Spotlight on Matthew Swanson, 2L

Matthew Swanson, 2L
Q. Where are you from?
A. Outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you?
A. That this is the ministry the Lord has called me to. The legal field will be by mission field. It is my opportunity to use the gifts God has given me to serve Him and to love and serve others.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent?
A. The people and professors! I had visited other law schools and when I walked onto this campus I could instantly tell something was different. It is such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere which is something you can't find at a lot of other schools. The professors and students care about your success and are very encouraging. We're like one big happy family. 

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school?
A. Everyone told me that it would be a lot of reading, but before I got here I didn't let that sink in. In undergrad I was able to do well by just skimming and listening in class. It doesn't work like that in law school, it is a lot of reading that you have to actually dig into and not just skim. You can do it, it just takes an acceptance that this is what you have to do to do well. Eventually it becomes a habit and part of the daily routine. 

Q. How is law school different from your college experience?
A. More reading and less free time. I was used to having time in undergrad for basically everything I wanted to do that wasn't class related. Law school definitely teaches you how to prioritize if you didn't know how to do that before. You make time for what is important to you and you’ll have to accept you can't do everything like you could before. I still have time to have fun, I just have to make sure I set that time aside and use all my other time wisely. 

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why?
A. Property. I’m shocked to say this. When I first started I thought property would be the class that I disliked the most, but the surprise of the year to me is that I love it. The material clicks with me and I really enjoy the topics compared to a lot of other classes. Moral of the story- prepare to be surprised when you start law school, what you think you're going to be bored with you might end up really enjoying. 

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation?
A. I would like to get into criminal prosecution and eventually be an elected district attorney. 

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent?
A. They are awesome! They have a good balance because they know how to take their work seriously and when it is time to work they get it done. They also know how to have fun, so when we all have free time it is always good times. Friends are important in law school, don’t go without them because you have a group of people that can encourage you and run beside you as you go through school. 

Q. How do you prefer to study?
A.  I always do my best work in my own room at my desk. I like to talk, so going to the library is detrimental to me because I'll just walk around and talk to people and not get anything done. I decided it would be mutually beneficial for me and other students if I just lock myself away for a few hours and get everything knocked out! 

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
A.  As cliché as it may be for a law student to say this, I love anything by John Grisham. I also really enjoy anything by Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll. Side note- I don’t have as much time to read for fun in law school so I’ve started downloading audio books and picking away at them when I drive. Grisham books are awesome for long road trips because they, for the most part, keep you thinking and in suspense. 

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse?
A. Titus 2:7-8, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” I love this verse because it reminds me that I need to strive to be a good example to those I come into contact with, and to just do good and love on those people. I also think it is a great reminder that we are called to live a life above reproach so that not a single person can bring a charge against us. It inspires me to hold myself to that standard. 

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A. William Wilberforce who was a British politician in the 1800s who fought to end the slave trade. I would like to meet him because I have a great respect for people like him who dedicate their lives to serving the Lord, but recognizing that serving Him can happen in any career field, you are a minister where you are, not just in the church. He dedicated his life to what he was passionate about and what he felt called to do, he left an impact that outlived his life on this earth and I feel we should all strive to do that in our own way. 

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. Professor DeGroff. I really enjoyed having him as a professor in property and you can tell he genuinely cares about his students and his faith…not to mention his sense of humor cracks me up! 

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. Sleep and eat ice cream! But seriously, I would just want to spend it with friends. There is so much to do around here to keep you busy between sports, the oceanfront, malls, movie theaters, every place to eat you could think of and more, and just a lot of really random cool stuff too!

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