Recent graduate wins business law essay contest

Tara Mollhagen Shepherd
Tara Mollhagen Shepherd

A 2020 KU Law graduate’s article was recently featured in the spring 2021 edition of The Business Lawyer, the flagship journal of the ABA Business Law Section. Tara Mollhagen Shepherd’s piece won her first place in the 2020 Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest.

A highly regarded legal writing competition sponsored by the ABA Business Law Section, the Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest encourages and rewards students for outstanding writing on business law topics.

Mollhagen Shepherd’s article, “Lien This Way or That: The Trouble with Categorizing a Lien as Judicial or Statutory,” was published in the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy in 2019.

Winning the contest was “a wonderful surprise,” Mollhagen Shepherd said.

“Of course, with something as prestigious as The Business Lawyer, I was thrilled. The reward for the amount of work that went into my article was so fulfilling,” she said.

Mollhagen Shepherd selected her article topic while she was serving as an extern for Hon. Robert D. Berger, of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas, through KU Law’s Judicial Field Placement Program.

“I’m so thankful to Jessica Rebel and Judge Berger over at the United States Bankruptcy Court: District of Kansas and the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy for answering writing and research questions and helping me along the way,” Mollhagen Shepherd said.

Professor Virginia Harper Ho, who serves as director of the Polsinelli Transactional Law Center at KU, said Mollhagen Shepherd is the first KU Law student to win the national writing contest.

“For Tara’s article to be selected as the winner this year is a big honor, and one that Tara very much deserves,” Harper Ho said.

Working as an associate attorney at Bever Dye, LC in Wichita, Mollhagen Shepherd practices in areas including estate planning, taxation, trusts and estates, and business law.

During law school, she served as president of the Business and Tax Law Society; volunteer and co-coordinator of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Clinic (VITA); and staff editor and business manager of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. She also competed in national transactional law competitions, placing as a runner-up in the elite invitation-only “The Closer” National Transactional Law Competition at Baylor Law School in 2020.

Mollhagen Shepherd received the 2020 Robert E. Edmonds Prize in Corporation & Securities Law from KU Law.

— By Margaret Hair