Professor Melanie Regis is an Assistant Professor of Law at Charleston School of Law. We recently talked to her about her work experience, teaching the law and her passions beyond work.
Charleston School of Law: Where did you grow up?
Professor Regis: I’m originally from Charleston.
Charleston School of Law: You attended Howard University and earned your undergraduate degree in political science. Then you attended Northeastern University to study law. Did you always know you wanted to study law?
Professor Regis: That’s always been a goal of mine. I went to Buist Academy (Charleston). We had a mentorship program. In 8th grade everyone had to have a mentor and I chose a black female attorney. I learned a lot from her. She took me to a murder trial. That was the very first experience that I got where I was like, I think I want to do this. And that’s where it all started.
Charleston School of Law: Do you have siblings?
Professor Regis: Yes. One sister. She is 11 years older than me. She went to Howard University to get her social work degree. So that’s where my interest in Howard started, but my father also went there, and my niece graduated from Howard in 2019.
Charleston School of Law: Are you a music fan?
Professor Regis: Yes.
Charleston School of Law: If we pulled up your most played artists on iTunes or Spotify who would be on your playlist?
Professor Regis: Prince. That’s how I met my husband. We are together because of a Prince concert really. We joke all the time about that. We met eachwalking down the street in New Orleans. Prince was headlining a concert in town and we met each other 2 days later.
Charleston School of Law: How many times did you see Prince in concert?
Professor Regis: Just that one time.
Charleston School of Law: If we were to look down that list, what other artists or music do you enjoy?
Professor Regis: My parents are children of the 60s. We had a huge record collection back when I was growing up. I would listen to a lot of like Motown and that kind of stuff. I my husband always says, ‘you have an old soul.’ For instance, one of the last concerts we’ve went to was Earth, Wind and Fire when they came to Charleston in September. We took treated my parents.
Charleston School of Law: Do you have a bucket list?
Professor Regis: I may or may not have a note in my phone that says, ‘bucket list.’ I will say I think a lot of the things center around travel, that’s something that I didn’t get to do a lot of. I wish I had. My husband is in the military and his job has taken him everywhere. He’s lived in about a dozen in different countries. You can always read it in a book but it’s different to experience the culture in person and I’d like to do that.
Charleston School of Law: What locations would be on your bucket list?
Professor Regis: My husband has lived in Hong Kong. He’s traveled in the Middle East. Dubai is on the list, Hong Kong, Japan.
Charleston School of Law: What do you like to do in your free time?
Professor Regis: Before I met my husband, I used to play tennis. I would like to be more physically active. I still enjoy that. I like cooking.
Charleston School of Law: You are a professional, a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter. How do you balance all that?
Professor Regis: I try and keep things as separate as I can. I’m here early in the morning because my son is at school. That’s when I need to prep for classes. But at 4:30 p.m. there’s a full stop. I’m usually headed to karate, or some other type of activity. And then from there, there’s homework and now we gotta get ready for bed, read a story and get up and do it all over again. I think everybody must find what works best for them to make it all work.
Charleston School of Law: What led you from practicing law to teaching?
Professor Regis: When I was a public defender I was involved in the local bar association and the president at the time asked me to participate in a program. It was a mock trial program started by a non-profit in Massachusetts. It’s called a Discovering Justice. It’s a 10-week program for middle school students interested in studying law. They learn civics, what a trial is … it was a great experience. They all had questions, and they were so excited about it. That was kind of my entrée into teaching.
Professor Melanie Regis
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