Graduate Profile: Dylan Dupre, L’24

Former member of the Marine Corps continues life of service in criminal justice

Dylan Dupre, L’24

Balancing life and a law degree is no small feat, yet KU Law students take on heavy burdens in order to follow their passions and help their community or their country. Dylan Dupre is no exception. Prior to attending law school, Dupre served as a member of the Marine Corps Reserves.

“Balancing was pretty difficult at first, especially in law school,” said Dupre. “School was a lot more demanding than undergrad, and it was difficult at first. Over my 1L year, I was able to make some adjustments to my time and work through it.”

Originally from Houma, Louisiana, Dupre graduated from Nicholls State with a degree in criminal justice. It was there where he developed a passion for criminal law and plans on joining the Collin County District Attorney’s Office in Texas after his bar exam.

“When I first came to KU, I had the opportunity to really dive into the criminal law field right from the get-go,” said Dupre. “I can see myself practicing criminal law for most of my career, if not all of it.”

Like many students at KU Law, Dupre tested out different law career paths before settling on criminal law. Though he has a lot of respect for those who practice civil law, he knows he is where he needs to be.

“There’s a lot of variety in criminal law,” said Dupre. “I feel like with criminal law in particular you come home from work every day feeling like you’ve done good things.”

During his time at KU Law, Dupre used his experience in the Marine Corps and got involved in the Kansas Law School Military & Veterans Society as well as the First-Generation Professionals. He was also able to work as an intern for Judge Stephanie Huff, L’06, in Dallas as well as the Dallas District Attorney’s Office. While he admits to enjoying all his work with the student organizations and his internships, it’s the memories closer to home that he treasures the most.

“I really enjoyed those late-night study grinds with my roommates, John Langmaid and Jay Shank,” said Dupre with a smile. “They weren’t fun at the time but looking back it’s one of my favorite moments.”

Growing and learning with his classmates was a common theme throughout Dupre’s time at KU Law. Despite not intending to practice in transactional law, Dupre cites Stephen Ware as a professor who made a big impact on him in the past three years.

“I always like how he challenged me and how he made everything he taught more fun,” said Dupre.

A Kansas veteran attends the Veteran Legal Aid clinic announcement

Despite retiring from service early in his law school career, Dupre’s experience in the Marine Corps was a big deciding factor in choosing a law school.  Veteran benefits are an important issue that consistently remains in the public eye. KU Law is the first university in Kansas to establish a free legal aid clinic for veterans that will provide vital assistance to veterans facing legal obstacles.

“KU was one of the few schools that recognized my benefits as a veteran and allowed me to get in-state tuition,” said Dupre. “That was crucial to me because I wanted to try to minimize the financial burden that I would be carrying with me throughout the rest of my life.”

For any veterans considering higher education, Dupre has some advice.

“Get in touch with the veteran services center at whatever institution you’re looking at,” he said. “They are always the best resource for helping you out and can point you in the right direction.”

As Dupre begins looking toward his future, he’s committed to staying humble and happy.

“I want to be able to provide for my family,” Dupre said. “I don’t care what I do as long as I can go home and be happy at the end of the day. I want to do something that would make me proud when I look back on my life.”

This goal is already well underway with his career in the Marine Corps and looks just as promising as Dupre enters the workforce.

By Emma Herrman

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