Spotlight on Ashley Irwin, 1L

Ashely Irwin, 1L

Q. Where are you from? 
A. Saint Louis, Missouri.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you? 
A. I see becoming a lawyer in two ways. The first is that it is obedient to the individual call the Lord has put on my heart. I am so blessed by the Lord's faithful pursuit of us and the ways in which he communicates his will for our lives. For me, coming to law school was outside of my comfort zone but the Lord affirmed me and opened the doors to be here. I came here thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do but have been amazed at how the Lord has challenged those preconceptions. He has not changed what my heart is passionate about but he has opened my eyes to the bigger picture regarding that issue and the possibility that being involved in it may look different than I originally thought. The second is that I believe that the pursuit of justice is dear to the Lord's heart and should be a concern of all followers of Christ, though that concern will look different for each person. Becoming a lawyer is also the way in which I believe the Lord has called me to engage with his heart on this issue

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school? 
A. Truthfully, I'm not sure. This may sound obvious but law school is such a learning process. Obviously law school in and of itself is an academic pursuit, but understanding how to do law school is a learning process. The reality is that the process of figuring it out is valuable. There aren't any magic keys that unravel law school and make it easy. Keeping your focus on the Lord will keep you sane and peaceful, but beyond that the most important thing is to be willing to try. Maybe that is what I wish someone had told me: that you're going to feel like you don't have a clue and that that is okay.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent? 
A. I am continually amazed by the evident love the professors have for students. They are eager to equip us for our profession but also to build our character and encourage us toward excellence. This has been such a profound encouragement to me on the hard days. They are challenging and will address it if you are not prepared but I have never doubted that their motives are for my good.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience? 
A. In college I showed up to class and the professor taught me the material. In law school you show up to class and the professors guide you through the material. If you have not done your part you will not learn what you need to.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why? 
A. I have really enjoyed each of my classes for different reasons but the one that has had the most impact on me is Christian Foundations of Law. For years I have struggled with understanding how we are to interact with the legal system as Christians and this class was an opportunity for me to wrestle through that issue.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation?
A. I am interested in human rights and advocacy but I am not sure exactly how that will look after graduating. I have learned over the years to pay attention to what the Lord is putting on my heart but leave the specifics open to his leading. I know that I am passionate about representing people who are taken advantage of; beyond that I trust that the Lord will open the doors he intends to.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent? 
A. They love the Lord and challenge me to love him more...and we have a lot of fun. I love that we challenge one another but are free to laugh and enjoy each other's company as well. We don't have a lot of free time but we get creative and have cake parties in the library among other things. We are law students but we are also people and we have learned that to do well in school we have to take care of each other.

Q. How do you prefer to study? 
A. I have a table in the library where I pretty much set up shop. For me it works best to keep my school work at school. Home is where I relax and school is where I focus. Separating the places helps me to put boundaries on my school work but knowing that when I leave campus I am 'done' also motivates me to stay focused while I am there.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
A. That is actually a very hard question for me but I think it is Poyama by Russell Irwin. It was written by my dad so I may be a little biased but it is an excellent book. I have read it three times and each time I find something new that I love about it. In about 150 pages it takes you through the whole range of emotions. Every time I read it I laugh and cry as the main character wrestles with his pride and learns what it means to surrender to the Lord.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse? 
A. Zephaniah 3:17 says, "For the Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save, he will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, and he will rejoice over you with song." This has been my favorite verse since I was in high school. It reminds me that the Lord is intensely personal. He knows every thing about each of us, he fights on our behalf, when things are hard and confusing he quiets the chaos, and though we are not deserving he delights in us. This verse never fails to amaze and humble me.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
A. Oswald Chambers. For years I have read My Utmost for His Highest and I would love the opportunity to talk to this man and hear his thoughts about some of the issues that are arising today.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. Professor Boland. Every class Professor Boland shares devotions that challenge and encourage me, but more than that they make me aware that he is pursuing and learning from the Lord daily. I am so blessed by the wisdom the Lord has given to him and the humility with which he communicates it.

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