Three reasons why you should travel abroad

Back from her semester abroad, Jamie shares why you should follow in her footsteps

Jamie Treto, 3L, boating with friends in Europe

KU Law offers multiple study abroad options that can fit any student’s wishes. Whether you’re a student who wants to spend a quick summer in Ireland or Turkey, or fully committed to an entire semester in Italy or Scotland, KU Law can make it happen. As someone who dreamt of walking through the cobblestoned streets of Italy with a gelato in hand, I jumped at the opportunity and booked a one-way flight to Europe this last fall. Here are three reasons why you should too.

Jamie poses in front of the Eiffel Tower as the sun sets.

1. Traveling will create endless memories

Moving to Italy made it easy to spend my weekends traveling throughout Europe. Because of their affordable and easy-to-navigate public transportation system, I enjoyed some adrenaline-filled opportunities such as ziplining in Switzerland, climbing the sparkling Eiffel Tower in Paris, and riding camels through the Sahara Desert. On days when I wanted a more relaxing trip, I took advantage of the museums, sightseeing, and beautiful architecture. Some personal favorites include touring the Colosseum in Rome, exploring the famous white paths in Mykonos, and paddling through the crystal-clear waters of Lago di Braies. No matter the type of traveler, Europe has something for everyone.

2. Immersing yourself in new cultures

While I’ve visited Europe in the past, living in Europe forced me to fully immerse myself in the culture. The University offered free language courses for students wanting to take intensive Italian courses. While I didn’t take them up on that opportunity, I realized I had still picked up quite a bit of Italian and could fully order my food in restaurants and have short conversations on the streets.

If learning new languages isn’t something you’re super interested in, trying foods from different countries should. Every country has a unique dish to try and searching for the best authentic restaurants became my favorite part of traveling. I quickly learned that there is such thing as too much pasta, that snails in Paris are a must, and that I will likely never experience an espetada as good as the one I had on a small island in Portugal.

Aside from eating great food and learning a new language, studying abroad allowed me to meet great people from all over the world. Whether I met people through class or my traveling adventures, I enjoyed learning about their life experiences and culture. By the end of the semester, I had a newfound appreciation for the way that people in other countries prepare food and how they celebrate who they are.

3. Studying abroad is like taking a break without actually taking a break

Most law students have been in school for 20 years with no breaks in between. Even with a short gap year, most of us are tired of constant schoolwork, tight schedules, and having little opportunity to go out and explore. Studying abroad was my way of taking a break from the strict schedule without actually taking a break.

I was able to attend criminal procedure on Wednesday and prance around Greece on Saturday. I visited countries that I never thought I would get to see, and opened myself up to new experiences. Because I was able to take classes during the week and explore exciting new countries during the weekend, I never felt tired or overworked.

Overall, living in Europe was the highlight of my law school career and would not have been possible without KU Law’s study abroad program. Whether you would like to see more of the world, learn about different cultures, or simply want a change of scenery, Study Abroad has you covered and you likely won’t regret it.

– Jamie Treto is a 3L KU Law Student Ambassador from Garden City, KS

Considering law school as a non-traditional student

Three things non-traditional students should consider

Christy Harris a 1L KU Law Student Ambassador

So, you’re considering law school, but a great amount of time has passed since you graduated from college. Perhaps you’ve had a full career, raised a family and now you wonder if you can pursue law – despite all the life that you’ve experienced. As a single mom who had a career prior to law school, one thing that I’ve realized is that this profession appreciates life experience. With it comes a different perspective and understanding of our world, which can be applied to our understanding of the law.

I’m not going to tell you that it will be easy, but I will tell you that it can be achieved through passion, planning and discipline. Transitioning from being employed full-time to becoming a full-time student, is an adjustment that will take planning. Here are a few tips to help you thrive as a non-traditional student in law school:

Create a strict schedule

Law school is challenging and unlike anything you have ever done. In adjusting to the rigors of law school and balancing home life, do as much schoolwork as you can, during office hours. If you have children, doing so will be imperative in maintaining balance.

Create a budget

Aside from law school, there are living expenses that will need to be accounted for. Think about and decide how you will manage school and pay your bills. You don’t want living expenses to be a concern while studying!

Practice self-care

Yes, law school is important, but you can’t do your best if you aren’t feeling your best. Be sure to take time out for yourself and your family, to stay grounded. Don’t be afraid to seek help if needed and give yourself grace while learning a new way of thinking. Law school is challenging, but allotting time for self-care will be all the difference in how you navigate through it.

I don’t know all the tricks to have a fruitful experience while attending law school, but I do know that planning and being disciplined will help to provide you with the best experience possible. Law school is a sacrifice, but well worth it. I hope to see you around KU Law!

Christy Harris is a 1L KU Law Student Ambassador from Dallas, Texas

Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Ikhtiyorjon Turaboev

Five questions with Ikhtiyorjon Turaboev, visiting scholar from Uzbekistan

Visiting scholar Ikhtiyorjon Turaboev from Tashkent, Uzbekistan joins the University of Kansas School of Law for the spring 2023 semester.

Turaboev serves as a senior lecturer at Taskent State University of Law and currently teaches courses in Tax and Financial Law. During his time in Lawrence, Turaboev will participate in the Overseas Visiting Scholar (OVS) program as a fellow in the Faculty Enrichment Program administered by the American Councils for International Education. He is interested in observing classes and learning about new teaching methods, especially more inclusive teaching methods.

Why did you choose to come to KU Law? How did you learn about our program and establish contact?

Two years ago, I participated in the Faculty Enrichment Program (FEP), a special professional development program for Uzbekistan university faculty members administered by the American Councils for International Education, and was selected as an FEP fellow. The FEP program chose the University of Kansas School of Law to host me as a visiting scholar for the fall 2021 semester. Unfortunately, due to family reasons connected with the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not go to the U.S. and participate in the program. Last year, I participated again in the program and chose KU Law for my fellowship. Because I learned a lot from my colleague Sardorbek Yusupov, who was a visiting scholar for the fall 2021 semester, I made contact with the law school. Last summer, KU Law Dean Stephen Mazza also visited my home university and met with the Tashkent State University of Law faculty members and administration. My home university was interested in establishing cooperation with KU Law.

What are your professional goals for your time at KU Law? What will be your next career step after your time here?

My professional goals from my participation at the KU School of Law visiting scholar program are twofold.

Firstly, I want to enhance my pedagogical skills and professional expertise by observing KU Law courses. At my home university, I teach financial law and tax law classes. I also taught business law and corporate law courses. Therefore, at KU Law I audit business-related and tax law courses.

Second, I want to learn from the expertise of U.S. universities, especially law schools, in providing inclusive teaching of special disciplines for people with different backgrounds and acquiring competence in inclusive teaching methods. I would also like to learn about university programs or models for supporting the education of students with disabilities and assist my home university in developing such programs.

Participation in the visiting scholar program is also a very good opportunity to use the KU Law Library resources and conduct research.

I believe that my experience at KU Law will equip me with better knowledge and skills to be a more professional instructor in my field of teaching. It will also aid in the improvement of my home university’s rules and policies regarding the inclusion of disabled students in the study process.

How does the academic and research environment at KU Law differ from your home institution?

In comparison to my home university, the academic and research environment at KU Law is very different. In my country, law school students are undergraduate students who are young and come directly from a high school, so there may be some differences from teaching graduate students. It is somewhat difficult for [the undergraduates] to study special courses such as Tax Law and International Taxation Law.

As U.S. law schools are graduate schools, these students are mature students who already have an undergraduate degree and some work experience. Therefore, it is easier for U.S. colleagues to teach courses. KU Law faculty members and students enjoy good library resources. Even offices of faculty members are located inside the library as if to symbolize the harmony of teaching and researching.

What are your favorite things about Lawrence? What about your home do you miss the most?

Lawrence is a nice place to live and study. I don’t like big and crowded cities. Lawrence is a quiet city with parks and fresh air. The weather is not cold. In January in Uzbekistan, which is famous for its warm climate, it was snowing and cold, but here in Lawrence people were going out in t-shirts. I noticed that people in the Midwest, especially in Kansas, are very polite and friendly.

Although I enjoy being in Lawrence, I miss my family, relatives and friends. Every day I make video calls to my mother and children.

What advice would you offer to other scholars who may want to do research abroad?

I think the most important thing when doing research abroad is to be very fluent in the language of the country you are going to. Researchers who intend to conduct research abroad should improve their language skills.

Of course, researchers should have a detailed research plan to complete their own study within the period of their stay in the foreign country.

Another important thing is that it is better to know and contact scholars and teachers at the university where you plan to go beforehand. Researchers should value their time and use the libraries and other resources of the university where they are going.

And now, your hosts for this evening, The Moody Bluebooks

An interview with members of The Moody Bluebooks

Cameron Savard
Cameron Savard

No night is more fun in one’s law school career than Pub Night. It brings together professors, students, and staff to enjoy an evening of good food, responsible drink, and great company.

At KU Law, however, we’ve turned this night into one that does substantial good. Organized by Women In Law (WIL), all proceeds from entry, auctions, and even some special edition t-shirts will be donated to Jana’s Campaign and the Willow Domestic Violence Center. Jana’s Campaign, founded in memory of KU Law student Jana Lynne Mackey, aims to “provide quality educational programming that prevents gender and relationship violence.” The Willow Center, located here in Lawrence, serves “to prevent domestic violence and ensure survivors have access to services and support along the journey to a safe and empowered life.”

With a night dedicated to such impactful causes and camaraderie, it’s no surprise a particular group of KU Law entertainers will again headline the event. When they’re not staring students down in a cold call or being of fantastic assistance to the career growth and well-being of students, KU Law faculty and staff are jamming out. The Moody Bluebooks, featuring our very own faculty, will take center stage and play their law-themed covers of well-known hits. I asked Professor Thomas Stacy—my Jurisprudence professor and KU Law’s Ringo Starr— and Professor Melanie Daily—director of KU Law’s Douglas County Legal Aid Clinic—more about the band and musicianship.

Faculty, staff, and students perform with The Moody Bluebooks at Johnny's Tavern
Faculty, staff, and students perform with The Moody Bluebooks at Johnny’s Tavern

Cameron Savard: How long have you been performing?

Thomas Stacy: I’ve been playing [drums] since high school. I was in a band called “The Apple Core.” Believe it or not, we received a cease and desist letter from Apple Records, which was putting out records by, e.g., John Lennon. So we changed the name of the band to “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

Melanie Daily: I grew up in a family prone to belting out showtunes fo any occasion, and it probably shows. I knew most of the Les Mis lyrics by the age of 9, and in high school I performed in: the all-county-choir, community theater musicals AND a screaming punk band. My next goal is to participate in Lawrence’s Adult Rock Camp, but you need you learn to play an actual instrument first.

CS: How did you learn about The Moody Bluebooks (MBB)?

TS: The MBB started in 1987 and was a combination of faculty members and student vocalists. Different faculty members and students have cycled in and out through the years. Professors Platt and Daily are the newest faculty members and they bring a lot of fresh energy and talent. Lots of creative artists go into the law as a source of stable income. The student body always has included a number of hugely talented singers and other musicians. Some have agreed to slum it and play with us. We’ve had a few near world-class guitarists, for instance.

MD: I saw them perform in the spring of 2016. In late 2019, it occurred to me to pester Rick Levy, [professor of Constitutional Law], to let me in. I am not sure if he ever agreed, but I found out about the rehearsals from Blake or Lua, and I just started showing up. We were working on songs by Bruno Mars, Pink Floyd, and more… it’s been great to learn about some artists I had never heard of before… I lost track of pop music somewhere around 1995.  It was a very exciting time! I was in the band! At last! And then, well, March 2020 happened.

CS: How long do rehearsals go for?

TS: This year we’ve been rehearsing since mid-February. With everyone’s busy schedule, it’s hard to find a mutually convenient time so we don’t rehearse every week. And, yes, that is an excuse for any mistakes.

CS: Who’s the comedic talent behind parodying known songs for us at Pub Night to enjoy?

MD: That’s mostly (Ly) Rick Levy, but in recent years Meredith Wiggins and others have contributed to the hilarity, too.

Pub Night 2023 will be held at Liberty Hall in Lawrence on March 30th at 7 p.m. with a performance by The Moody Bluebooks featuring Professors Levy, Stacy, and Platt.

CS: How much does it mean, to you, to use your musicianship in support of such impactful causes?

MD: This is huge for me. I worked with survivors of intimate partner violence for years before coming to KU, and I know it takes many resources – financial, emotional, legal – to help them move safely toward a more stable future away from their abusers. It’s wonderful that the Women in Law group is able to put so much energy and time into this cause, and it’s always a great feeling to be in a room where the law school is united in supporting the community. The speakers from Jana’s Campaign and The Willow have moved me to tears in recent years. It’s really a powerful event.

CS: Are you looking forward to Pub Night 2023?

TS: We all relish the opportunity to connect with students and embarrass ourselves in good fun, all for a great, great cause. Olivia Schneider (2L) and all of the folks at Women In Law are working really hard on this year’s event. It promises to be one of the best ever!

Pub Night 2023 will kick off at 7 p.m. on March 30th at Liberty Hall. The doors will open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets and auction items are available at this link:

Cameron Savard is a 2L KU Law Student Ambassador from Katy, Texas

Finding Happiness Outside of Law School

How to stay YOU while in law school

Desiree Duke a 2L KU Law Student Ambassador

Wake up at 5:00 a.m., study all day, eat a meal or two, study some more, and go to bed around 11:00 p.m. When I came to KU Law, my life revolved around law school. Everything I did, every move I made, and all that I was, was law school.

I. Was. Miserable.

I had lost all that I was – who I was. I no longer did things that made me happy. I no longer took time to focus on myself and my mental health. I loved law school, I was getting good grades, and made great friends…but I wasn’t happy.

During the summer between 1L and 2L year, I had time to re-discover myself and the things that I loved: working out, reading for pleasure, finding new hobbies, and spending time with those I cared about. Coming into my 2L year, I made it my absolute mission to ensure those things that I loved – those things that made me happy – followed me back into law school.

Now don’t get me wrong, my life is still very revolved around law school, and I am still incredibly busy with studying and work! However, I have simply found ways to incorporate doing the things that make me happy into the mix with law school in a realistic and sustainable way. Ever since, this challenging time of my life – law school – has felt more enjoyable.

Working out every single day isn’t as easy or accessible. So, I find comfort and joy in simple fifteen-to-thirty-minute walks here and there. Before going to bed, I put the law books down, and pick a nonfiction book up. I want to escape into a world and a reality that isn’t law school related. Some nights, instead of studying or laying on my phone, I watch a painting tutorial on YouTube and mindlessly paint with some good music on in the background.

I have put time and effort into things that I love that aren’t law school related, and it has made me a healthier, happier, and more successful law student.

Whether it is staying active, reading, or any hobby you enjoy doing, I cannot stress enough – make sure you bring it with you to law school. Work hard, study hard, and do your best – but do not ever lose yourself in this process. Your happiness and mental health mean more than you know.

— Desiree Duke is a 2L KU Law Student Ambassador from Albuquerque, New Mexico

Taking a Leap of Faith

Whether you’re a townie or an out-of-towner, KU Law is the place to be.

Matt Koegel, a 1L KU Law Student Ambassador

When I first visited KU, I wasn’t sure that I would end up going to law school here. I visited Lawrence for the first time in the beginning of February 2022 during a bit of a cold spell. Walking around town, not many people were out and about, and even walking around campus was pretty quiet. I’m glad I gave Lawrence (and KU) a second chance.

When my dad and I first arrived in Lawrence after a grueling 20-hour car ride (plus one night spent in Terre Haute, IN), one of the first things I did was go to a Royals game with some new law students that I was meeting for the first time. Even though the game wasn’t particularly memorable, it gave me an opportunity to meet some of the people I’ll be spending a lot of time with over the next couple of years. A couple days later, my dad and I got the chance to go to a Father John Misty concert in Kansas City, which reminded me that Kansas isn’t really the middle of nowhere.

The Royals game showed me something important, which was that your fellow students in law school are really not as cutthroat as you might have heard. I have friends that go to a couple different law schools across the Northeast, and each of them has some story about students in their class refusing to share notes if somebody was sick. Or of people laughing when somebody was navigating their way through a cold call. Things that after one semester haven’t happened here at KU. Even though establishing relationships with your colleagues can help your future, it also doesn’t hurt to have friends that you can look to when you need a little bit of help.

Even though I’ve only called Lawrence home for six months, I can tell that it’s a special place. When you talk to people who have lived here for years, their faces just light up at the opportunity to talk about the town they call home. Coming to KU for law school is one of the best decisions I’ve made, even if I wasn’t sure it was the right decision at the time. If you’re deciding whether or not to come to KU from somewhere far away, it might just be one of the best decisions you make. So far for me, it absolutely has been.

— Matthew Koegel is a 1L KU Law Student Ambassador from Long Island, NY