King’s Graduates Thrive in Law School
The number of King's alumni in law school is on the rise.
By Joshua Encinias '12.
To the surprise of his Legal Writing professor, Bryan Nance, a 2009 King's graduate, not only received a perfect score on his first assignment, it was the first one the professor had ever given during her ten years of teaching. "I attribute catching-on quickly to my writing training at King's," said Nance.
Just a few weeks earlier, Nance had not made the best first impression when he arrived in the class. His professor at The George Washington University School of Law asked the class what they knew about legal writing, and Nance responded, "writing legal memos sucks." The professor was not amused.
Nance is one of many King’s students accepted to law school. But the journey from King’s to law school is not always easy.
"If you think you read a lot at King’s, you will be even more surprised at the amount of reading in law school. You will be reading thousands of pages per week and hundreds of cases per subject," said King’s alumna Becca Tingstrom, who received her Juris Doctorate from Regent University School of Law in May 2013.
Tingstrom, who was the President of Regent’s Student Bar Association for 2012-2013, found the academic rigor challenging in her first year. She was excellent with oral arguments but struggled with legal writing. In Tingstrom’s second year she passed Appellate Advocacy with one of the highest grades in the class. That same year she competed on a Moot Court team and edited the team’s final brief, at the recommendation of her professor. "I found out later that my professor had recommended me to be the final editor of the team’s brief because I was one of the best legal writers he had seen," said Tingstrom.
King’s students attend law school for various reasons. Nance is in law school to work on the business side of law, which will give him the opportunity to avoid courtrooms and help corporations make productive and beneficial deals in light of the law. Tingstrom wanted to attend law school since she was 12 years old. But now she believes that God led her to law school for a higher purpose.
"Now that I have been in law school and graduated I realize that I am here for more than my own goals and desires," said Tingstrom. "It means being faithful to God's call in my life. Clients need two things: excellent representation and Christ. In choosing to enter the legal field, I purposefully engage with our culture as Christ has called me."
Jonathan Irwin, recent King’s graduate and student at the University of Oklahoma School of Law, chose law school because of society’s need for legal advice.
"The law affects everyone, but it's complex. People have to navigate the law no matter what they do in life, but to navigate it effectively would take an incredible amount of energy and time," said Irwin. "People put faith in lawyers. The profession of law is limited to a select number of individuals who are allowed to provide legal advice, and we are put in a unique position to influence decisions. Though all lawyers are subject to ethics obligations, when we take these obligations seriously we are in a position not only to serve our clients well, but also society at large."
Graduates agree that future King’s students interested in a career in law are well prepared in their undergraduate studies, both because of the academic preparation and their New York City location, giving them access to internships.
"A King's student will be very prepared for the law school workload. The amount of reading and writing we do is similar to what was required of me at King's," said Irwin.
"My writing training at King's helped me earn an A+ in both of my semesters of Legal Research and Writing (an honor only designated for less than 3% of my class), and the amount that we read isn't very daunting after all of the quality -- and dense -- reading I did at King's," said Nance.
Tingstrom said many of her legal professors told her that they wish logic was a prerequisite for entering law school, and that she was at an advantage for having taken Dr. Peter Kreeft's Logic course while at King’s.
One of the most important things Tingstrom received from King’s was a support network of peers.
"When Jacqui Smith, Krissa Webb, and I began law school at the same time we, started a Facebook group dedicated to law students from King’s," said Tingstrom.
Over the years in law school, the three were able to support one another in prayer and advice about their studies. This example is one among many of King’s alumni supporting each other in fulfilling the mission of the college and God’s calling in their lives.
The King's College is a private, Christian liberal arts school located in New York City. We educate students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. Click here for more information about applying to King’s if you are interested in training for law school.
Joshua is a writer based in New York City. He graduated from The King's College in 2012. Follow him on Twitter.
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Chad G. Abbott