Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform

According to the Carnegie Foundation’s landmark report, “Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law,” most law schools fail to develop the ethical framework necessary to enable students to achieve the highest standards of competence and professionalism.

The Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform coordinates the programs and resources Regent Law has committed to developing students’ professional identities. It accentuates Regent Law's expertise in training students within the complexities of the legal environments in which they will eventually practice.

The Center’s goal is to produce lawyers who have an understanding of the nature and purpose of the legal profession and are committed to the ethical practice of law.



Center Initiatives

Thought Leadership. The Center’s faculty publish and present on the topic of professional identity formation nationwide. The Center also fosters scholarly inquiry into the pedagogy of moral formation, that is, how law professors can learn to teach within both cognitive and affective paradigms. The Center also provides Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses on ethical formation and the legal profession.

Mentoring Program. The Center pairs incoming 1L students with practicing legal professionals who embody integrity and strong moral character. Mentors assist students in preparing for the challenges of the legal profession and in developing a moral compass.

Event Programming. The Center sponsors presentations and panels, introducing current law students to the expectations of the legal community in terms of professional comportment and presentation.

Curricular Components

Core Coursework. Core courses such as “Christian Foundations of Law” introduce students to classic texts on the nature of the law and legal ethics.

Ethical Formation. All courses, where possible, encourage students to produce critical reflection on value conflicts and ethical dilemmas, encouraging students to go beyond simply “learning the rules” of ethical practice.

Critical Reflection. Every class includes an extra period of reflection designed to explore the dynamics of moral formation and ethical legal practice in the context of virtue ethics, Natural Law, and within the biblical narrative.

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers

Regent is a member of  Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers (ETL), a selective consortium of 24 law schools under the auspices of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. ETL's goal is to facilitate and encourage best practices in legal education in order to train new lawyers to the highest standards of competence and professionalism. Learn more here.


Center Directors

L. O. Natt Gantt, II
Professor and Director of Academic Success and Advising

M.Div., 2000, summa cum laude, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary JD, 1994, cum laude, Harvard Law School A.B., 1991, summa cum laude, Duke University


Ben Madison

JD 1985, College of William & Mary; Managing Editor, William & Mary Law Review, 1984-85. M.A. 1982, College of William & Mary. B.A. 1981, Randolph-Macon College.