Rewards of staying busy

Student finds place in legal community during hectic 2L year

You may have heard the old adage: the first year of law school they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, and the third year they bore you to death. I can’t speak about the third year yet, but I can say that my second year of law school has been the busiest — but most rewarding — year of my life.

Claire Kebodeaux with partner Matt Smith before KU's in-house mock trial competition.

Claire Kebodeaux with partner Matt Smith before KU’s in-house mock trial competition.

The first year of law school is scary, but completely doable. It’s hard because it is so different from anything you’ve done before.

I convinced myself this year that I could do everything. I’m president of Women in Law, president of Student Ambassadors, part-time employee in the admissions office, staff editor of the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, intern in the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence. And, oh yeah — I take classes.

I learned I could do everything, but it took support from my family, friends and faculty. One of my favorite parts about KU Law is the supportive atmosphere. Students are friendly and willing to work together. Professors have a true open-door policy. If they are in their office and their door is open, they are willing to chat with you. Not just about class, but about careers or life. Faculty here at KU go above and beyond to help you.

A passion for women’s rights and criminal prosecution brought me to law school. Through my classroom education and extracurricular activities, I have been able to explore my interests and prepare for my career. As an intern in the Project for Innocence, I am able to work with real clients as a second-year student and help them with post-conviction remedies. By taking Criminal Practice in Kansas, I am learning how Kansas statutes work, which will directly translate to my future practice. On the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy and in my Sex Crimes and Feminist Jurisprudence classes, I wrote in-depth research papers on topics that truly interested me.

While I loved learning the basics of law during my 1L year, 2L year has allowed me to explore my passions and find my place in the legal community.

— Claire Kebodeaux is a 2L and KU Law Student Ambassador from Olathe.