Spotlight on Andrew (Drew) Cziok, 3L

Andrew (Drew) Cziok, 3L
Hamline University (St. Paul)
Major: Philosophy, Political Science

Q. Where are you from? 
A. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Q. How did you spend your summer? 
A. Last summer (2L summer) I interned for the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. I spent most of my summer litigating criminal cases under supervision in federal court. The summer before that (1L summer), I worked for Freedom Firm in India on child sex trafficking interdiction work. My boss was Evan Henck, who graduated from Regent Law in 2007. Freedom Firm is really doing great things over there. Nothing in my life has been the same since that trip. We're so unbelievably lucky in this country, and we don't even know it.

Q. What does becoming a lawyer mean to you? 
A. It means picking up a set of tools that I can use to help people. Law is big and scary and complex. Once I learn how to navigate that world, it's my job to lead others through it.

Q. What do you wish you knew before you started law school? 
A. Property Law. That would have made 1L year much easier.

Q. How is law school different from your college experience? 
A. Like everyone says, the work load is much more intense. But also and probably more important, what we do in class relates to what we'll actually do in the real world as lawyers.

Q. What is your favorite class so far and why? 
A. Evidence with Professor Duane—he's brilliant and engaging, and I got to use what I'd learned on day one of my internship and it gave me a huge leg up in court.

Q. What kind of law do you hope to practice after graduation? 
A. I want to practice criminal law, specifically complex or large-scale work, like human trafficking, organized crime, or white collar crime. Basically what I did all summer. I'm hooked.

Q. How would you describe the group of your closest friends found here at Regent? 
A. Essential. My friends here support and challenge me. Law school is tough; you need good people to encourage you and keep you accountable.

Q. How do you prefer to study? 
A. I live in Ghent, an historic neighborhood in Norfolk. It has some great coffee shops, and now that my classes meet mostly in the evening, I can study there in relative peace. The neighborhood is great, and you get to know everyone who works and frequents those places. It's kind of like Cheers, only with coffee and more law books.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
A. Le Petit Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. It's a children's book, but like C.S. Lewis said, "a children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." It has a lot of layers to it. It uses simple language from a child's perspective, and it cuts straight to what matters.

Q. What is your favorite Bible verse?
A. I don't know about favorite, but the one that's been most important to me in law school has been Proverbs 31:8-9. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” I carried that verse with me in India, and it helped me focus on exactly what I'm here for. I'm privileged in ways I can never fully appreciate, and with that comes responsibility for those who weren't so lucky. Near as I can tell my job is to help give them a voice.

Q. If you could meet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A. Francis of Asisi, or maybe Henri Nouwen. Tough call. Both for similar reasons. Downward mobility was a way of life for them. I think it's even more important today as we have so many voices shouting at us that we aren't enough, we don't have enough, and that we need to get ahead of the other guy instead of finding a way to serve him.

Q. If you could have lunch with any faculty member or administrator at Regent who would it be and why?
A. Anca Potoan. She runs this place.

Q. What kinds of extra-curricular activities are you involved with?
A. I handle the business affairs of the Moot Court Board, and I'm also directing the in-house 1L moot court competition this spring. I'm a class representative with the Student Bar Association as well. Outside of academic work, I learned to surf when I moved here and that's been fun and a little humbling. I also golf—so far this year I've lost matches to Professor Hernandez, ADR, the Trial Ad Board, and the Civil Division of the US Attorney's Office in Norfolk.

Q. If you had an entire weekend available, what would you do in the Hampton Roads area?
A. Wow. So much to do. First of all, get into Norfolk. Downtown is amazing—take a walk down Granby Street, get lunch at one of the new food trucks, and eat it down at Town Point Park. Go catch dinner and a movie in Ghent. Dinner somewhere on Colley Ave (take your pick, you can't go wrong) and a movie at the Naro Cinema. It's one of the last of the old theaters in the country. It's history, classic Americana, and one of the only places to see indie films in the Hampton Roads area. Also, I would go surfing and spend at least a day at the Chrysler Art Museum. It's free and has some great collections.

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