Mentoring first-year students was a standout experience for KU Law banner carrier
The first year of law school is full of challenges. For Ashlyn Shultz, learning how to overcome those challenges – and passing that knowledge on to her fellow students – has been a defining law school experience.
“My 1L year was tough – as everyone’s is – so I relished the opportunity to help fellow law students navigate those difficulties,” Shultz said.
Shultz was a teaching assistant with the Lawyering Skills program during her 3L year, and she worked as a peer tutor for part of her 2L year.
“I was bolstered by a love for the Bluebook – which unfortunately is not a common sentiment. Along the way, I discovered a love for teaching and corny jokes,” she said.
Shultz remembers being one of “a bunch of wide-eyed yet terrified 1Ls” in her small section Torts class, taught by Professor Laura Hines. One day during a lunch-hour event, her section learned about the law school’s grading curve right before they headed to Torts.
“We, of course, were a bit jarred by what we had just learned, so Professor Hines was kind enough to take the time and explain that the curve is there to help everyone,” Shultz said. “This was only the first of many times our small section was able to have heart-to-heart chats with Professor Hines; she was always the one to remind us that we could get through law school.”
As one of the top students in the Class of 2022, Shultz will be the school’s banner carrier at the KU Law Hooding Ceremony during Commencement Weekend. In addition to her mentorship roles, Shultz has worked as a staff editor and articles editor for the Kansas Law Review and was a member of the Christian Legal Society.
Shultz is part of the first group of KU Law students to graduate through the LEAD (Legal Education Accelerated Degree) Program at Kansas State University. Students in the program complete their undergraduate degrees during their first year of law school, earning both an undergraduate and a law degree in six years. KU Law also has LEAD partnerships with the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Wichita State University.
During her time at Kansas State, Shultz had the chance to attend get-togethers with fellow LEAD students from her own campus and KU. When she got to Green Hall, there were friendly faces to greet her.
“I knew I wanted to practice in Kansas, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go to law school – or undergrad, actually,” Shultz said. “I heard through the grapevine about the LEAD program starting at K-State my incoming year. I was so excited, I went home and immediately applied to K-State. The rest from there is history!”
Originally from Manhattan, Kansas, Shultz majored in political science and philosophy at Kansas State.
After her graduation from KU Law, Shultz will return to Manhattan to work at Arthur-Green, LLP, where she hopes to help clients with estate planning.
“There’s nothing like seeing the concern in someone’s eyes melt as they sign their finished trust documents and find themselves with some security for the future. I hope my work can take that concern off clients’ shoulders,” Shultz said.
— By Margaret Hair
This post is the fourth in a series highlighting a few of the exceptional members of KU Law’s Class of 2022. Check out previous stories about Olivia Black, Parker Bednasek and Cortez Downey. Stay tuned for more profiles as we celebrate this year’s graduating class.