Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli

Five questions with Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli, Visiting Scholar from Turkey

Visiting scholar Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli from Ankara, Turkey, joins the University of Kansas School of Law for the fall 2021 semester.

A member of the law faculty at Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University in Turkey, Ayhan Izmirli specializes in international private law, arbitration law and fundamental concepts of law.

During her time in Lawrence, Ayhan Izmirli will continue her research on the legal aspects of international countertrade.

Photo of Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli.

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

It was a very nice coincidence. I was looking for a visiting scholar opportunity abroad in the field of international trade law for my post-doctoral study. One of my friends (who was a visiting scholar at KU Law a couple of years ago) told me about Professor Raj Bhala. I already knew Professor Bhala from his books, articles and other studies. I sent him an email and asked if he could supervise me. I was fortunate he accepted the responsibility of being my faculty shepherd, and now I have the opportunity to study at KU Law. I have been here for just two weeks, and I have met other outstanding professors and very nice administrative staff. I am very happy to be here, and I am thankful to KU Law and TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) for providing the scholarship for my research.

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

I would like to collect related resources, finish my research and (hopefully) publish my work after going back to my country. Afterward, I will keep studying in this field, utilizing the academic experience and knowledge I gained here at KU Law.

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

From the external point of view, the academic and research environment at KU is similar to Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University, School of Law. However, there are a lot of differences in detail. First of all, this experience gives me the opportunity to get to know the U.S. legal system, which is quite different from Turkey’s legal system. I believe this kind of opportunity is valuable for the unique academic perspective.

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

The thing I like the most about Lawrence is its calmness. It is so peaceful and calm here that I already feel comfortable and relaxed after my first week. My children and I like to watch the squirrels pacing around (which is not common in Turkey). We also enjoy feeding them. In addition, I particularly like the large, green and airy parks. On the other hand, I miss my extended family and friends in Turkey, but I know that is very natural. I try to make the most of my time here at KU Law.

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

First, I recommend they examine every single opportunity while setting their steps for their academic target. Studying abroad contributes to their academic improvement. Secondly, it is wonderful for networking, especially if they want to work in the field of international or comparative law. Lastly, apart from academic research, this kind of experience can expand their world perspective and lead to self-improvement. Learning about another culture while you are immersed in it gives you valuable insight which cannot be discovered by reading a book. I think that means a lot. It leads to more understanding between people. At the end of the day, it contributes to a better world.

Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Sardorbek Yusupov

Sardorbek Yusupov standing outside Green Hall

Five questions with Sardorbek Yusupov, Visiting Scholar from Uzbekistan

Sardorbek Yusupov, a legal scholar and law professor from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a visiting scholar at the University of Kansas School of Law for the fall 2021 semester.

Yusupov serves as an associate professor and head in the Department of Administrative and Financial Law at the Tashkent State University of Law, located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. At Tashkent State University of Law, he currently teaches courses such as Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Financial Law, and Soft Skills for Lawyers.

Yusupov is participating in KU Law’s overseas visiting scholars program as a fellow in the Faculty Enrichment Program administered by the American Councils for International Education.

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

First of all, I am very happy and excited to be studying at the KU School of Law.

I am very happy that the teachers and administration staff of the university are helping me. I thank the American Councils for International Education for helping me with this process. The reason is that I won a grant by participating in my own project under the Faculty Enrichment Program announced by the American Councils. As a result, I had the opportunity to study at this university.

I am here to further develop my professional potential and learn about the management style of teachers, their teaching, organization of trainings, methods of student assessment, observation of simulation lessons, how to analyze the judicial process among students, and the activities of the legal clinic. I want to study how it is organized and basically how the university operates in a self-financing system and collect information about the process of raising and distributing funds.

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

Through this, I want to publish an article and continue my work using the experience I have gained at my university when I return to my homeland. The reason is that the university is one of the universities that has moved us to a self-financing system. However, this field is still new in our country. So, I want to put this area, the experience I gained through KU and the KU School of Law, into practice.

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

Most of the academic and research situations at the KU School of Law are similar to my university. Both universities have created adequate facilities. However, one of the main differences at KU is the abundance of scientific work resources, their sufficiency, and abilities to help the researcher through the library, the ability to quickly find the literature you want. I think for me, such situations will be an experience to develop scientific research as well at my 30-year-old university, which celebrates its foundation in one month with the Independence Day of my lovely country.

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

I liked Lawrence very much because it has very beautiful, spectacular views. There are also several opportunities for everyone and for students. I especially liked the suitable transportation system on campus, which serves to transport students to different places. The parks in Lawrence are of particular importance. I really liked taking the opportunity to go there. It has a peaceful atmosphere for reading a book and meeting friendly, generous people.

Everything is enough here. But I miss my family, my children so much. It is bothering me without them. Yes, of course, the next one is my motherland.

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

Firstly, I would advise other researchers to learn foreign languages and get a good understanding of the cultures and customs of the countries which they want to study. They must clearly define their purpose and their plans of research and gather necessary information about it. I would ask them to be able to share their scientific research with others in the future. I would also ask them to never stop researching and striving.

KU Law’s Free Bar Prep Program offers simulated bar exam

Bar preparation instructor Glenn Jewell reads instructions to students during a simulated bar exam.
Bar preparation instructor Glenn Jewell reads instructions to students during a simulated bar exam in Green Hall. About 40 students participated in the simulated exam. (Note: Photos were taken on July 6, 2021, before an indoor mask requirement was reinstated at KU.)

For law graduates, passing the bar examination is the final hurdle to clear before starting a legal career. In almost all jurisdictions, the two-day, timed test includes six hours of writing and 200 multiple-choice questions administered under strict conditions.

This summer, KU Law students got a practice run of those conditions during an in-person simulated bar exam at Green Hall. The simulated test is part of KU Law’s Free Bar Prep Program.

Glenn Jewell, bar exam instructor, gives instructions before an afternoon session of a simulated bar exam.
Glenn Jewell, bar exam instructor, gives instructions before an afternoon session of a simulated bar exam.

Samantha Natera, L’21, signed up for the simulated exam to practice day-of conditions and work on timing. The event helped Natera get used to limiting her time responding to Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions. The MPT tests lawyering skills in 90-minute segments.

“I wanted to have the experience of taking the simulated exam so I could know how it was to do it under exam conditions, and work on my timing and reading comprehension,” Natera said.

Natera was among about 40 students who took a two-day, simulated bar exam in early July. Spread out over two classrooms and several study rooms, students had a chance to take an exam under similar conditions to what they would face later in the month for the July bar examination.

Free Bar Prep Program resources

Now in its third year, the Free Bar Prep Program offers students a free, post-graduation bar preparation course in partnership with Themis Bar Review. Leading up to graduation, students also have access to a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination preparation course, an elective course focusing on bar prep, and diagnostic exams starting in their 1L year.

The program aims to enhance students’ ability to succeed in law school and on the bar exam without the adding expense of a post-graduation prep course, said Leah Terranova, KU Law assistant dean for academic and student affairs.

“By removing the financial pressure of paying for a bar prep course, our graduates can focus more squarely on readying themselves for the exam,” Terranova said. “This is especially important for those graduates who have not yet secured post-graduate employment, and who might otherwise forego taking on the large expense of a bar prep program.”

A bar exam study book on a desk in Green Hall
The two-day simulated exam included writing and multiple-choice sections.

Throughout the summer, bar preparation instructor Glenn Jewell is available as a resource and to answer questions. With the law school’s student affairs and career services offices, Jewell hosted coffee meetups at Green Hall this summer to check in with graduates as they worked through their bar prep course.

During the spring semester, Jewell teaches an Extended Bar Exam Preparation elective course. Open to 3Ls, the course is designed to ensure students know what to expect from both the post-graduation Themis bar review course and the bar exam.

Students also take diagnostic exams through the Themis portal during their first year. The multiple-choice exams give students early, formative feedback on their understanding of 1L course materials tested on the bar exam.

Advice for graduating law students

Falling behind in the bar prep course can cause graduates anxiety, Terranova said. Jewell addresses that anxiety by tracking weekly progress for each student and offering support to those who have fallen behind, along with a personalized plan to help bring them back up to speed.

“The best things folks can do for themselves is to put personal plans aside for the summer and dedicate their full time and attention (right from the start!) to preparing for the bar exam,” Terranova said.

Graduates often underestimate the amount of time it takes to study for the bar exam, especially given the amount of memorization required, Terranova said. Themis recommends starting 10 weeks before the exam date and clocking 50 hours of studying each week.

“They should expect this summer to be comprised of the hardest, most exhausting work they’ve done so far in their law school career. If they go in expecting this, they’ll be ready for the challenge,” Terranova said.

Terranova advises third-year law students to trust the Themis program. “Graduates need to know it will be grueling at times; they will be exhausted by the sheer volume of work,” she said. “But, if they follow the study guide that Themis as charted and meet the metrics laid out by Themis, they will set themselves up for success on the exam.”

— By Margaret Hair

Hands-On Learning Q&A: Audrey Nelson, Project for Innocence

Applying classroom learning to real clients and their cases

Third-year law student Audrey Nelson knew she was passionate about public defense work before enrolling in the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies at the University of Kansas School of Law.

During two semesters working with the clinic in 2020-21, Nelson was able to gain hands-on experience and apply classroom learning to real clients and their cases.

“I gained a deeper understanding of the injustices ingrained in our criminal system and further solidified my choice to pursue a career in public defense,” Nelson said.

Nelson shared her experience with the Project for Innocence for a Q&A.

Audrey Nelson
Audrey Nelson

What type of work are you doing?

I worked on client intake and detainers, assisted clients with writing state habeas petitions, and handled several actual innocence claims relating to DNA testing.

What interested you in enrolling in this course?

I was interested in enrolling in the Project for Innocence because I am passionate about criminal defense work and want to be a public defender after I pass the bar.

Are there skills you’ve developed or improved working with the clinic?

Yes, I improved my skills in communicating with clients, reading through discovery efficiently, and spotting issues in a real-world context.

How do you think this experience will impact the rest of your time in law school or the start of your career?

All the Project for Innocence professors are amazing mentors that I can reach out to with questions any time, during law school and beyond.

What has been your favorite part of this experience?

My favorite part of working with the clinic was gaining the important responsibility of taking on clients because as a law student that is a big step in our legal education.

What would you say to law students considering enrolling in this clinic?

If you are considering enrolling in this clinic, my advice would be to go for it! It is a great experience regardless of the area of law you’re interested in because it gives students a chance to improve a variety of important lawyering skills.

— By Margaret Hair

Hands-On Learning Q&A: Donald Pinckney, Judicial Field Placement

‘An enjoyable and educational experience’

This summer, second-year law student Donald Pinckney is working as a clerk for Judge Rhonda K. Mason at the Johnson County Courthouse. The clerkship is part of the Judicial Field Placement program at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Pinckney shared his experience with the Judicial Field Placement for a Q&A.

Donald Pinckney
Donald Pinckney

What type of work are you doing?

I am doing research for Judge Mason and writing the occasional court order. My research has consisted of researching case law to find answers to cases Judge Mason has taken under advisement. I also have written summary judgment orders and memos detailing my research.

What interested you in enrolling in this course?

I enrolled in this course because I was interested in seeing the legal practice in the real world. I wanted to see some of the things that I learned in Civil Procedure and Torts put into practice in the real world.

I also wanted to see different practice areas like divorce and litigation to help determine which practice area I found most interesting. I thought this course would also be helpful to determine which area I did not want to practice.

Are there skills you’ve developed or improved working with the field placement?

I improved my researching skill substantially by working on legal issues for Judge Mason while working on her under advisement docket. I also improved my writing skills especially when it came to clarity. My legal writing improved as I wrote legal orders for Judge Mason and had to make sure my orders were as clear as possible since they would be published and decide the outcome of cases.

How do you think this experience will impact the rest of your time in law school or the start of your career?

This experience will impact the rest of my time in law school by giving me a real-world expectation for how the legal profession operates.

I will now be able to take real-world experience into the classroom and understand more thoroughly how case law interacts with legal practice. It will also be helpful to have established some contacts in a large county for when I practice in the future.

What has been your favorite part of this experience?

Getting the chance to see attorneys practice in person. It has been eye-opening to see how attorneys interact with one another and that the legal field is not so contentious as I assumed. While the system is adversarial by nature, seeing attorneys work with one another to deal with issues, especially when it comes to divorce and scheduling issues, was revealing.

It was also enjoyable to discuss the outcome of the case with Judge Mason and get an understanding of why she ruled a certain way. Discussing the cases with Judge Mason was both the most enjoyable and educational part of the field placement.

What would you say to law students considering enrolling in this field placement?

I would encourage students to enroll in the field placement since it will give you an understanding of why law school is taught a certain way. It is also nice to have a large amount of autonomy over how you conduct your learning experience. It is a nice segue between having the controlled experience of 1L year and the freedom of being an upperclassman in law school.

— By Margaret Hair

Alumni gift establishes new student scholarship

A new scholarship fund at the University of Kansas School of Law will provide support to candidates who contribute to the diversity of the student body.

Julia Gille Anderson and Jett Anderson, both L’82, established the Anderson Family Law Diversity Scholarship with a $75,000 gift commitment to KU Endowment.

Julia Gille Anderson, left, and Jett Anderson, both L'82.
Julia Gille Anderson, left, and Jett Anderson, both L’82. Photo courtesy of Julia Gille Anderson.

The two KU Law graduates have always been appreciative of the education they received at KU Law, Julia Gille Anderson said. They chose to fund a scholarship supporting diversity in the student body because “America’s greatest strength lies in her diversity,” Anderson said.

“We are establishing this scholarship in support of KU Law students continuing to be representative of our society as a whole,” she said.

Make a gift

— By Margaret Hair

Graduate Profile: Blake Saffels, L’21

Blake Saffels in graduation regalia with his family
Blake Saffels, left, with his wife, Hillary, and their children.

Following his first year of law school, Blake Saffels took a field placement with the Missouri State Public Defender’s office in Kansas City, Missouri. The experience put him on a path that will continue after his graduation from the University of Kansas School of Law.

“It provided great practical experience from working with some excellent attorneys and from getting hands-on experience interacting with clients. That experience also reaffirmed my desire to go into criminal defense,” Saffels said.

In addition to the Field Placement Program, Saffels prepared for a career in criminal law by participating in the Judicial Field Placement Program, Expert Witness Skills Workshop and Deposition Skills Workshop.

Saffels will start his legal career as an associate attorney focusing on criminal defense at Berkowitz Oliver in Kansas City, Missouri.

“At some point in my career, I will hopefully get to witness the end of the death penalty, mass incarceration, and many of the other problems in our country’s criminal system,” Saffels said.

Professor Emeritus Ellen Sward was one of Saffels’ favorite instructors at KU Law. Sward “kept things fun with her unique sense of humor” and was committed to her students’ success, Saffels said.

“I would not necessarily say that her infamous 9-hour Civil Procedure final was my favorite experience ever. But both classes I took from Professor Sward were challenging without being overwhelming, and she made complex material easy to understand,” he said.

Saffels earned a nickname – “Justice Saffels” – during his first year of law school. Friends had joked that his objective and thoughtful speaking would make him a great judge. When a professor asked during class if he was related to Judge Saffels – Blake’s grandfather was a judge – the name stuck.

“I could not tell you why because I do not plan on trying to become a judge, but some friends decided to call me Justice Saffels almost exclusively for the next two and a half years,” Saffels said.

Originally from Overland Park, Saffels earned his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from KU in 2013. He and his wife, Hillary, had their son, Emerson, one month into Saffels’ first semester of law school. Their daughter, Lillian, was born last summer.

During his time at KU Law, Saffels helped mentor first-year students as a member of the Dean’s Fellows, served as business manager for the Kansas Law Review and participated in moot court.  

— By Margaret Hair

This post is the eighth in a series highlighting a few of the exceptional members of KU Law’s Class of 2021. Check out previous stories about Aidan Graybill, Howard Mahan, Zachary Kelsay, Marisol Garcia, Leah Lewsader, Samantha Natera and Delaney Hiegert.

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

Alumni gift boosts Student Emergency Fund

Giving Story: KU Law Student Emergency Fund

Jeff Stowell, L’01, and Carol Stowell have seen first-hand the strain some students have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Carol Stowell finished her nursing degree in December, she saw her younger student peers struggle to stay in school as they faced job loss, a sudden increased need for childcare, and other challenges.

“We were really motivated to try to increase the size and reach of the KU Law Student Emergency Fund by our observations of the sometimes quiet effects the pandemic was having on young people,” Jeff Stowell said.

The Stowell family contributed a $25,000 matching gift to the Student Emergency Fund during this year’s university-wide giving day, ONE DAY. ONE KU. In response to the Stowells’ matching gift, 92 donors contributed $24,200 to the emergency fund in a 24-hour period.

The Stowell family poses in KU gear
The Stowell family. Photo courtesy of Jeff Stowell.

The fund provides one-time grants to law students in need of emergency financial assistance, including covering costs such as counseling and mental health services. The grants do not need to be repaid. The Student Emergency Fund was made possible by support from the Janean Meigs Memorial Award in Law fund and its stewards.

Leah Terranova, assistant dean for academic and student affairs, said the fund provides a safety net for students who encounter a situation that could affect their ability to continue law school.

Since the fund was established in fall 2019, more than 30 emergency fund requests have been filled, providing more than $30,000 in financial support to students with emergency needs. Students have received grants to cover such unexpected expenses as car repairs, medical and dental bills, loss of income or family support related to COVID-19 or deaths in the family.

“We also use these funds to pay for counseling fees for students who may not otherwise be able to afford therapy. Ideally, we remove any financial barriers to students seeking mental health supports,” Terranova said.

In addition to the Student Emergency Fund, KU Law has provided grocery store gift cards to students to help with food insecurity during the past year.

To Jeff Stowell, there’s no question the COVID-19 pandemic made his family’s decision to support the Student Emergency Fund timelier.

“But it probably shouldn’t be that way,” Stowell said. “It’s becoming increasingly challenging for most students to be able to afford a quality education.”

“A rapidly growing number of our students sit in pretty precarious financial positions where a simple wrong turn of a screw can force them to drop out. We should continue to pay attention to that,” he said.

Make a gift

— By Margaret Hair

Graduate Profile: Delaney Hiegert, L’21

Delaney Hiegert
Third-year law student Delaney Hiegert

‘Looking forward to seeing what type of good I can get up to with a J.D.’

For Delaney Hiegert, L’21, the most impactful experience during their three years at KU Law was all about helping others.

In fall 2019, Hiegert – along with classmate Ellen Bertels – gathered support from the Douglas County Legal Aid Society and LGTBQ+ activists across Kansas to launch the Gender Marker and Name Change Project. The GMNC Project, operating within the KU Legal Aid Clinic at Green Hall, provides pro bono legal representation for transgender and nonbinary individuals as they seek affirming gender marker and name changes in Kansas.

“Ellen and I had a pipe dream of helping transgender Kansans by providing pro bono representation and free resources for them as they sought gender-affirming legal identity document changes on their journey of living authentically,” Hiegert said.

In addition to providing representation and resources, Hiegert and Bertels made connections with attorneys across the state and began offering CLE trainings related to advocating for transgender clients.

The experiences they had co-founding and working with the Gender Marker and Name Change Project “will stick with me throughout my legal career,” Hiegert said.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to serve our trans community and help to ensure the legal profession is capable of equitably advocating for transgender and gender diverse people in Kansas,” they said.

Hiegert and Bertels recently received the national PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award, honoring their work launching the Gender Marker and Name Change Project. Presented by the National Association for Law Placement, the award recognizes law students whose commitment to law-related public service work contributes to a culture of pro bono service within their law school. Hiegert and Bertels recruited and trained classmates to volunteer with the project.

At KU’s Lavender Graduation & Pride Awards in April, Hiegert received the Be You at KU Student of the Year Award, and the GMNC Project earned the Best Program or Initiative Pride Award.

KU Law awarded Hiegert the Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership, and Service Award at graduation. The award is given to the student who has most distinguished themselves in the combined areas of scholarship, leadership and service.

During law school, Hiegert was on the leadership team of OUTLaws & Allies, and participated in the Dean’s Diversity Leadership Council, the American Constitution Society and the undergraduate ACLU of KU student organization. They were also on the board of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy.

Favorite courses included Professor Kyle Velte’s course on Sexual Orientation and the Law.

“It was a great opportunity for me to engage with LGBTQ+ advocacy issues in the specific context of the law,” Hiegert said. “Plus, our final projects were podcasts related to an LGBTQ+ legal issue we were interested in, so I actually had a lot of fun creating it!”

This spring, Hiegert worked as a legal intern for the National Health Law Program through KU Law’s 6th Semester in D.C. program, which allows students to spend their last semester of law school taking classes and working in Washington, D.C.

“I was grateful to have the opportunity to learn about life as a full-time attorney prior to the start of my first post-graduation job,” Hiegert said.

Born and raised in Topeka, Hiegert earned their B.A. in communications studies – with minors in journalism and criminal justice – from Newman University in Wichita.

“I’m a Kansas kid at heart, so I was happy to have the opportunity to stay in my home state for law school,” they said.

Looking back on their time at KU Law, Hiegert said their favorite memories “are just all the little moments I had with my friends in Green Hall that got me through each semester.”

“Heely-ing in the basement through the tile hallway before each final; our first (and only) law prom; late-night study session snack runs; drag shows at the Jazzhaus; the Bluebook relays. There’s too many to choose one!” they said.

After graduation, Hiegert plans to sit for the July bar exam before starting a clerkship with Judge Jacy Hurst, L’07, of the Kansas Court of Appeals. Following their clerkship, Hiegert plans to pursue public interest fellowships or attorney positions focusing on LGBTQ+ justice issues and social justice issues.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what type of good I can get up to with a J.D.,” Hiegert said.

“I think that the skills I learned while at KU Law have prepared me to be a truly effective advocate for the causes that I am passionate about, and I am eager to put them to use!”

— By Margaret Hair

This post is the seventh in a series highlighting a few of the exceptional members of KU Law’s Class of 2021. Check out previous stories about Aidan Graybill, Howard Mahan, Zachary Kelsay, Marisol Garcia, Leah Lewsader and Samantha Natera. Stay tuned for more profiles as we celebrate this year’s graduating class.