Patrick Henry College Alumni Excel on Harvard Law Review

The Harvard Law Review is a prestigious legal journal that examines high profile legal cases, including many from the U.S. Supreme Court. In publication for 127 years, it adds 46 new members annually to its board of editors, selected through a painstaking writing and review process from among 200 of Harvard’s most talented rising “second years.” This renowned crop of high achievers writes, edits, and publishes the monthly, 300-to-400 page Review.

The Review also happens to feature a disproportionate number of Patrick Henry College grads: five PHC alumni have served on the board of editors, including past ACMA Moot Court Champion Matthew du Mée (’05) and Lindsay See (’07). This year three former students serve on the board of editors: Alex Harris (’12, also an ACMA Moot Court Champion), who joined in July 2013, and James Nelson (’13) and Evelyn Blacklock (’11), who both joined the Harvard Law Review in July 2014. The editors are among seven Patrick Henry College graduates currently enrolled at Harvard Law School–ten total since 2005–constituting a significant presence “that has not gone unnoticed here at Harvard,” says Harris.

Along with his twin brother Brett, Alex published the bestselling book Do Hard Things and launched the national Rebelution “movement against teenage apathy” as a high school student. Together the brothers won the 2011 ACMA Moot Court Championship, and today Alex serves as the Supreme Court Chair for the Review. Recently recognized in the Business Insider as one of “18 Incredibly Impressive Students at Harvard Law School,” Harris’s role as the Review’s Supreme Court Chair has him collaborating with constitutional scholars, including Professor John Manning, a leading conservative scholar on statutory and constitutional interpretation.

That so many Review editors hail from Patrick Henry College, says Harris, a school much smaller and lesser known than the alma maters of some other editors, speaks to the quality of a Patrick Henry College education.

“There are many, much larger schools that have fewer people make it on the [Harvard Law Review],” he said. “People have noticed that there are three editors from Patrick Henry College, despite its age and size. That didn’t just happen by accident.”More than halfway through Harvard Law, Harris has completed Supreme Court appellate litigation in D.C and has also secured a post-graduation clerkship with Judge Neil Gor such on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver.

“I feel incredibly blessed and grateful,” he says. For their part, Nelson and Blacklock spend large portions of the second year writing and editing articles for the November Review, fighting crushing deadlines, drafting lengthy analyses of new legislation, and penning comprehensive legal essays called “notes.”

“It’s a huge investment of time and it’s an emotional investment too,” said Black lock, who will clerk this summer with Judge Brett Kava naught on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. “It’s great to be part of an institution that helps shape the ideas that come out of the legal academy.” She says her Patrick Henry College rhetoric, logic, philosophy, and constitutional law classes were a “tremendous asset,” teaching her how to think and write well.

By any measure, editing the Harvard Law Review carries a singular prestige, affording students priceless networking and career advantages while forging them into world-class legal writers and scholars. Yet other top law schools have also seen many Patrick Henry College graduates serve as law review editors, a clerk with esteemed judges, and begin their ascent at elite law firms.

“Others have been as, or more, successful,” observed Harris, mentioning, among many others, friends Nicole Frazer (’12), near the top of her class at the University of Virginia School of Law, editing the Virginia Law Review, a 2014 John Marshall Fellow and clerking for Judge Jeffrey Sutton in the Sixth Circuit, and Tyler Stockton (’13), excelling at the University of Montana School of Law.

The numbers of Patrick Henry College graduates who have seen success in law school and now serve as attorneys, judges, and high-level counselors for myriad organizations and ministries, are too numerous to mention here. The following is a brief, far from the exhaustive, overview of some of the many deserving attention for how God is blessing their efforts:

Aidan Grano (’10), graduated from Columbia Law in 2013, served on the Columbia Law Review, was a James Kent Scholar and moot court champion, clerked with Judge Wesley of the Second Circuit, and is currently an attorney with Simpson, Thacher, and Bartlett, LLP, in New York City.

Kyle Pousson (’05), a 2008 graduate of Duke Law School, is presently the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

James Barta (’10), a 2013 graduate of Georgetown Law School, clerked with Judge Stephen Murphy of the Eastern District of Michigan and Raymond Keth-ledge of the Sixth Circuit and was a 2013 John Marshall Fellow.

Galen Thorp (’04), graduated from George town Law in 2007, published an article in the Journal of Supreme Court History and is today an attorney for the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch.

Lindsay See (’07), a 2011 graduate of Harvard Law School and editor of the Harvard Law Review, served with the International Justice Mission and Department of Justice, clerked with Thomas Griffith in the D.C. Circuit, and is an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in D.C.

Matthew du Mée (’05), graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010, served as an editor with the Harvard Law Review, clerked with Judge Andrew Hurwitz of the Arizona Supreme Court, and is now an attorney with Perkins Cole in Phoenix, Ariz.

Eric Lansing (’10), graduated from Regent University School of Law in 2013, served as managing editor of Regent University Law Review and as law school chaplain, worked for the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) and for the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, and is today a Virginia Magistrate

in Petersburg, Va. Rachel Baer (’06), a 2009 graduate of the Regent University School of Law, served as Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and today heads the Law Office of Rachel Baer in Alexandria, Va.

 Aaron Thomas Noble (’05), a 2009 graduate of Texas A&M Law School, serves as an attorney with the Air Force JAGS Corps.

Justin Jenkins (’09), who plans to graduate from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2014, clerked with Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Supreme Court and wrote a successful oral argument in the Eleventh Circuit.

The Goodness of God By Dr. Steven Hake

Last May my wife has diagnosed with stage four cancer. We were in deep anguish, but the entire Patrick Henry College community surrounded us with love and prayers. Recently, a full-body scan revealed no cancer left in her body. God is good!

I have seen His goodness in many ways. As a professor at Patrick Henry College since its 2000 founding, I’m sometimes asked how the College has changed. What most encourages me are the ways it has not changed. The qualities that I so enjoyed in those first students 14 years ago still characterize my students today. They’re bright, energetic and godly—they care. As professors, we’ve all taught in other places, and there are always at least a few students who care and who really want what you have to give. We teach those students. But at Patrick Henry College virtually all the students care deeply, not just a few. It’s like cooking for people with a ravenous, rather than an anemic, appetite. Because I see how much it means to my students, because they so appreciate all that I bring to each class, I’m very motivated as a professor to keep growing.

I recently turned 60 and now strongly sense that I must focus on the things that matter most, the contributions that God has uniquely called me to make. I have designed a biblical studies course called, “The Christian Life,” and am working on a four-year discipleship plan through which I hope to pour my life into a small group of young men at Patrick Henry College. I’ve also designed two “Christian Renaissance Camps” and a Christian Renaissance Conference for high school-aged young people, in the hope that many of them will end up at Patrick Henry College. Finally, I am also beginning to reach out to home school and classical Christian school journals and magazines. Today, I am more excited about my work than I have ever been to before. God is good!

I share the writer’s sentiment in 111 John 4, that “I have no greater joy than to hear that my [former students] are walking in the truth.” Some are active in missions, in Italy, Hungary, Tunisia, China, and India. Some are in graduate programs, in English, Classics, and other fields. Some are serving churches, and many are teachers. One young couple in the area is raising a five-year-old who speaks in “full, carefully punctuated sentences.” I still honestly believe that given time and the blessing of God, these young people will write the big books that turn our culture around, that spark the Christian Renaissance for which I have prayed for many years. God is indeed very good.

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I’m writing to you about the exceptional 16, 17, and18-year-old students across America. You probably know a few. Maybe they are your own children, or maybe it will be them in a few (very short) years. Maybe you’re thinking about your grandchildren or the neighbor’s teenager who helps with your yard. There are a lot of them. They are precious gifts from God, and they are the future of America.

What I love about these young adults is that they haven’t been passive or disengaged from their own development. They’ve sweated, stressed, and stretched their way to excellence – and it hasn’t been easy. Nothing worth achieving is! They gave up time with their friends and made wise, difficult choices when others called them on easier roads. These exceptional students feel a distinct leading in their life to do something that honors their family, their country, and most of all, our God. He has called them, and that calling requires serious prayer and serious deliberation.

Now they’ve come to a defining moment. Where will they go to college? That’s a huge decision and not one to be taken lightly. As the parent, grandparent, teacher, pastor, or mentor who poured countless hours into their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual formation, this is a defining moment for you as well.

I recognize the difficulty of the college decision when I look at the current landscape of higher education. Once a shining example of American exceptionalism, our colleges and universities have now become hotbeds of intolerance for people of faith, filled with “safe spaces”, promiscuity, and, to top it off, a subpar education. That doesn’t make for an exciting or optimistic choice. In fact, it is an unacceptable status quo.

The exceptional, high-performing Christian student deserves better. So do you, and so does our country. Why must our best and brightest, along with those who pay the bills, make the awful choice between an institution that offers an elite education with a path to success and an institution that honors the Word of God?

That choice is a recipe for disaster, not only for our country but also for the Kingdom. How many young saints have we lost to this formula, and how far has our country drifted from its outstanding? Too many and too far.

At right is an illustration that has helped me visualize the current landscape in higher education.

Originally, higher education in the United States occupied the top right of the graph – especially our most prestigious universities. These institutions strove for the best in academic rigor while maintaining a steadfast commitment to the Word of God.

However, as you and I know all too well, these places drifted leftward over time – abandoning the idea that knowledge and wisdom come from God. They have tried to maintain their level of academic rigor, but even that has declined. Much of their continued success comes from reputation, deeply entrenched networks, and the fact that they keep getting the students with the highest intellectual horsepower – students who should be going to God-honoring institutions.

The schools that have drifted to the left are resolute to remain there – indoctrinating future cultural influencers with a left-leaning, highly-secularized worldview that is increasingly hostile to people of faith and the principles of the American founding.

Throughout the years, Christian institutions of higher education have been established to fill the void. Unfortunately, most of these places (where God’s Word is still being honored) lack the academic excellence and rigor necessary to compete with the elite institutions in the upper left. I thank God these Christian colleges exist, but they just haven’t filled the void in the upper right. Our political and cultural institutions continue to be populated by the product of the upper left – to our country’s detriment.

That is why Mike Farris and a group of faithful Christian Patriots (even some of you reading this letter) established Patrick Henry College in the year 2000. Patrick Henry College (PHC) was founded to fill the spiritual and academic void created by the leftward secular shift of our nation’s elite institutions.

Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education. We lift high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment, therefore preserving for posterity the ideas behind the “noble experiment in ordered liberty” that is the foundation of America.

In other words, for Christ, and for Liberty. This is why we exist, and this is what we’re here to do.

The exceptional Christian students out there no longer need to make the choice between an elite education with access to career success and a place that honors the Word of God. That place exists, and it exists with no government funding, no long-term debt, and a stunning, 17-year track record of success.

But it doesn’t exist without you. You provide the funding and the scholarships that make this choice possible. Your support is the fuel that God uses for the Patrick Henry College engine that is producing cultural and political leaders like no other Christian institution. What can another Christian college say they’ve helped produce three Supreme Court clerks in the last two years and three current press secretaries in the House, the Senate, and the executive branch? None can. This isn’t about bragging. It is simply putting forward evidence that Patrick Henry College is fulfilling its mandate to fill the vacated space in the upper right of the chart above. This excellence can only be achieved when academic rigor is supported by the Word of God. And through God’s grace and your provision, there is no limit to what can be achieved for His glory.

The status quo is unacceptable. Our nation needs leaders prepared with excellence, humility, and grace.


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Patrick Henry College (PHC) Won Its Twelfth National Championship


Purcellville, VA, January 17, 2019 — Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Virginia won its twelfth national championship at the American Moot Court Association (AMCA) national tournament in Orlando, Florida last weekend. In addition to winning first place,  Patrick Henry College  finished with three teams among the top eight in the nation.   Patrick Henry College speakers also won five of the top 20 speaker awards.

Mike Patton of Kansas City, MO and Keely Wright of Louisville, KY won the championship.

Patrick Henry College in Virginia is a forensics powerhouse with an unmatched legacy. No other college in the history of the American Moot Court Association has won more than once.

Moot Court is a highly competitive forensics event where participants provide oral arguments in an environment similar to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices frequently interrupt the presenters to challenge assertions and to test the presenter’s knowledge of relevant case law.

The 2018-19 season featured over 400 teams from colleges across the nation competing in 13 national qualifying tournaments.

Other notable Patrick Henry College team placements include Thomas Doan/Benjamin Phibbs (semi-finalists), and Marina Barnes/Kyle Ziemnick (quarter-finalists).

Senior Clare Downing ranked 3rd in individual speaker awards, Michael Patton ranked 9th, Keely Wright ranked 12th, Micah Bock ranked 14th, and Samuel Bock, 22nd.

The Patrick Henry College roster of 2018-19 Moot Court National competitors included the following 16 students from 10 states:
• Marina Barnes | Chesapeake, VA
• Micah Bock | Indianapolis, IN
• Samuel Bock | Indianapolis, IN
• Caleb Canna | Sarasota, FL
• Benjamin Crosby | Burlington, WA
• Thomas Doan | Winston Salem, NC
• Clare Downing | Tampa, FL
• Thomas Keith | Rangeley, ME
• Emil Meintjes | Dallas, TX
• Cooper Millhouse | Purcellville, VA
• Michael Patton | Kansas City, MI
• Benjamin Phibbs | Albemarle, NC
• Simon Sefzik | Bellingham, WA
• Andrew Shelton | Social Circle, GA
• Keely Wright | Louisville, KY
• Kyle Ziemnick | Purcellville, VA

Patrick Henry College offers a unique classical Christian liberal arts program with high academic rigor, fidelity to the spirit of the American founding, and an unwavering biblical worldview. PHC’s pre-law advising program is among the top in the nation.

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What Makes Patrick Henry College so Remarkable?

People often ask what makes Patrick Henry College so remarkable.

For me, the answer is easy: it’s the people, our students and alumni become.

I spent much of my career as an executive in the corporate banking world and over the years I discovered something about success and potential. Time and again, I saw our company bring in young, talented professionals, many coming from Ivy League schools with prestigious pedigrees. Yet, so few possessed the three critical elements that are needed for long-term success: character, communication skills, and critical thinking. These essential qualities not only make all the difference in lives and careers, they are also the qualities that our nation desperately needs in its leaders.

To put it simply, Patrick Henry College, exists to equip a generation of leaders for Christ to reclaim our nation for liberty.

Too often, students and families are told they must choose between an exceptional academic education and a Christ-centered education. At Patrick Henry College, no such dichotomy exists. This is a college for students who want something more –to aim higher, dig deeper, dare greater, and challenge the status quo. Students who know deep down inside that God has made them for a purpose. Throughout the Bible, God called His people – those like David, Esther, and Nehemiah –to great moments. We believe God is calling young people across this country to great moments as well. And I am fully convinced that our students will be ready when their moment comes to step to the center stage.

If there is a common refrain I hear time and again, it is that Patrick Henry College or Patrick Henry College students quickly distinguish themselves wherever they go; whether it’s our Strategic Intelligence graduates rising through the ranks of the FBI and CIA, or our Government majors winning coveted White House internships and Supreme Court clerkships, or our Economics and Business Analytics alumni making an early name for themselves at Fortune 500 companies. Patrick Henry College students understand how to think clearly, communicate convincingly, and do so with the character and conviction that only comes from a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our alumni walk on to many different stages, from the highest levels of government to their local churches. You’ll see many of their stories here in these pages, and I think you’ll see a common thread. As Proverbs tells us, “See a man skillful in his work? He shall stand before kings.” Similarly, David reminds us in the Psalms, “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and I shall not be put to shame.” I believe there will be Supreme Court justices, presidents, and CEO’s that come from these halls, as well as faithful fathers and mothers, pastors, and teachers. In any and every sphere, our alumni will be the kind of people equipped to stand before kings.

That is the very heartbeat of Patrick Henry College. Wherever they go, whatever they do, our alumni are equipped to be difference makers – and the very best at that –for Christ and for Liberty.

Jack W. Haye
Patrick Henry College

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