Regent University School of Law
As part of the university founded in 1978 by televangelist Pat Robertson, Regent University School of Law prides itself on integrating "a Christian perspective in the classroom." The law school, located in Virginia Beach, was founded in 1986 and fully accredited by the ABA in 1996. Its most distinguished current faculty member is former US Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Admissions & tuition
In 2009, incoming full-time students at Regent Law had a median LSAT of 153 and a median GPA of 3.36. For part-time students, the medians were 150 and 3.44. That same year, the law school accepted about 47 percent of 786 applicants. Of the 368 people admitted to Regent Law, 162 enrolled.
Current students have high praise for the admissions staff. When applying, all applicants are required to obtain a Spiritual Life Recommendation from "a member of the clergy or someone in a church ministry position." Current students at Regent Law seem drawn to the school's emphasis on treating law as a form of service that espouses Christian values.
Full-time tuition and fees come to $29,852 and part-time tuition is $23,027. In 2008, Regent Law offered 80 percent of all students some form of grant aid, with a median $6,000 per full-time recipient and $2,000 per part-time recipient. Despite this wide dispersal of aid, the average law school-related debt for 2009 graduates was $109,025. On the plus side, Regent Law offers a loan repayment assistance program, rare for a Tier 4 school.
Regent Law has an average class size of 75 for the courses first-year students must take. The school has 62 faculty members and a student-to-faculty ratio of 16.2 to 1. First-year students take the following required courses: Christian Foundations of Law, contracts, torts, civil procedure, property and legal writing. The workload is large and about 14 percent of students drop out after the first year. Professors, who according to the school's website are "the nation's experts in Christian legal thought", are more than willing to help students out. Students appreciate the emphasis on Christian and moral foundations of law in the classroom, a pedagogical rarity among both secular law schools and those with a nominal affiliation with religion.
Quality of life
Current students at Regent Law love attending school in Virginia Beach. The quality of life offered by Regent Law is good, as all facilities at Regent are well-maintained and on-campus housing is modestly priced. There is also separate on-campus housing available for graduate students with families. The cost of living off campus in Virginia Beach is comparable to Regent's on-campus apartments, though both are costly when compared to the rest of Virginia.
Students say Regent Law lacks the cutthroat atmosphere that is prevalent at other Tier 4 schools. The collegial atmosphere helps keep the stress of law school to a minimum. Of course, Virginia Beach might have something to do with that. The city offers everything one could imagine in a popular beach getaway. The weather is stellar until as late as October, and bars and restaurants will suit almost everyone's tastes. The atmosphere certainly helps to catalyze social life at Regent Law, which is described as active and amicable.
Employment prospects & bar passage
Slightly over 94 percent of 2008 graduates were known to be employed within nine months of graduation. Of those, only 44 percent stayed in Virginia, while the rest spread somewhat evenly across 29 states in nearly every region of the country. This sort of mobility is extremely rare for Tier 4 law schools, which mostly enjoy only regional success. Graduates have worked in the U.S. Court of Appeals, District and Supreme Courts for various states and for City and State Attorneys across the country. Despite the breadth of opportunity the school offers, students in 2008 earned a median of $45,000 in the private sector. In the public sector, however, the median salary was a higher $48,000.
Students say job opportunities for Regent Law graduates are terrific and that the law school has a truly national reputation. While the law school is still young and is developing relationships with larger firms, alumni throughout the country can provide networking and employment opportunities not available to other Tier 4 graduates.
In 2010, 85.7 percent of Regent Law graduates passed the Virginia state bar exam, which was the third highest passage rate for law schools in Virginia.
March 2013 Update: Here is a link to more recent employment and bar passage data for 2012.
Because the school stresses a Christian perspective of the law, non-Christians might want to visit the campus and meet with students before enrolling to ensure that the school is a good fit. It should be noted that the average amount of debt taken on by Regent graduates is high and starting salaries are not impressive. However, those who want to work nationally will be hard-pressed to find a better-suited Tier 4 school, but opportunities are often tied to employers with a Christian focus. Regent Law has an excellent alumni network and some well-connected professors. For a student who wishes to study the law from a Christian vantage point, Regent Law can be an excellent choice.
Regent University School of Law
Office of JD Admissions
1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
U.S. News & World Report ranking: Tier 4
LSAT Median: 153 (FT), 150 (PT)
GPA Median: 3.36 (FT), 3.44 (PT)
Application Deadline: June 1
Application fee: $50
Entering class size: 152 (FT), 10 (PT)
Yearly Tuition: Full-Time, $29,250; Part-Time: $975 per credit hour
Bar passage rate in Virginia: 85.7%
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 94.4%
Median private sector salary: $45,000 (Class of 2008, 54% reporting)