Spotlight on Yodani Powell, 3L

Yodani Powell, 3L
Q. Where are you from? 
A. I was raised in South Carolina and New Jersey. However, I've been living in Virginia since I came to college in 2005, and my plan is to remain here as well.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you? 
A. Becoming a lawyer is really a call to service. Our entire careers are based on providing a service to others, whether it is through representation, counseling, mediation, or judging. Often, people are not excited to have to seek the help of a lawyer, but we have a great privilege to give aid in the midst of a person's crisis—to be their advocate. As a Christian, I believe that no matter what our job title may say, we have been called to love and serve others.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school? 
A. Life does not stop simply because you are in law school. Law school in general is a challenge, and when you mix in the regular bumps and bruises of your personal life, it can seem overwhelming. During the midst of it all, it is important to realize what your boundaries are. Recognize how much you can put on your plate and then how much you should, and make room for life's unexpected happenings. It really allows you the freedom to keep your stress level low and manageable, and give you a change to enjoy this stage of your life.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent? 
A. The concern from the professors about your personal life. When I visited, one of the things that really impressed me was how well the faculty interacted with each other. I assumed that if they really enjoyed working with each other, then the atmosphere at Regent had to be very good. However, I never assumed that the professors would be so genuinely concerned about your life, relationship with God, and carry a desire to see you live a successful life, not just a career.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience? 
A. When it comes to academics, there is no comparison. The courses in law school are much more rigorous than in undergrad. With law school, there is more of a focus of really preparing and sharpening your skills for your career. When I was in undergrad, I knew after college that I would not be immediately working, so the focus was mainly on preparing for school, post-graduation.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why? 
A. My favorite class so far has been negotiations. I mostly enjoyed the fact that everything was practical and applicable to the moment. In your first year classes, everything you learn is mainly from the casebook. You probably will not get an opportunity to apply what you have learned until your first internship, or after you have passed the bar. With the negotiations class, you get to participate in a number of negotiations during the course. That experience really helps bring to light the material that you learn from the books.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation? 
A. I am not sure what kind of law I would like to practice. I believe that I'm very adaptable to a number of areas of law, and I look forward to seeing which area I end up practicing.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent? 
A. My group of friends at Regent can only be described as a blessing. Prov. 27:17 says that 'as iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.' I have really been blessed to find a group of people that are caring and compassionate, who are funny, and who expand the quality of my life, by sharing their lives with me.

Q. How do you prefer to study? 
A. My study habits sometime depend on the subject. Some subjects I find I do well in when I study alone at home, or on the couches at the library. Other subjects I prefer to study in a group because hearing other people’s explanations helps me solidify the rules and concepts.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
A. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I first heard about Randy Pausch on a TV broadcast about his last words to his family once he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I always love stories and books about the life lessons an individual has learned. It always reminds me to pay attention to what God is trying to teach me in my own life, and to see how I can pass those lessons on to others.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse? 
A. My favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8. I love it because it sums up my responsibility and my purpose as a Christian attorney: do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. It’s a very clear and specific command of what God wants from me and my life.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
A. I would love to meet with Condoleezza Rice. She was raised during the tumultuous times of the South and racial tension. She educated herself and was an accomplished lady at a young age. She has always been a fan of education and truth, and regardless of what anyone thought about her, she continues to stick to what she knows is the truth. Plus, she is an avid football fan, just like me. I’ve always wanted to meet her and learn from her life experiences.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why? 
A. If I could have lunch with any Regent faculty member, it would probably be Dean Brauch from the law school, and not just because he’s my dean. Knowing the full load that Dean Brauch has, I never see him too busy to take time and talk or pray with a student. He always seems to sincerely care about the school, but also really care about the students. I know that at other schools, the deans may not get to take the opportunity to personally invest in their students, but from the first day that I met him until now, it always seems to be a priority for him. Plus his wife is one of the most awesome ladies I’ve ever met, so it would be nice to get to know more about him.

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area? 
A. I would travel down to the boardwalk and enjoy the water, some yogurt, and the shops in that area. Then I would take a trip to the aquarium, or go for dinner and games at Jillian’s (an eat-and-play place) followed by a movie and dinner at Cinema Café. Of course any activity you chose is only made better by the people you choose to enjoy it with, and I’ve got a number of good friends that I enjoy the area with often.

Q. Is there anything else you would like your peers or future law students to learn about you? 
A. Above all things that I want to do with my life, the most important thing I want is to have is an honest relationship with God, and to be a blessing to other people. God has called every Christian to love other people because that was his main focus through Jesus. I just want my life to always be a reflection of that.

Click HERE if you would like to be considered for a similar Q and A feature on this blog.

No comments: