLER’s mentor program as a mentor or mentee, contact cefler@regent.edu.


10.13.2017

Regent Law Identified by PreLaw Magazine for Ethical Formation Training

Regent University School of Law was recently identified as one of PreLaw Magazine's 20 Most Innovative Law Schools, defined as "...schools that are on the cutting edge when it comes to preparing students for the future."

CEFLER Directors and Co-Founders L.O. Natt Gantt and Benjamin Madison

Pages 32-33 of the PreLaw Magazine article reads,
Through Regent Law's Integrated Lawyer Training, students participate in a number of opportunities designed to enhance their legal education through hands-on training and ethical formation. 
CEFLER directors and Co-Founders Natt Gantt and Ben Madison were thrilled to see ethical formation identified as a factor in Regent Law's ranking.  "We at Regent are thankful for this recognition," said Gantt. "We look forward to continuing to be innovative in improving our efforts in cultivating law students' professional identity development and generally improving legal education."

Founded in November 2012, the Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform coordinates the programs and resources Regent Law has committed to developing students’ professional identities. It accentuates Regent Law’s expertise in providing practical training that develops in students the practical judgment important to the practice of law. In 2017, CEFLER was nominated for the ABA's E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award.

Here are just a few ways that CEFLER has sought to bring legal education reform and ethical formation to the forefront:
  • 45% of the Regent Law student body participates in a mentoring program (a huge increase from 9% when the program first began).
  • Almost 500 mentors (consisting of attorneys and judges across the country) have participated in CEFLER's mentoring program since the program began.
  • Since 2014, more than 200 Regent Law students have elected to take a 7-hour Legal Workplace Skills course that emphasizes practical training.
  • More than 25 Regent Law courses now include integration of ethical formation into the course through class discussions, role-playing, direct teaching on professionalism, or class assignments.
  • More than a dozen pieces of scholarship on the importance of professional development and ethical formation, including a chapter written by Gantt and Madison: "Teaching Knowledge, Skills, and Values of Professional Identity Formation" in Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Deborah Maranville, et al., eds., Lexis 2015).

Read the entire article in PreLaw Magazine's Back to School 2017 issue > 

Learn more about Regent Law's Center for Ethical Formation and Legal Education Reform >


9.29.2017

About the CEFLER Mentoring Program

Regent Law Center for Ethical Formation and Legal Education Reform (CEFLER) provides current law students with the opportunity to participate in a mentor program which pairs current J.D. and LL.M. students with lawyers and judges throughout the country.



The program is designed to help students develop their professional identity and character formation through lasting relationships with these lawyers and judges. The program aims to pair each participating law student with a legal professional who (1) practices in the state where that law student intends to practice; and (2) specializes in the practice area most aligned with that student’s interests.

The mentorship opportunity provides a uniquely valuable experience for students to glean practical and personal advice from practicing attorneys and judges, and the consensus from the mentors is that the benefit is a mutual one. In a recent study by the American Bar Association, recent law school graduates cited having a mentor as an important driving factor for career satisfaction and also noted the important benefits provided by a mentor program such as advice, guidance, and support.

Since its inception in February 2013, CEFLER has had almost 500 mentors in the program, with 130 attorneys and judges participating in 2016-17 alone. That first academic year, 9% of the law student body participated as mentees compared to 45% of the student body who participated last academic year 2016-17.

Since the beginning of this academic year, CEFLER has received many applications from new students who want to participate in the program.  As we begin the pairing process, we look forward to learning of the positive experiences both mentors and mentees enjoy from the program this year.

Click here to view past mentee testimonies >

9.15.2017

Teaching Agape to Law Students

Scripture speaks boldly about the call of Christians to love. This Christian love is best captured in the principle of agape, the Greek word used by the gospel writers for “love” in Christ’s greatest commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).


This biblical call to agape is clear, and in fulfilling our responsibility to agapic love, Christian legal
educators should be concerned about the “moral and spiritual good” of their students and should see part of their job as helping their students “grow in virtue.” This instruction first is not simply communicating to students the content of what true agapic love means. Such an understanding is important, particularly how agape contrasts with other forms of love both in New Testament times and how we often view love today. What is more important, however, particularly as we properly construe legal education as a formative process, is that students are transformed such that they more robustly appropriate agape in their lives as law students and ultimately lawyers.

In this short (5-page) article, Professor Natt Gantt provides four overarching principles that are critical to achieving this transformation in our students. Click here to download >




8.31.2017

CEFLER Co-Founder Natt Gantt Speaks on Work as Worship

Professor L. O. Natt Gantt, II, associate dean for academic affairs and co-director of the Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform, recently spoke in Regent Law Chapel.

Popular culture affects the way that we view work. We are also living in a fallen world and work is affected by the Fall. We tend to be externally motivated and base our identity in our jobs. This is a huge mistake. Dean Gantt identifies how we can have a proper, biblical perspective about work and where we should find our identity.

Gantt received his A.B. in psychology and political science, summa cum laude, from Duke University; his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School; and his M.Div., summa cum laude, from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

View his talk below:

8.07.2017

Professor Ben Madison Presents at Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Conference

On July 31-Augst 6, CEFLER Co-director Professor Benjamin Madison presented at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Conference.


Madison gave a presentation of implementing program learning outcomes in the classroom. These outcomes are designed to help students cultivate professional skills and qualities beyond analytical skills. This comes in response to the new ABA Standard 302.

According to the ABA, this standard involves using learning outcomes to include, other than knowledge of the law itself and legal reasoning skills, the “[e]xercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system; and [o]ther professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession.”

The ABA goes on to say that professional skills include, but are not limited to “skills such as, interviewing, counseling, negotiation, fact development and analysis, trial practice, document drafting, conflict resolution, organization and management of legal work, collaboration, cultural competency, and self-evaluation.”

Other skills Madison says he hopes to have implemented at Regent include those put forth by the Holloran Center at the University of St. Thomas. These include skills such as active listening, giving and receiving feedback, improving professional integrity, and forming a personal code of ethics.
In his presentation at SEALS, Madison discussed how to implement these skills into a law school’s curriculum, and how to further reinforce them into courses.


7.09.2017

Ben Madison Presents on Helping Millennials Develop Self-Reflection

In July 2017, Professor Benjamin Madison gave a presentation entitled “Helping Millennials Develop Self-Reflection,” during which he asked the audience to "consider how reflection over time can lead to clarity of values, to ethical boundaries, and even to recognition of areas in which has a passion that her legal training can fulfill."



In conjunction with the new ABA Standard 302, the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning’s (ILTL) Summer Conference focused on teaching professional skills proposed by the new standard.

Part of the purpose of the presentation was to receive feedback from other professors on how to integrate the new standard. “This will in particular help the faculty coaches in facilitating accurate self-assessments, and encouraging students to use the results of the process,” Madison said.
Madison also saw this as an opportunity “to have some of the best minds in legal education help with something that our entire faculty is working through in the Foundations of Practice course.”
As part of that course, started last year, students will take a self-assessment test through the School of Psychology and Counseling. Madison says that it is unusual to have two unique schools collaborating effectively.

Prior to the presentation, Madison contacted Carissa Dwiwardani, Associate Professor and Psychological Services Center Director at Regent University, to discuss how exactly young people (i.e. Millennials) respond to criticism. Madison notes that in his research he found that Millennial-aged people have high levels of self-esteem in comparison to older generations, but the same sources say that Millennials are less open to criticism.

“The challenge is how best for us to help students with self-assessment,” Madison said. “By raising the issue we saw that students struggled to get accurate self-assessment or to connect their goals with what steps they need to take to get there. I was able to get excellent input from educators at other schools on ideas we can implement.”