Suzanne Valdez

Clinical Professor of Law
Connell Teaching Professor of Law
Director, Criminal Prosecution Field Placement Program
Primary office:
315A Green Hall


Prior to joining the KU Law faculty, Suzanne Valdez was an attorney with Kansas Legal Services in Kansas City, Kansas. Her other professional work includes serving as a pro tem judge in Douglas County District Court and as a special prosecutor with the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office. Valdez maintains a small part-time private practice focusing on civil litigation. Valdez was named a Connell Teaching Professor of Law in 2019.

Valdez graduated from the KU School of Law in 1996. She was a member of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, a research and teaching assistant, a participant in the Legal Aid Clinic, and winner of a Foulston & Siefkin Excellence in Appellate Advocacy Award and the 1996 Walter Hiersteiner Outstanding Service Award. 

An outstanding teacher, Valdez was the recipient of the 2000 and 2015 Immel Award for Teaching Excellence and the 2002 Moreau Award for commitment to advising students.

In addition to her commitment to teaching students practical skills and preparing them for a client-centric law practice, Valdez provides dedicated service to the national and state bar, as well as to the University of Kansas community.

Courses Taught:
  • Deposition Skills Workshop
  • Expert Skills Workshop
  • Pretrial Advocacy
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Prosecutorial Ethics
  • State Court Practice


J.D., Kansas, 1996; B.S., Nevada-Las Vegas, 1991


Deposition Skills Workshop, Expert Skills Workshop, Pretrial Advocacy, Professional Responsibility, Prosecutorial Ethics, State Court Practice


Kansas 1996, Missouri 1997, Supreme Court of the United States 2003

Career History

Kansas Legal Services, 1996 to 1999; University of Kansas School of Law, 1999-present; Special Prosecutor, Wyandotte County District Attorney's Office, 2005-2008 and 2017-present; Judge Pro Tem, Douglas County, Kansas, 2008.


Kansas practice and procedure, ethics and professionalism, family law


  • Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board (Chair, 2010-present).
  • Kansas CLE Commission (Chair, 2003-2006).
  • Kansas Judicial Council Family Law Advisory Committee (2002-present).
  • American Bar Association Site Team Evaluator.
  • Association of American Law Schools New Teacher Workshop Committee (2017-2018).
  • University Senate (2017-2020).
  • University Judicial Board (Chair, 2013-2016).
  • KU Athletics Advisory Committee (2017-2020).


Kansas Bar Association; Douglas County Bar Association; Missouri Bar Association; Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court; Judicial Nominating Commission for the 7th Judicial District; Kansas Self-Representation Study Committee; Kansas Women Attorneys Association.

Selected Publications

  • "Prosecution Ethics," 3rd Edition, West Academic Publishing (2019). 
  • "Retreat to the Boundary of the Rules: Resurrecting Professionalism in Depositions and the Implications of Gamesmanship for Kansas Practitioners," 64 Kansas Law Review 5 (2016).
  • "A Policy Paper on What Can Be Done about Low-Level, Non-Violent Female Drug Offenders in Kansas," 25 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy 131 (2015).
  • "Ethical Concerns Regarding Fees & Billing," (Chapter 7, Kansas Ethics Handbook, 2nd Ed., 2014), Kansas Bar Association (with M.H. Hoeflich and Christopher L. Steadham). 
  • "How to Introduce and Qualify an Expert Witness at Trial," Kansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Forum (Winter 2012).
  • "Why Lawyers Conduct Discovery Depositions," Kansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Forum, (Spring 2012).
  • "What Every Lawyer Should Know About Victims’ Rights in Kansas," 80 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association 22 (2011).
  • "Addressing the Pro Se Litigant Challenge in Kansas State Courts," 78 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association 25 (2009).
  • "Learning Prosecution: It Begins in Law School," 6 Kansas Prosecutor 20 (2009).
  • "Some Recent Developments in Kansas Landlord-Tenant Law, Including Evictions," 54 Kansas Law Review 933 (2007).
  • "What Became of Grandma, Grandpa, and the Troxels? An Update on Grandparent Visitation Rights in Kansas" 75 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association 34 (2006).
  • "The Impact of Clinical Legal Education on Student Trial Practice," 51 Kansas Law Review 509 (2003).