Graduate Profile: Anthony Leeks, L’24

Former KU football player joins KC firm for real estate law

Anthony Leeks, L’24

Once you’re a Jayhawk, you’re always a Jayhawk. This is especially true for recent graduate, Anthony Leeks, who first walked on to KU’s campus in 2018. When he graduated in 2021 with a degree in business management and leadership, Leeks knew he wasn’t done with Lawrence.

“I’m sticking with KU,” Leeks said, referring to his plans for future degrees. “I’ve gotten two degrees from here and I will go three for three if it ever ends up happening.”

Prior to starting his KU Law career, Leeks was a walk-on for the KU football team. From 2019 to 2021, Leeks was a linebacker under Coach Les Miles.

“I was there when we beat Texas Tech and tore the field posts down,” he said. “I might have to go to a game at Arrowhead next year.”

Now, with his J.D. in hand, Leeks will join the Kansas City firm Sandberg Phoenix in September as an associate attorney in their real estate division. This won’t be Leek’s first time at Sandberg Phoenix. He first got a taste of the work this firm does his 2L summer.

“I’ve always gone back and forth between transactional and litigation,” said Leeks. “Some of the experiences I had over that summer led me to real estate. I like that everyone wants to get the deal done. Everyone wants to be there. It’s not adversarial.”

Despite his focus on transactional law, Leeks was involved in moot court during his time at KU Law. However, Leeks is thankful for the experience as it helped him hone skills that he’ll be using at Sandberg Phoenix.

“I joined moot court because I didn’t think I was good at legal writing and I wanted to improve,” he said. “It worked out because I made it to the finals and got on council and everything.”

Leeks is hooded at the 2024 Hooding Ceremony at the Lied Center.

This year, Leeks and his partner, John Laangmaid, won the second-best brief in the Stetson International Environmental Competition. Leeks also served as the president of the Sports Law Society and the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).

“I’ve always wanted to become a CEO of a company or general counsel for a sports team,” said Leeks. “When I was president of Sports Law Society, we had the GC of Sporting Kansas City come and speak. I think doing something like that would be really cool.”

Looking back at his experiences growing up, it’s no surprise that Leeks was destined for great things. Even as a kid, Leeks had an inquisitive mind that kept him asking questions and seeking knowledge.

“When I was a kid, I would see people from the city in my backyard working on the green electrical box there and it always confused me,” he said, “until I took Business Law and learned about easements. There are so many instances like that that answered my questions, and that’s what convinced me to go to law school.”

Business Law, led by KU Law professor Amii Castle, was not the only thing that left a big impact on Leeks. Over the span of his three years, Leeks credits former KU Law professor Lou Mulligan, recently retired professor Tom Stacy and Uma Outka as important figures in his law career.

“Lou got really honest about being prepared. If this is what you want to do then you need to take it seriously,” said Leeks.

Not only did Outka make an impact on Leek’s future, but her class helped set him in the right direction.

“Property in my 1L year was probably my favorite class by far,” said Leeks. “It’s probably why I’m going into real estate. I’ve always had a tie to real estate.”

Freshly graduated and preparing for the Bar, Leeks has some advice for students considering applying for law school.

“There are so many things you can do with a law degree,” he said. “You might think you’re just going to work for a law firm or some government agency, but there’s so much more that you can do that you’ve never imagined. You can pursue a J.D. and not be tied to one specific thing.”

One thing that Leeks always plans on being tied to is KU, no matter where his KU degrees take him. “I have friends who are going to Phoenix, Knoxville and Chicago,” he said. You can go anywhere with KU, not just Kansas.”

By Emma Herrman

Comments 1

  1. I am so proud of you Anthony. It is always good to see the direction the kids of the church lives take once they reach adulthood. Keep your focus and count your blessings everyday. Hey Anthony God loves you and so do we

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