Graduate Profile: Parker Bednasek, L’22

Law Review editor-in-chief was ‘raised to be a Jayhawk’

Law school has kept Parker Bednasek busy.

As editor-in-chief of the Kansas Law Review, Bednasek was responsible for representing the University of Kansas School of Law in legal academia.

“You also have a lot of interaction with professors at other law schools, so you want to be professional and leave a good impression,” Bednasek said.

While his experience leading the Law Review was a big responsibility, Bednasek also values the time he spent as a teaching assistant in the Lawyering Skills program and as a Shook Hardy & Bacon Scholar. Part of the law school’s Academic Resources Program, the Shook scholars lead study groups for first-year students. Bednasek was also a member of KU Law’s Moot Court Council.

Parker Bednasek
Parker Bednasek, L’22.

“Being a TA and an SHB scholar has meant a lot to me because it provided a mentorship opportunity with 1L students – which I really value,” Bednasek said.

Later this month, Bednasek will join fellow members of the KU Law Class of 2022 for graduation celebrations. They will gather at the school’s first in-person Hooding Ceremony since 2019, finishing a law school career that’s been full of unexpected challenges.

“I think the general experience of navigating law school during a pandemic has been really unique and has created challenges that are different than any other generation of law school students have faced,” Bednasek said.

Bednasek grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both of his parents are from Kansas – “so they raised me to be a Jayhawk,” Bednasek said. KU was the only school he applied to for his undergraduate degrees in political science and history.

“After spending four years in Lawrence for undergrad, I fell in love with the town and university – and it became my home. When looking at law schools, I knew that I would receive a quality legal education at KU because of my undergrad experience and that I would have great employment opportunities after graduation,” Bednasek said.

During his time at KU Law, Bednasek completed two field placements, working for a Kansas district court judge and the Federal Public Defender’s Office. In the Trial Advocacy skills course, he had the chance to question witnesses and give opening and closing statements. He also participated in the Project for Innocence clinic, taught by Professor Jean Phillips.

“I was able to get experience in complex issues of state and federal criminal law with the help of a stellar attorney – Professor Phillips,” Bednasek said.

That experience helped prepare Bednasek for the workforce and the career opportunities ahead.  

“I am really excited about representing KU in the legal field and giving back to the school where I can,” Bednasek said. “Being able to help the next generation of KU lawyers is an opportunity that I would love to have in the future.”

— By Margaret Hair

This post is the second in a series highlighting a few of the exceptional members of KU Law’s Class of 2022. Check out a previous story about Olivia Black. Stay tuned for more profiles as we celebrate this year’s graduating class.