Spotlight on Elizabeth Ann Oklevitch, 3L

Elizabeth Ann Oklevitch, 3L
Grove City College
Major: Political Science
Q. Where are you from? 
A. Lima, New York.

Q. How did you spend your summer? 
A. This summer I was a student law clerk at the US Attorney office in Rochester, NY. Last summer I clerked for Federal District Court Judge Michael A. Telesca and then worked at the University of the Free State in South Africa through the Blackstone Legal Fellowship.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you? 
A. When I get my degree and my license to practice law, those credentials will position me to help people in unique ways. Attaining that position is worthless, though, unless I use it. Call me idealistic, but I want to use the credentials, position, and professional skills that come with being a lawyer to effectively advocate for justice in particular cases and in society more broadly.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school? 
A. You will need to know things you learn in classes that seem irrelevant to your anticipated legal career. For instance, I’ve always wanted to practice family law, but this summer, my work for the US Attorney’s office has required me to use a lot of Fourth Amendment analysis from Constitutional Criminal Procedure. So, even if a course is not in your expected field of practice, you will like yourself much better later on if you actually pay attention in class.

Q. What surprised you most about Regent? 
A. The high academic caliber of students surprised me the most. Regent may not enjoy high prestige rankings, but it attracts really talented students, and I’m continually challenged by the academic excellence and career ambition of my classmates. At the same time, I was struck by the extent to which the student body blows the arrogant, competitive law student stereotype to smithereens. Even the “best” students in my class are incredibly humble and genuinely nice people.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience? 
A. The work is not necessarily harder, but it is more continuous. In most law school classes, you truly can’t afford to procrastinate or slack off on your daily reading assignments. Also, even though I attended a thoroughly Christian undergrad, I have found that Regent does an exceptional job of integrating Christian thought into the course material.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why? 
A. Almost half of my classes stand out to me as candidates for “favorite.” Jurisprudence wins, though. Professor Stern led our small class in great discussions of complex theory and surprisingly practical applications. Studying the great and often absurd lengths brilliant scholars go to justify a legal system based solely on human authority exposed the futility of the endeavor and gave me confidence that a Christian view of law and authority actually makes sense.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation? 
A. Ultimately, I would like to be involved with family law and child advocacy, but I don’t know what my first steps will be after law school.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent? 
A. My friends are people that work hard, laugh hard, and keep their eyes on the goal.

Q. How do you prefer to study? 
A. My ideal study scenario would be a hammock beside a mountain lake, for as long as the material keeps my interest. But since we don’t always get what we want, I’ll admit I do my best work at my library carrel, the day before a test/ due date, for about fourteen hours on end, with an endless supply of tea.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
A. That’s not a fair question. I’m a big fan of The Giver by Lois Lowry, for its creativity and exploration of the value of pain in the human experience.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse? 
A. That changes regularly. But I often come back to James 3:17-18 because it is the verse I want my legal practice to be founded on and guided by. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
A. I’d like to meet Dietrich Bonhoeffer to discuss church-state relations at pivotal moments in national history.

Q. What kinds of extra-curricular activities are you involved with?
A. I’m a member of the Regent Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board, and International Justice Mission.

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. I would go see a rugby game, explore a new park, and have friends over for dinner.

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Anonymous said...

The Giver is my favorite book too!

Holly said...

This is cool!

Diane Lusk said...

Hi Elizabeth! Glad to see your in Law School. Joshua graduated from Case western, and is now practicing Law at a big law firm in Cleveland, OH. I pray the best for you.

Diane Lusk