Spotlight on Matthew Morris, 3L

Matthew Morris, 3L
Q. Where are you from?
A. Gig Harbor, Washington, which is about forty-five minutes south of Seattle and home of newly-crowned PGA tour winner Kyle Stanley.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you?
A. In all honesty, becoming a lawyer does not mean that much to me. I never take for granted the opportunity to be at Regent, but being a lawyer has never been particularly appealing. Although I have had internships at both criminal defense and civil litigation firms, the thought of practicing law is not what has motivated me over the last 2.5 years. The J.D. is such a versatile degree that I know it will serve me well no matter what field I go into.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school?
A. I wish I knew I would be sitting here writing these responses just a few months before graduation. There were definitely those times 1L year when I knew it would be easier just to give up and find something new, but I am glad I didn't; I wouldn't trade these last 2.5 years for anything.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent?
A. The accessibility of professors is the most surprising aspect of Regent–in a good way. I never expected that so many professors would open their doors to students for several hours each week to ask questions or discuss what's going on in a class. Friends I talk to at other law schools tell me they never see most of their professors outside of the classroom, which I think is a shame. My experience here at Regent would not have been nearly as memorable or enjoyable if the professors were closed off from the student body.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience?
A. It is obviously much more difficult and time-consuming, but it's learning material relevant to what I want to do in life that makes law school different. Looking back, I pretty much coasted through undergrad since I knew graduate school would be in my future, which is something I can't afford to do now.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why?
A. Sports Law with Professor Joe Kohm, hands down. It is the only class where the material was targeted directly at what I want to do for the rest of my life. The textbook provided a good foundation for the course, but it was the flexibility of the professor to talk about what was happening in the news (at the time it was the new NFL collective bargaining agreement) that made it interesting.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation?
A. I plan on working in sports after graduation, not necessarily in a legal profession. It will be a long, arduous journey, but Regent has given me the tools I need to succeed. Now it is just up to me to work my tail off to make it happen.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent?
A. The people I hang out with the most are able to balance having fun and getting work done. I can't imagine getting through law school without them and their lightheartedness. Life is too short to take anything too seriously, which is something they constantly have reminded me of. I just wish one of them would step up and challenge me during our weekly games of Jeopardy. Winning is only fun when it is at least a little difficult!

Q. How do you prefer to study?
A. I do almost all of my studying in the library. I can't have any distractions around me when I am trying to get work done, so going to a local coffee shop is out of the question. I do best when I sit down for hours at a time and just plow through what I need to do instead of studying in short intervals.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
A. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and there's no close second. Although it ends in a tragic way, the book is focused around the idea that money and nice things can't buy happiness. All Gatsby has is his wealth, but it still isn't enough to get him the woman of his dreams, or acceptance into the upper echelon of society. Fitzgerald's own experiences were clearly prevalent in the book and I think he knew it was too late for him to find true happiness, but he wanted to save future generations from making the same mistakes.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse: 
A. John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I think it is especially relevant today as we have so many distractions to keep us from Him. I don't believe that it is merely enough for me to pray to God and ask him to accept me; I must also take a Christ-like approach in my personal and professional life.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A. I feel like I should say David, Moses, Noah, or Jesus, but I would just be kidding myself. I want to meet Tony Romo and I'm not ashamed to say it! Not only does he play QB for America's team, but he is a scratch golfer and never seems to take himself too seriously. Honorable Mentions: Peter (the disciple) and Thomas Edison.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. Professor Joe Kohm. Not only did he play Division 1 basketball at Syracuse (I could ask him questions about what playing for a legendary coach was like for days on end), but he has one of the coolest jobs in the world. There aren't many Major League Baseball player agents on the planet. Having one as a adjunct professor was a great experience that I will not soon forget.

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. My weekend would start by taking in either a Norfolk Tides or Admirals game on Friday night. There obviously has to be some sporting event in my weekend for it to be great! Saturday would be a beach day. I'd typically head down to 56th street, away from the tourists and their large umbrellas. I will never understand why someone would go the beach to catch some sun only to sit in the shade for hours on end. The beach would be followed by a country concert at the Amphitheater, preferably Eric Church or Jason Aldean. There aren't too many country fans back in Seattle, so I try to go to as many shows as possible while I still have the chance. Lastly, I would head to Greenbrier Church on Sunday morning to worship with some of the best people I know. If you haven't heard of this church or attended it before, I invite you to come. You won't be disappointed!

Q. Is there anything else you would like your peers or future law students to learn about you?
A. My favorite quote is, "Successful people do the things unsuccessful people are not willing to do." I will never shy away from getting my hands dirty and doing the work that some may scoff at. After reading my responses, I hope none of you think that I don't truly love the Lord and have a desire to fulfill His plans for my life. I know I didn't give 'form answers' to most of the questions, but that's just who I am. I don't do things the conventional way or take the easy way out, but I know that will make all the difference.

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