Spotlight on Caleb Wan, 3L

Caleb Wan, 3L
Q. Where are you from? 
A. Bay Area, California. But I was born in Hong Kong. Our relatives petitioned for our family to join them in the United States in the 1980s.

Q. How did you spend your summer? 
A. For my first summer, I spent the first half at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and the second half at Strasbourg, France. As part of Regent’s summer aboard program, I was fortunate to be taught by former US Attorney General John Ashcroft for my national security and civil liberty course. I also had a chance to visit the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights while studying international human rights law at the University of Strasbourg. For my second summer, I externed at the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia for the first half and interned for the Honorable Judge Teresa N. Hammons at the Virginia Beach General District Court for the remaining half.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you? 
A. A lawyer is an officer of the court whose primary obligation is to promote justice. My goal as a law student is to equip myself with excellent legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills so that I can be a competent and effective lawyer to defend and do justice to my client.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school? 
A. Nothing really. I am a planner and it was natural for me to plan out the entire semester within the first few days of law school. I was prepared for the workload and I had set aside sufficient time to study for each subject.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent? 
A. The opportunity for students to participate in interscholastic competitions is amazing. Last year, I was selected to represent Regent at the William B. Spong Moot Court Tournament hosted by William and Mary School of Law at Williamsburg, Virginia. This year, I will be competing at the University of Oxford’s Price Media Law International Moot Court Competition.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience? 
A. Regent’s classes are typically smaller than college classes. Therefore you get much more one on one attention. The Professors are very approachable and they are eager to help you understand the material. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it -- although the Socratic method of teaching can be intimidating to some. Regent also has a community called “law wives” which is quite unique. The group provides an excellent support network among the wives whose husbands are battling through law school.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why? 
A. Trial Practice with the Honorable Robert J. Humphrey and Appellate Advocacy with Professor Hernandez would tie for first. To me, having one of the Court of Appeal judges sharing his tips and insights on how to try a case is priceless. On the other hand, I was blessed to have Professor Hernandez for Appellate Advocacy who has coached numerous national award winning moot court teams. Our class was also fortunate to have Dr. Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of ACLJ who frequently appears in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, as a guest speaker. I consider having one of the nation’s top notch litigators sharing his strategies on how to prepare for an appeal an equally exhilarating experience. Dr. Sekulow’s lecture was definitely one of my many highlights at Regent. Last but not least, I like Appellate Advocacy because it allows you to challenge yourself to become a better writer and advocate.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation? 
A. I would like to do trial and appellate work. I plan to specialize in the area of international law, antitrust, commercial litigation, multi-district litigation, consumer protection, class action, bank fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, transnational money laundering and all the white collar crimes in general. One day, I hope to serve as an Article III judge.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent? 
A. We all come from different states and backgrounds. But one thing that we have in common is that we subject ourselves to the same high academic standards. All my close friends are serious about achieving academic excellence. As high achievers, we understand that time is an extremely valuable commodity in law school. Knowing that all of us have a lot on our plate, I really appreciate my friends who lend me their helping hands when I need them. Regent students are in general very supportive of one another. They would really take time from their busy schedule to help you out.

Q. How do you prefer to study? 
A. Alone. Either at my carrel in the library or at home. I like to do my reading either the night before for early morning class, or an hour or so before the class. It depends on the reading assignments. I can spend anywhere between 45 minutes to 3 hours preparing for each class.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
A. The Condor Trilogy by Jin Yong: The Legend of the Condor Heroes (1957), The Return of the Condor Heroes (1959), The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre (1961). Jin Yong is classic. He is one of the finest martial-art novelists and best-selling Chinese authors alive. His works have been translated into English and numerous other languages – a must-read!

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse? 
A. “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 18:12. Humility is a virtue that is not often associated with lawyers. This passage reminds me that I can be different.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
A. The Honorable Thomas Tang (1922-95). Because he was the first Chinese American appointed to the federal judiciary. He was appointed by President Carter to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in 1977 and served for 16 years until he took senior status in 1993.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why? 
A. Dr. Eugene C. Elser who retired in 2011. He was my contract law professor. I was the lucky 1L to be called on by Dr. Elser the first morning of class on the very first day of law school. What a memory.

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area? 
A. That almost never happens. But if it does, I would most certainly spend it with my wife.

Q. Is there anything else you would like your peers or future law students to know? 
A. Take every opportunity to maximize your law school experience. You will not regret it.

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