Updated on March 1, 2021
For much of my adult life, cooking for friends and family has been a sacred act for me. I fell in love with food when I moved to France in my early twenties. Every Wednesday and Saturday, there was a beautiful market near my apartment filled with heaping piles of fresh lettuces, olives, herbs and vegetables. In the autumn, chickens would be roasting over a fire with fingerling potatoes beneath catching and roasting in the chicken fat. It was an unforgettable sensory experience. When I returned to the United States, I fell in love with cooking while working on Lawrence farm owned by a middle-aged hippy from New Mexico. She made cooking simple, delicious, and most importantly, a communal experience. I truly believe that everyone can benefit from learning basic kitchen skills and cooking together. Not only will you become a healthier person, but you will also be happier.
The COVID-19 pandemic made in-person dinner parties impossible, so I knew I needed to find a creative way to continue cooking with my friends and family. The answer? Zoom. Throughout COVID-19, I hosted virtual dinner parties where everyone cooked the same dish in real-time and then enjoyed it together. This was hardly an original idea, but it was something I embraced and continue to do.
Samin Nosrat, the author of the book and Netflix series, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat”, created the ultimate communal cooking experience last year called The Big Lasagna. On May 3, 2020, Samin hosted a virtual dinner party live on Instagram featuring her recipe for The Big Lasagna, and people from around the world came together to cook this very adaptable and delicious dish. It was a neat experience to know I was cooking the same recipe and eating it together with people from Kansas City to Kuala Lampur.
My idea: Let’s do a KU Law edition of The Big Lasagna.
Since International Pi Day – which is on March 14 – is on the horizon and falls at the end of our respite week, I propose we do a KU Law edition of The Big Lasagna using David Lebovitz’s version of Jacques Pépin’s Apple Crunch Tart. A tart is close enough to a pie, right? I hope people who are able will post photos, questions, tips, etc., on their year’s KU Law Facebook page on or around International Pi Day.
I’m looking forward to seeing your creations and connecting with you through food!
- If you’re vegan or dairy-free, simply use vegan butter for the crust and to dot over the apples. You can also use melted vegan butter instead of egg wash for the top of the tart.
- I never use water in my pie crusts. Use vodka instead. I know it sounds crazy, but vodka creates a very crispy, crunchy crust. The reason for this is that the ethanol in vodka inhibits the production of gluten, which turns what would otherwise be a crunchy crust into a chewy one. There is nothing worse than a soggy or chewy pie crust.
- This recipe will work with a variety of fruits. Pears would be a local substitute, but berries could work too. If you use fresh berries, I would toss in a few tablespoons of flour into the fruit mixture before you add it to the bottom crust to help control the juices. I would also skip dotting butter over the fruit before you add the top crust.
- If you cannot fathom making a pie crust – it’s not hard, believe me – you can get away with store-bought crust. Keep in mind, you will need two crusts for this recipe.
— By Doug Bartel, a 1L from Olathe and a KU Law Student Ambassador.
Updated on February 26, 2021
I’m in the last semester of my 3L year, and it just doesn’t feel real. I refuse to believe that it’s been almost three years since I sat at Green Hall watching one friend draw a cow on the board, another sit across from me wearing a lobster costume, and Professor Laura Hines drawing her famous rendition of the United States. When people used to ask me “why” I came to law school, I felt bad that my answer wasn’t the usual “I want to help people” response. Of course, that’s one aspect of anything I do, but it wasn’t necessarily why I came to law school. I came to law school simply because I wanted to continue my education.
That being said, I had to figure out what my “why” was to be able to get through law school because “continuing my education” was not going to cut it. I slowly began to create amazing friendships while having my loved ones cheering for me from afar. As I look back on all of the support I have had these past few years, above all is God. He has blessed me beyond words with some of the most loving friendships I have ever had. He got me through the darkest times, those moments where I had no strength to do anything other than lay in bed and cry because sure, law school is hard, but life in general can be confusing and difficult and painful.
So, my “why” is because of God’s amazing grace. Because He placed me here for my good and His glory. Because He didn’t place me in Lawrence, Kansas, just to go to law school. He orchestrated all of the wonderful people I encountered and all the relationships I built. He placed believers in my life to serve them and for them to show me how absolutely beautiful life can be when Christ is the center of their life. He entrusted me with the responsibility and ability to serve and show others who He is, through me – even if it was just a glimpse. God has used these past three years to strengthen my relationship with Him because He knew He was the only one that could get me through these three years, and frankly through the next three as well. If I ever forget “why,” I should continue to do the mundane, the difficult and the stressful everyday work… He’s “why.” Because through it all He continues to be kind and give me continual grace, and will present me with constant opportunities in life, and now in my career, to serve, love and share the Gospel with others.
All this to say “thank you,” to all of the friends I’ve met during my time here, and to the KU Law staff and administration. I’m so grateful you were part of God’s plan for me.
— By Valeria Carbajal, a 3L from El Paso, Texas and a KU Law Student Ambassador.
Updated on February 23, 2021
As a 3L in my final semester, it seems only appropriate that I use my time on this platform to get unabashedly sentimental about my law school experience. My dear friend, Ellen Bertels, has already taken the time to thank the many wonderful professors at KU Law who got us to this point, so I would like to thank a different but equally important group of people in the law school: the friends we made along the way.
It’s best to start with the before times. Before Zoom School of Law and an end to most social activities, law students had an active social calendar. Of course, we never let it interfere with our studies, but favorites such as TGITs (Thank God It’s Thursday), patio drinks at McClain’s, game nights, or trivia offered a good way to blow off steam after a long day trying to figure out the twenty-odd exceptions to the hearsay rule. It was during these times that I really got to know my classmates. Sure, in Green Hall, we all knew each other from our embarrassing cold call answers or from frantically reading in the informal commons five minutes before class, but outside of the law school we began to know and like each other as people. We grew to respect our differences and cherish the things we had in common. With a community of friends around me, the trials and tribulations of law school no longer seemed like life and death. Sure, I might have been stumped by several questions during my first oral argument, but my friends and I were still going to celebrate the experience with a beer.
You may be expecting me to say that everything changed with the pandemic. We’ve all read hundreds of stories now with that exact tagline. But the truth is, the things that mattered didn’t really change at all. Though we were forced to spend more time apart, I never lost touch with my friends. Whether it was through Zoom happy hours early in the pandemic, sly texts making fun of something during Zoom classes, or long walks on a nice day, I was still able to spend time with my dear friends. As it turns out, the people that got me through law school also got me through one of the worst years in recent memory.
It is because of this that I know I’ll never truly leave these people. Sure, we may be headed in different directions all over the country after graduation, but if we were able to stay connected during this pandemic, I know we can survive a bit of distance.
To all my dear friends in Green Hall, thank you. You made these last three years some of the best of my life.
— By Jake Schmidt, a 3L from Atchison and a KU Law Student Ambassador.
Updated on February 18, 2021
A new scholarship at the University of Kansas School of Law will support future students while honoring the memory of a KU Law alumnus. The Edward W. Dosh Memorial Scholarship is intended to support students from Kansas, particularly from Labette County and the southeastern part of the state, or graduates of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
The scholarship honors the late Edward W. “Ed” Dosh, L’77. Dosh was a longtime attorney in Parsons, Kansas. He started his legal career in the Labette County Attorney’s Office before opening the Law Office of Edward W. Dosh in 1979.
Dosh served as the city attorney for Chetopa, Kansas for several decades. He was active in the Kansas Bar Association and other legal organizations, including the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, where he was a founding member.
Helen R. Rice, Dosh’s significant other and longtime companion, established the scholarship with a financial gift to KU Endowment. Rice said southeastern Kansas was an adopted hometown for Dosh, who was originally from Minnesota. Dosh completed his undergraduate degree at Luther College.
Describing Dosh as “a character” who everyone knew, Rice recalled that the Labette County Courthouse closed on the day of Dosh’s memorial to allow county judges and many court employees to attend the service.
— By Margaret Hair
Updated on February 17, 2021
This time of year is always incredibly stressful to law students and law school applicants alike. Law school applicants are in the midst of finalizing applications, weighing offers and possibilities, and trying to figure out if their top choice schools will even be a good fit for them. Law students are in the midst of either finding summer internships or interviewing for post-grad employment. But before students apply for positions or schools, we all freshen up our legal resumes and work on our interviewing skills.
Unlike the vast majority of law students, I came into law school knowing exactly what I wanted to do after graduation. Don’t worry if you didn’t know or still don’t know what you want to do post-grad, that is perfectly fine too. Oddly enough, I have known for years that I wanted to be a labor attorney. However, when I was selecting a law school, I did not have a primary focus of finding a school that had a labor-specific program or emphasis. I had other ideas in mind when selecting which school that I wanted to attend. I selected the University of Kansas School of Law because I wanted to attend a school that had a good reputation, name recognition, and a welcoming environment of students and professors.
Halfway through my first year, when it came time to apply for summer employment, I had to shake the nagging thought that I would be competing for jobs with candidates that might have gone to schools that had labor-specific programs, clinics or journals. I wondered how my application would stack up against theirs. In the worst-case scenario, I wondered if I would ever be able to get experience in the field that I so clearly wanted to work in. Fortunately, I kept regular communication with the Career Services Office, and they helped guide me in ways to make my applications the most competitive – regardless of the potential downsides of coming from a school without a labor-specific program. The wonderful news was that I could control a few key things that I will share with you about my law school education that would ultimately help me find summer legal employment.
1. Target your curriculum
Following my first year of law school, I committed to taking as many courses related or adjacent to the labor field as possible. I did this knowing that I needed to show future employers that I truly was interested in a labor position. While selecting courses relevant to my desired future employment, I ensured that I would meet graduation requirements. By doing this, I stayed interested; up-to-date on current labor policies and operations; and kept on track for graduation. Having a targeted curriculum also helped harmonize my legal education with my future as a practicing labor attorney.
2. Cultivate your connections
Throughout my brief time at KU Law, I have told just about anybody who wanted to listen about my career goals. I continue to meet with various professors to stay the course I elected prior to attending law school. At networking events, I share my goals and utilize connections to fellow labor attorneys. I attend job fairs and conferences applicable to my future goal. And, most importantly, I always attempt to make a genuine, meaningful and lasting impression upon people.
3. Be intentional about extracurriculars
Being involved in extra-curricular activities is truly my favorite part of law school. I elect to involve myself in activities that I care about AND future employers will find valuable. By doing this, I find more enrichment in my education and my life in general. In fact, I have spent many job interviews being asked about my involvement. It is in these moments that I show employers my personality, they learn things that matter to me and we both find out if I would be a good fit in their culture.
As we all embark on the daunting task of finding employment or selecting law schools, I hope that these three tips help you just as much as they have helped me navigate my way through law school thus far. And don’t forget, Career Services’ virtual door is always open.
— By Heddy Pierce-Armstrong, a 2L from El Dorado and a KU Law Student Ambassador.
Updated on February 9, 2021
Virginia Harper Ho’s service work has local, state, national and international reach. Harper Ho is the associate dean for international and comparative law, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor and director of the Polsinelli Transactional Law Center at the University of Kansas School of Law. She has also served as a research fellow for the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing, China.
In addition to teaching and scholarship, Harper Ho is an associate editor of the American Journal of Comparative Law, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law and a former fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ (NCUSCR) Public Intellectuals Program. She is also a regular advisor on legislative changes to update the state’s business laws.
“My colleagues and I are actively engaged in national and international service,” Harper Ho said. “The networks we’re involved in give us direct connection with other leading scholars in the field and give us a voice in shaping the issues that are influencing the law.”
She frequently publishes and presents about international and comparative law topics at public forums, meetings, workshops, symposiums, conferences, and other scholarly events. Harper Ho has also written a book on labor dispute resolution in China, six book chapters and 22 journal articles.
“Faculty contributions to service are essential to the mission of the law school and contribute directly to the reputation of KU Law,” Harper Ho said.
American Council on Education’s Internationalization Lab
Harper Ho is a member of the steering committee that is guiding KU’s participation in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory for 2020-2022. She is co-chair of the administrative leadership, structure and staffing committee.
KU’s ACE Internationalization Lab will review the university’s internationalization capacities, assess opportunities for advancement and elevate institutional priorities.
“We are working to build a greater capacity to engage internationally and to ensure that a KU education inherently incorporates an international and global perspective,” Harper Ho said.
KU is one of 10 universities participating in the 18th cohort of the ACE Internationalization Laboratory and the first cohort since COVID-19 began.
“It is a critical time to examine and strengthen KU’s commitment to internationalization,” Harper Ho said.
Kansas Bar Association Drafting Committee
Harper Ho regularly advises on legislative amendments and updates to the state’s business laws as part of the drafting committee of the Kansas Bar Association’s Section on Corporation, Banking, & Business Law. She recently worked with the committee to draft revisions to the state’s statutes governing corporations and LLCs.
The state of Kansas enacted the revisions to the law related to corporations in 2017 and limited liability companies in 2019. Professor Emeritus Webb Hecker; Wheat Law Library faculty and staff; and KU Law alumni served on the drafting team alongside Harper Ho.
“I’ve actively been engaged in the legislative process, and I think that’s a really amazing thing that I can bring to the classroom,” Harper Ho said.
American Society of Comparative Law
In October, Harper Ho began a new role as the secretary for the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law. The ASCL is considered the leading comparative law organization in the U.S.
“It’s a great honor to serve on the executive committee and help the ASCL make an impact alongside other leading comparative legal scholars,” Harper Ho said.
She has represented KU as the law school’s ASCL director since 2015. Previously, Harper Ho also served as chair of the ASCL’s Younger Comparativists Committee. The YCC actively engages younger comparative law scholars in the work of the society and promotes the study of comparative legal systems. In this role, she hosted and organized a workshop on comparative business and financial law at KU in 2017.
Professor Richard Levy also represents KU at the ASCL, serving in an editor role.
American Journal of Comparative Law
Harper Ho is an associate editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, the flagship journal of the ASCL and a leading journal dedicated to comparative and transnational legal studies. As an editor, Harper Ho takes an active role in the peer review process.
National Committee on U.S.-China Relations
From 2016 to 2018, Harper Ho served as a fellow in the NCUSCR’s Public Intellectuals Program, an initiative that helps American scholars and specialists deepen their knowledge of China to inform policy and public opinion. Harper Ho remains involved with the organization and its mission as an advisory board member for the public intellectuals program and as an active participant in NCUSCR events, including the annual China Town Hall.
In 2019, Harper Ho led a 10-day Congressional staff delegation in China through the NCUSCR. While in China, Harper Ho served as a scholar escort and educated a bipartisan group of senior Congressional staff on issues relating to China and U.S.-China relations. The group visited Beijing, Kunming and Pu’er.
“My involvement with that program has directly shaped my perspective on U.S.-China relations and contributed to my Chinese Law class,” Harper Ho said. “Through the NCUSCR, I’ve also been able to make connections and extend opportunities to current and former students.”
— By Ashley Golledge
Updated on January 26, 2021
It’s hard to believe that I am now in my final semester of law school. The last three years have gone by faster than I could have ever imagined! As I reflect on my time living in Lawrence, I wanted to share some of my favorite places and activities I enjoy around town, separate from what I enjoy about the law school. While it’s important to develop relationships with classmates and professors and become involved in campus life, I have also found that spending time engaging in other activities outside of school has been a great way to keep me balanced.
For the last several months I have been taking an adult gymnastics class at Jayhawk Gymnastics, located at 23rd and Haskell Ave. I used to take tumbling classes when I was younger, but I have never tried out any of the other apparatuses. Enrolling in the class has allowed me to get back into tumbling, as well as try out new skills on vault, beam and bars in a safe environment with a lot of guidance and instruction. Going to Jayhawk Gymnastics twice a week for class and open gym has been one of the highlights of my 3L year! And as an added bonus, one of the coaches is also currently opening up a new climbing gym downtown called Climb Lawrence that I can’t wait to try out.
I’m an early bird. Throughout my time in law school, I have enjoyed starting off my Saturday mornings with a trip to the Lawrence Farmers Market. They have a wide selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, meat, coffee, flowers, and even wine! Going to the market has been a calming and productive way to start off my weekends when it is open for the season, and it feels great to set myself up with some local and fresh produce for the upcoming week.
Lastly, I love spending time outdoors, and there are so many great places to do this around town. I regularly go on quick walks in the mornings or as a break during the day, and I have discovered a few small nature trails within a mile of my apartment that provides a quick way to get some fresh air and movement. I also like to occasionally catch the sunset over Clinton Lake, or drive to other nearby parks. One example is Wells Overlook Park just south of town, where I can particularly recommend the sunrise from the observation tower (which is the time and place that my fiancé proposed to me — so it holds a special place in my heart!). I also enjoy hiking the trails at Clinton Lake or even traveling a bit further to Perry Lake, which also has several nice waterfront trails.
These are just a few of the many activities that I have enjoyed during my time in law school. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that Green Hall has provided since I began school here in 2018. I have made lifelong friendships, established lasting connections with several of our outstanding faculty, and developed many practical skills that will assist me as I begin my legal career this fall; and I am doubly grateful for all of these activities that have helped me stay healthy, active and balanced along the way.
— By Sydney Buckley, a 3L from Kansas City, Missouri and a KU Law Student Ambassador.
Updated on January 22, 2021
I love a good sticky note. The power of a sticky note exists in the way you choose to use it. A note’s use ranges from a task list to a reminder of why you are in law school to begin with. A sticky note can be the little smile you need at the end of a long reading, or the grocery list that keeps your mind and body fueled.
As a law student, I find sticky notes provide more than just a visual cue for remaining tasks or a house for lists — sticky notes are my motivators. I have a few sticky notes that get me through my 1L workload:
“Done with X for today!”
Admittedly, this is probably my favorite sticky note. I put one of these in each of my casebooks and move it to mark the last page of the day’s reading assignment. The note allows me to focus on the material, rather than the number of pages I have left in my reading. I know as soon as I have reached this sticky note that I have finished the reading for that class. I can then move onto the next reading or wrap up my work for the day. It is the little things that get you through hundreds (often thousands) of pages of reading in a semester.
“How do you eat an elephant?”
I promise I am not eating elephants in my leisure time, but if I were, I would do it one bite at a time. Law school can sometimes feel as if you are drinking water from a fire hydrant. Try breaking up larger assignments and readings into smaller, manageable pieces. Doing so will greatly improve the quality of your work and your mental health. If you think of every assignment, milestone, and activity in law school as a bite, you want to make sure you don’t get too full the first time you sit down. This note reminds me to slow down, pace myself, and plan ahead. Trust me, you’ll need to remind yourself at some point too.
“Squeeze the juice!”
Squeeze the juice? You might ask what this means or what it has to do with sticky notes. You probably have your own version of this saying such as “seize the day” or “if life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” I feel that squeezing the juice is a bit more powerful than just making lemonade. Waking up every day in the middle of a global pandemic to an exhaustive reading list, pending writing assignments, and various extracurriculars can challenge even the most well-adjusted student. I never want to lose sight of the joy I find in being a law student in all the noise. When I see this sticky note, I am reminded to fill a moment with gratitude before squeezing the juice out of my next task.
We are all trying to find little reminders to hold meaning in our lives during this time. Sticky notes are my own little reminders to seek joy, feel gratitude and plan ahead. I hope you find some words worth putting on your own sticky note — may they bring you a smile and inspire you to squeeze some juice.
— By Savannah Lucas, a 1L from Leavenworth and a KU Law Student Ambassador.
Updated on January 13, 2021
Jan Sheldon, L’77, has advocated for people with disabilities and at-risk youth for more than four decades through research, teaching and service. Sheldon retired in December after a 44-year tenure at the University of Kansas.
“It’s been a wonderful career,” Sheldon said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better than being able to teach. I’ve had so many incredible students over the years. It’s really nice to be able to get to know them, watch them grow and seeing the impact they make in the field.”
Sheldon taught in KU’s Department of Applied Behavioral Science for 44 years and at the University of Kansas School of Law as a courtesy professor for 40 years. At the law school, she taught Alternative Dispute Resolution and Juvenile Law.
“Once I started teaching, I just fell in love with it,” Sheldon said. “I always looked forward to learning, presenting new material and interacting with the students. I don’t think I could have asked for a better job.”
Sheldon, who grew up in Independence, is a four-time alumna of the University of Kansas. She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology as well as human development and family life from KU. Sheldon also earned an M.A., Ph.D. and J.D. at KU.
During law school, Sheldon served as articles editor of the Kansas Law Review and was a member of Order of the Coif.
She has published three books, 21 book chapters and more than 50 articles, which have influenced policy and practices. Her scholarship sought to advance the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Sheldon has received numerous teaching and advising awards including the W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 1998, the Steeples Service to Kansas Award in 2002 and the J. Michael Young Academic Advising Award in 2009. She was inducted into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
In addition to teaching, Sheldon has served as director of the Truancy Prevention and Diversion Program since 1978. The program aims at improving at-risk youth’s attendance in school. It is a joint initiative of KU’s Department of Applied Behavioral Science and the Douglas County Youth Services.
“It feels good knowing that I’ve made a difference with the kids,” Sheldon said.
In the Lawrence community, Sheldon helped found Community Living Opportunities (CLO). The organization provides support and resources to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sheldon said that CLO serves about 500 people residentially. She also has served as the director of the Edna A. Hill Child Development Center.
Though she will miss her students, Sheldon is looking forward to spending more time with her family during retirement.
“My daughter lives right across the street with her two little boys, so we get to see them every day,” Sheldon said. “It’s really nice.”
— By Ashley Golledge
Updated on January 13, 2021
The KU Law community responds to a pandemic through work, service and community leadership
Mayors who have helped lead their city’s response. A legislative analyst who was deployed to share information about the virus in the early days of its U.S. impact. A legal aid attorney who managed a hotline answering questions about stimulus payments. These are just a few examples of the KU Law graduates who have devoted their time and work in recent months responding to COVID-19.
The coronavirus has brought about tragic loss and hardship as it has turned the world upside down. The KU Law community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – has responded to the to the virus through its work, service and community involvement.
The alumni stories highlighted in the following pages show some of the many way KU Law graduates have responded to a global event. KU lawyers working for access to justice organizations have seen an increase in the need for legal assistance in the communities they serve, as citizens navigate a web of new policies and financial challenges. Alumni serving as mayors have guided local government responses and kept residents of their cities informed. In the public health sector, government workers and a health care industry CEO have worked around the clock to guide agency responses, distribute information and support potential treatments.
This section also details how the School of Law has adapted over the past several months. From finishing the spring 2020 semester remotely, to launching new summer projects to meet community need, to preparing for the fall term, KU Law has shifted its operations to address the current challenges.
- KU Law adapts to a pandemic
- Continuing to provide access to justice
- Leading cities through crisis
- Navigating the public health response
- From Green Hall to City Hall
— Stories by Ashley Golledge and Margaret Hair
This story originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of the KU Law magazine.