Spotlight on Keila Molina, 3L

Keila Molina, 3L
Q. Where are you from?
A. It depends. How's that for a "lawyerly" response? Right now, I’m technically a Virginian based on my domicile. Originally, I'm from Sonora, Mexico. Most of my life, however, has been equally shared between San Luis, Arizona and Southern California. So I'm a west coast girl at heart.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you?
A. It means that I will get to professionally counsel and advocate for others. That's what I love about the legal profession: it's a calling that allows you to be a counselor-at-law as well as an advocate. In Spanish, the word for lawyer is 'abogado' which is derived from the verb, 'abogar' which means to advocate. That's who I want to be: someone who advocates.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school?
A. I wish I had known how much I would need to be open to change. The most difficult time for me was 1L year. I had to be willing to adapt to adapt to learning what seemed like a foreign language and a new way of reading, writing, and even speaking! (Just ask any law student or lawyer the correct way to pronounce writ of certiorari!) It was not at all easy to adjust and I think that had I realized and prepped myself for change earlier, it might have helped me to accept rather than fight the transition by idealizing my life prior to law school.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent?
A. My greatest surprise was the weather and seasons of the year! As a west coast girl, I grew up with sunshine daily. At Regent, I thought the climate would be similar, so I was not at all used to the humidity in the summer or the downpour of rain in the middle of muggy days. I experienced my first nor'easter during 1L year and the good thing was that classes were cancelled! Then my first winter was a record snowfall in decades, so I was of course bundled up and frozen most of those months. But spring, oh wow, I love it. Despite the crazy amounts of pollen, it is absolutely gorgeous!

Q. How is law school different from your college experience?
A. Law school is completely different. In college, all-nighters were for watching movies or doing other fun stuff. In law school, all-nighters are never for movies, or for fun (unless you count writing briefs or researching as fun). Most law students pretty much work all day after being in class. Then, more than I'd like to admit, we also stay up to work most of the night. Especially around the end of the semester when final exams are close

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why?
A.  If favorite based on professors, then it is Civil Procedure with Professor Madison or Evidence with Professor Duane. Both professors have incredible personalities and all law students are easily entertained regardless of the content! But if favorite based on content, then my favorite class is Juvenile Law with Professor Kohm. I read/researched/wrote about what I am passionate about so I really enjoyed learning about how the law can be used to protect the lives of children.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation?
A.  My passion is to be an advocate for those who are vulnerable and often defenseless: children, in the United States and worldwide. As members of our societies, children are often overlooked and live in abusive, life-threatening situations. My heart's calling is to promote the legal protection of 'the least of these' among us, and to advocate for all children whom God gives me the ability to do so. Like the popular Sunday school song, Jesus really does love the little children of the world and as a Christian attorney, I would like to make sure I do what I can to share His love and promote the protection of these little ones.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent?
A. Since 1L year, my closest friends have been an encouragement, a prayer partner, or a shoulder to literally lean on when I felt that I couldn't make it. I consider myself blessed to have found friends with a kindred spirit, who are willing to reach out and lend a helping hand, and who have been a huge blessing to share life with while at Regent.

Q. How do you prefer to study?
A. If not for Starbucks, I might not have made it through law school. Ask anyone. Mostly everyone has either seen me at a local Starbucks or seen me walking around with the well-known white cups with a green siren on it. I don't think I'm addicted (or maybe I'm in denial) but I quickly figured out that in order to get long hours (on average 5-7) of work done, then I have to head off-campus and sit surrounded by smell of espresso. Most law students study for hours in the library at their reserved carrels. I tried it, once. But I simply can't focus if it's too quiet. I actually focus and study way better with distractions around me, some good music in the background, near a window with some sunshine, and with a latte or chai tea next to me.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
A. I'm going to have to say any novel by Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, or even Northanger Abbey. Although fictional characters, truly thinking about how different life used to be for women, makes me appreciate the things that I often take for granted. Taking a look back reminds me to be thankful and grateful for the opportunities I have.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse?
A.  I have many favorite Bible verses, but one to share is Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I learned this verse when I was a little girl and my abuelita (grandma) was teaching us grandkids to pray and memorize scripture. The life of my abuelita is an inspiration, and along each stage of my own life, particularly through the challenges presented by law school, I have been encouraged to remember to never rely on my own strength and abilities, but in God's strength. Despite my many weaknesses, it is only through God's strength that I am able to do all things.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A. I would choose to meet Esther, from the book of Esther in the Bible. Why? Because I would love to hear all about her being chosen as queen, being the queen, and about her journey of believing and trusting God's will even when life was very uncertain. Her strong determination to speak (and advocate!) for her people, the nation of Israel, even when it could have cost her own life, is very admirable. Esther's life, and her story, is an encouraging reminder about how God often puts us in unique situations to accomplish the purpose He has for our lives.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. This is a tough question! I can't just choose one faculty member, so I would choose Professor Lynne Kohm, Professor Duane, Professor Madison, Professor Jacob, Professor Van Essendelft, Dean Brauch, and Dean Gantt. Each one of these law professors and deans has been a tremendous blessing for me while at Regent and they are each so supportive in their own unique ways. It would be wonderful to have lunch with all of them, particularly since I'm so close to finishing my time at Regent!

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. If I had an entire weekend, no financial constraints, and absolutely no law school homework looming on my 'to-do' list, this would be my itinerary:
Friday: walking tour of downtown Norfolk, the waterfront, visit local museums, eat and shop at MacArthur Mall, then finish with a symphony concert at Chrysler Hall.
Saturday: all day at the beach, walk on the boardwalk and people watch, dinner at Towne Center (probably CPK), and then a movie at Lynnhaven AMC.
Sunday: Trinity Church with Pastor Randy Singer, then lunch with friends, and the rest of the day relaxing at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

Q. Is there anything else you would like your peers or future law students to learn about you?
A. I would like my peers and professors to know how thankful I am for the opportunity to share life with them as a student at Regent Law. For prospective law students, my advice is to pray for guidance about where to attend law school. I am very glad I came to Regent Law. Law school is not easy, but at Regent, my experience has been life-changing and very worthwhile.

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