|Elissa Polley, 2L|
Undergrad: University of Minnesota-Duluth
Major: Environmental Studies
A. A tiny town in northern Minnesota called Tamarack!
Q. How did you spend your summer?
A. I spent my 1L summer with Shared Hope International and National District Attorneys Association in the D.C. area. I assisted them with anti-trafficking projects including legislative research and recommendations for The Protected Innocence Project, as well as case law research on labor and sex trafficking convictions involving force, fraud, and coercion. This summer I will spend the first half with Traffick 911 in Dallas, Texas working with minor victims of trafficking and creating a legislative advocacy program, and the second half with Norfolk Commonwealth Attorneys Office to gain prosecution experience.
Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you?
A. Becoming a lawyer means that I have a platform and a responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless. It means using the God given skills I have to seek justice for those who do not have access to, or an understanding of, the justice system. It means protecting life through justice from the womb to the grave.
Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school?
A. Nothing, I would have done it the same way! Law school has been obeying the call of God for my life and trusting Him for the outcome. If I had known before I went how life altering it would be, I may not have obeyed as quickly. (This ride is not for the faint of heart, but with God ALL things are possible!)
Q. What surprised you most about Regent?
A. The kindness of the faculty and staff! From Dean Brauch, to the professors, to the staff, I have been blessed. From my admissions process with Bonnie Creef, to the daily devotions by my professors, to donut day with the dean, this experience has been a great representation of the love of Christ being reflected in the actions of the faculty and staff.
Q. How is law school different from your college experience?
A. The amount of time I spend studying is the major difference. I focused more on friends and sports in undergrad and much more on writing in my master’s program. Also, a positive difference in law school is that I enjoy the in-depth discussions, and the heightened level of intellect of these discussions.
Q. What is your favorite class so far and why?
A. I would have to say Immigration Law and Evidence top the list because Professor Valverde and Professor Duane are passionate about these subjects and passed that along to me! I also must add that before law school I would have never imagined being interested or even excited about Civil Procedure, but now it makes me want to jump up on tables thanks to Professor Madison!
Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation?
A. I am open to being stateside or international, and can see public interest/human rights law in my future, with an emphasis on anti-trafficking and protection of children.
Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent?
A. I like to think of my friends at Regent as a beautiful mosaic. Each come from differing backgrounds, varying interests, unique talents, but we care deeply for one another. We encourage, support, and pray for one another regularly. On the days when law school is overwhelming, these friends have been there to offer a kind word or a reminder that we are going to make it!
Q. How do you prefer to study?
A. My favorite place is in my backyard (weather permitting!) with a glass of sweet tea within reach. Because I am a mom, my “when” and “where” vary depending on my family, but early in the morning and late at night seem to be my best times. I have a great study area in my home with plenty of snacks and chocolate to get me through. I also have an amazing husband who cooks, and kids who love to serve me coffee or tea, so I am well cared for during my study times!
Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
A. I am a huge fan of books of all kinds, yet I adore classic children’s books most of all. I would have to say Boxcar Children is my favorite, but Jenny Goes to Sea comes in at a close second! The theme of both of these books has to do with the characters finding adventure in unusual places. While facing different kinds of difficulty, they make the most of where they are and use what tools are available to them for success. (Sounds similar to law school?)
Q. What is your favorite Bible verse?
A. “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12: 24. This verse encourages me to live out my faith and love for God on a daily basis. I am grateful that even though I am still “a work in progress,” he strengthens me and blesses my life in infinite ways!
Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A. I would meet Christine Caine, the founder of The A-21 Campaign. She is a wife, mother, and world changer. She had a choice early in her life to be a victim, or a victor. As she allowed God to bring her through the darkness, she began to realize the greatness He had planted in her. She now uses that greatness to rescue and restore victims of human trafficking. I admire her greatly, and hope to meet her someday either at a conference, or because I work for her!
Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. Professor Van Essendelft! She is an amazing woman of God, not to mention a marvelous instructor! She encouraged me a lot during 1L year and I would love to chat with her more outside of looming LARW brief deadlines!
Q. What kinds of extra-curricular activities are you involved with?
A. Track, Baseball, and Soccer mom, Women’s Leadership Council at my church, The Center for Global Justice Student Staff, International Law Society Board, Law Chapel Media Representative for COGS, and Kaplan Representative.
Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. First, I would pack up the car with a picnic and beach gear. I would bring along my “liquid sunshine.” (i.e. my husband and kids!) We would explore a beach we have not been to and swim, boogie board, build sandcastles, and find hidden treasures (which often amount to a pile of shells!). When we are completely worn out from the beach we would head to Captain George’s and indulge on the finest seafood buffet around!
Q. Is there anything else you would like your peers or future law students to learn about you?
A. I have learned that the following sermon quote fits well with my law school experience and the perspective I have gained through the challenges and joys of it all: “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called!”