University of Kansas School of Law

Dear alumni and friends:

We hope you enjoy this edition of the KU Law Brief, which includes stories about graduation, alumni and faculty accomplishments, student experiences and an exciting new center dedicated to training the next generation of trial lawyers. If that’s not enough to inspire you, read the commencement speech that David Elkouri, L’78, delivered at graduation. His advice holds true whether you completed law school last month or decades ago.

KU lawyers go, boldly
On May 18, KU Law sent a new batch of freshly trained lawyers into the world. We recognized outstanding members of the class of 2008 during the hooding ceremony, where Dean Gail Agrawal reminisced about the contributions of the graduates. Read more.

Hail to the Chief
Four KU Law students got the opportunity of a lifetime last month when they argued in the final round of the schoolís moot court competition, judged by a panel that included Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Nerves mounted as the day approached, but the students performed exceptionally well under pressure. Read more.

Grooming tomorrowís trial lawyers
The KU School of Law and the law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon have formed a partnership aimed at connecting experienced trial lawyers with the students who will follow in their footsteps. The Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy will capitalize on its namesakeís distinguished history in litigation to cultivate a new generation of advocates. Read more.

Alumna lauded for leadership
during credit crisis

KU Law recently honored Sheila Bair, Lí78, with a Distinguished Alumnus Citation, the highest honor bestowed by the school. Not surprisingly, folks at Bairís legal alma mater arenít the only ones recognizing her contributions. Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein last week characterized Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as a regulator with steadfast principles who would have made FDR proud.
Read more.

KU Law grad running for state legislature
Rebekah Gaston, Lí05, has thrown her hat into the race for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives. The 29-year-old Salina Democrat will challenge Republican Deena Horst to represent the 69th District, which includes parts of western and southern Salina. Read more.

Law student dares to dream
Tobi Bitner had always flirted with the idea of becoming an attorney. But she was a busy mom with three daughters and a full-time job. Law school didnít seem like an option. A prophetic trip to a city council meeting and some inspiration from a national magazineís "Dare to Dream" series changed her outlook. Now sheís a second-year student at KU Law.
Read more.

Faculty member testifies
before congressional committees

Professor Stephen Ware testified recently in opposition to the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act before two U.S. Senate committees. Ware opposes the measure on the ground that it would tend to harm those it aims to help: nursing home residents and their families. Read more.

For constitutional law professor,
a fantasy spring break

KU Law Professor Stephen McAllister vowed this semester to expand the classroom for his undergraduate honors seminar far beyond the confines of 107 Green Hall. In March, he took 20 students on a five-day trip to Washington, D.C., to learn firsthand about the Supreme Courtís role in American government and culture. Read more.

Alumni notes
In the past few months, KU Law alumni have been promoted, appointed, elected and honored. Some have given birth to children. (Thatís Adrian Oscar Gonzalez, son of Heber Gonzalez, L'03, and his wife, Diane, in the photo.) Others, sadly, have passed away. Read more.

University of Kansas School of Law
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