Student champion for diversity and inclusion to become victims’ advocate
Trey Duran will graduate from the University of Kansas School of Law this month, and they look forward to using their legal knowledge to give back to the people of Kansas.
“I am excited about contributing back to the public and using the skills I gained at KU Law to help people with their legal problems,” Duran said.
After taking the bar exam, Duran will become a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) attorney with the Topeka office of Kansas Legal Services.
“During my 2L summer, I was a legal intern with the Wichita office of Kansas Legal Services. I worked with Greg Gietzen, L’20, who was a VOCA attorney at the time and represented people who were trying to get protection from abuse orders,” Duran said. “Using my education to help other people was always my goal.”
Duran spent most of their life in Kansas, growing up in El Dorado and completing their undergraduate degree in political science at KU. As an undergraduate, Duran held several roles with the KU Student Senate, including serving as the senate’s director of diversity and inclusion. When the time came to look for law schools, there was a clear path to Green Hall.
“After my undergraduate education at KU, I felt very connected to Lawrence,” Duran said. “I knew that I wanted to practice law in the state of Kansas.”
At KU Law, Duran was the 2L representative for the Hispanic American Law Student Association (HALSA) and was later elevated to president. Duran continued to work with KU’s campus government, serving as a law student senator during their 1L year. They were also a legal intern for the Legal Aid Clinic and an articles editor for the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy.
“The pandemic caused most extracurricular activities to reduce their activities. However, Journal was able to continue its full activities remotely, and I gained invaluable critical thinking, writing and research skills from that experience,” Duran said. “I worked with great teams, and I am proud of the publication we produced.”
As president of HALSA, Duran played a vital role in the planning and execution of the 2022 Diversity in Law Banquet, sharing the responsibility with the HALSA executive board – Jamie Treto, Amanda McElfresh, Joanna Alvarez and Lauren Stahl.
“It was the first time most HALSA members gathered together since early 2020,” Duran said. “It allowed us to celebrate the accomplishments of KU Law alumni, like the Honorable Mary Murguia, who recently became the first Latina to ever serve as the chief judge of a federal appellate court.”
As they reflect on their time at KU Law, Duran recalls fond memories with their 1L small section leader Professor Laura Hines.
“During her Civil Procedure class, my small section had a lot of fun together while learning,” Duran said. “My favorite memory is when my small section members brought a toaster, frozen waffles, syrup, paper plates and utensils, and we had a waffle party during a Civil Procedure class.”
Duran has enjoyed their time at KU Law and feels ready for the next opportunity.
“KU Law prepared me in both classrooms and courtrooms,” Duran said. “I studied and worked with a community of very passionate and intelligent classmates and faculty.”
-By Sydney Halas
This post is the sixth 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, Cortez Downey, Ashlyn Shultz and Dahnika Short. Stay tuned for more profiles as we celebrate this year’s graduating class.