Spotlight on Vannah Shaw, 3L

Vannah Shaw, 3L
Q. Where are you from?
A. St. Louis, Missouri.

Q. How did you spend your summer?
A. I spent my summer studying abroad with Howard University Study Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa at the University of Western Cape. I studied several courses including Comparative Constitutional Law, and was able to take my first trip to Africa. After I returned to the States, I spent a few weeks at the Portsmouth Public Defender Office, shadowing a recent Regent graduate.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you?
A. Becoming a lawyers means stepping into the calling God has for me. It has always been my passion to provide access to those with limited resources, whether it is legally, financially, or educationally. I believe that being a lawyer means assuring that everyone who I counsel has adequate representation and is assured his or her constitutional rights.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school?
A. Nothing that I did not already know. I think if I would have known anything more about law school, then I would not have come. For purposes of advice, I wish I would have known more about the U.S. Court system, it took me a while to build a framework of the information I was given.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent?
A. I was surprised the most by the campus. I remembered when I first visited; I was blown away by the natural beauty. I remember the horses and the fountain the most. I thought it was a preview of heaven on earth.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience?
A. I came from a state school, the University of Missouri - Columbia, and the students were very liberal. At Regent I feel as if I have experienced the opposite end of the spectrum. Both have benefits, but I appreciate the amount of spiritual support offered at Regent that was not always available at my undergraduate college.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why?
A. Negotiations is my favorite class by far. Growing up I was one of those students that appreciated information if I could find a practical use for what was learned. Negotiations offered me skills that I know are useful in life, as well as in my law career.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation?
A. I would like to work in public interest, helping indigent clients. This goes back to my passion of wanting to help people, and providing better resources to those with limited access.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent?
A. I would describe them as Legal Pearls. I am involved in a Bible Study that meets once a week on Friday. We are able to fellowship, pray, and eat! These ladies are all wonderful, and out of the group I have found a prayer partner, a running partner, and countless other friends.

Q. How do you prefer to study?
A. I usually like to study in solitude. Part of my maturing process at Regent has been understanding that God has given me the capacity to prosper. Before coming, I assumed that law school was for smart people, and that I did not fit the mold. In my now three years in law school, I have learned that success is about hard work, and that any struggles I have build character. They do not define me.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
A. The Bible. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse?
A. Proverbs 3:5-6. It is a passage that always comes up in my life. I think the important message for me is to trust God with ALL of my heart, ALL of the time, and to devote my meditations to prayer. Having done this I can rest, assured that God is in control of my destiny—even in those times when I think I have lost all control.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A. Jesus. I look forward to the day! Besides him, I would like to meet Dr. Ben Carson, who is on Regent's Board of Trustees. My mom introduced his books to me growing up. I have read two of his books entitled Gifted Hands and Think Big. His story is encouraging to me because he has managed to combine faith, education, and professionalism in his everyday life. He reminds us that it is not about where we come from, but that God controls where we are headed.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. I would have lunch with Dean Gantt. I always appreciate that his spiritual advice accompanies practical steps to accomplish my goals. Also, he never fails to pray with me after every meeting. It is encouraging.

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. I would go to Busch Gardens. I have not made it there yet, and my time is winding down.

Q. Is there anything else you would like your peers or future law students to learn about you?
A. I have enjoyed my time at Regent. In the words of Beyonce Knowles, “I was here, I lived, I loved.”

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