Alumni receive top award from KU law school

Monday, April 02, 2018

LAWRENCE — A judge, a retired tech executive and an energy attorney will receive the University of Kansas School of Law’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Kansas Appeals Court Judge Karen Arnold-Burger, Houston energy lawyer John Bowman and retired NIC Inc. executive officer William “Brad” Bradley Jr. will be recognized during a private dinner April 7 in Lawrence. The award celebrates graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to the legal field and service to their communities and the university.

Judge Karen Arnold-Burger is chief judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals. After a career as a prosecutor and assistant United States attorney for the District of Kansas, she was appointed municipal judge for the city of Overland Park. In 2011, Gov. Mark Parkinson appointed Arnold-Burger to the Kansas Court of Appeals, and Chief Justice Lawton Nuss named her chief judge in 2017. She received the Kansas Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2016. Arnold-Burger earned a bachelor’s in political science, psychology and personnel administration in 1978 and a law degree in 1982, both from KU.

John Bowman is a partner with King & Spalding LLP in Houston, where he specializes in energy law arbitration and litigation. Bowman served as president of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and is a former member of the governing council of the Texas State Bar Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section. In 2017, he received the Institute for Energy Law’s Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award. Bowman received his law degree in 1980 and is a former editor-in-chief of the Kansas Law Review.

William “Brad” Bradley Jr. is a founder of NIC Inc., an Olathe company that provides online services for federal, state and local government agencies. Bradley retired in 2015 after 21 years as a senior executive officer at NIC. He established and served as president and CEO of Indiana Interactive Inc., a NIC subsidiary, from 1996-2001. A conservation and natural resources champion, Bradley chairs the Kansas River Regional Advisory Committee of the Kansas Water Authority and the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy in Kansas. He is president-elect of the KU Law Board of Governors. Bradley holds KU degrees in English (1977) and law (1980), and he was a Distinguished Military Graduate.

View previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients on the law school’s website.

The law school will also recognize James Woods Green Medallion honorees and members of the Deans Club. Named after the school’s first dean, the Medallion recognizes the school’s major financial supporters. This year’s honorees include:

  • Jett Anderson and Julia Gille Anderson, Class of 1982
  • Jo Ann Butaud, Class of 1981
  • David E. Hall, Class of 1989
  • Brian A. Jackson, Class of 1998
  • Kansas Law Review
  • Thomas H. Krueger, Class of 1959
  • Brian C. McCormally, Class of 1982
  • Gary Olson, Class of 1968, and Vicki Olson
  • Larry R. O’Neal, Class of 1972, and Janet M. O’Neal
  • James A. Riedy, Class of 1977
  • Stephen and Karen Schutter, both Class of 1994
  • Jay Simpson, Class of 1985, and Carolyn Simpson
  • Mark Thompson, Class of 1980, and Barbara Thompson
  • Mark Van Blaricum, Class of 2002, and Jackie Van Blaricum
  • Withers, Gough, Pike & Pfaff LLC

U.S. News & World Report highlights KU graduate programs in 2019 rankings

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has nine graduate programs ranked in the top 10 and 46 graduate programs ranked in the top 50 among public universities in the 2019 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” rankings, which were released yesterday.

The university’s 46 top 50 programs eclipses last year’s total of 42 such programs.

“Rankings are one way to determine how we are performing relative to our peer institutions, and these U.S. News rankings highlight successes across our university,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “We celebrate these successes and remain focused on our broader mission and goals.”

The university’s special education program — ranked No. 1 among publics last year — retained that ranking and also grabbed the No. 1 spot overall this year. KU’s city management and urban policy program (labeled “Local Government Management” by U.S. News) continues to be ranked No. 1 among all universities. KU’s city management program has maintained its top ranking since 1998.

Programs that saw the largest improvement from last year’s rankings are nursing, nursing practice, civil engineering and mechanical engineering:

  • Nursing improved to 32 (tied) among publics, up from 45 (tied) last year.
  • Nursing Practice improved to 31 (tied) among publics, up from 40 (tied) last year.
  • Civil Engineering improved to 36 (tied) among publics, up from 41 (tied) last year.
  • Mechanical Engineering improved to 47 (tied) among publics, up from 59 (tied) last year.

This year, KU has five newly ranked programs:

  • Business MBA is tied for 39 among publics.
  • Biomedical/Bioengineering is tied for 48 among publics.
  • Public policy analysis – a new category in the Public Affairs area – is tied for 21 among publics.
  • Urban policy – a new category in the Public Affairs area – is tied for fifth among publics.
  • Statistics – which is KU Medical Center’s biostatistics program – is tied for 59 among publics.

Graduate programs at KU ranked in the top 50 among public universities include:

1. Local Government Management (Master's)
1. Special Education (Master's/Doctorate)
4. Occupational Therapy (Master's/Doctorate)
5. Urban Policy (Master's)
5. Speech-Language-Pathology (Master's)
5. Public Management and Leadership (Master's)
8. Petroleum Engineering (Master's/Doctorate)
9. School of Education (Master's/Doctorate)
9. Physical Therapy (Master's/Doctorate)
12. Curriculum and Instruction (Doctorate)
12. Clinical Child Psychology (Doctorate)
12. Public Affairs (Master's)
14. Nursing-Midwifery (Master)
14. Nursing-Anesthesia (DNP)
16. Secondary Teacher Education (Doctorate)
20. Pharmacy (PharmD)
20. Audiology (Doctorate)
20. Public Finance & Budgeting (Master's)
20. History (Doctorate)
21. Clinical Psychology (Doctorate)
21. Social Work (Master's)
21. Public Policy Analysis (Master's)
25. Healthcare Management (Master's)
27. Medicine - Primary Care
30. Psychology (Doctorate)
31. Nursing Practice (DNP)
32. Nursing (Master's)
33. Aerospace Engineering (Master's/Doctorate)
36. Civil Engineering (Master's/Doctorate)
36. Medicine – Research
37. Fine Arts (Master's)
38. Earth Sciences (Geology- Doctorate)
38. Political Science (Doctorate)
39. Mathematics (Doctorate)
39. Business MBA
39. Law (JD)
40. English (Doctorate)
40. Biology (Doctorate)
44. Economics (Doctorate)
44. Chemistry (Doctorate)
45. Environ./Environ. Health Engineering (Master's/Doctorate)
46. Electrical Engineering (Master's/Doctorate)
46. Part-time MBA
47. Chemical Engineering (Doctorate)
47. Mechanical Engineering (Master's/Doctorate)
48. Biomedical/Bioengineering (Master's/Doctorate)

Additionally, the university has three Top 50 online programs:

12. Nursing (Master's)
27. Graduate Education
48. MBA

'Resilience and Resistance: Native Women Confront Sexual Violence' presentation set for March 27

Monday, March 26, 2018

LAWRENCE — KU Libraries will host a Gallery Lecture Series presentation by Sarah Deer, professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and the School of Law.

“Resilience and Resistance: Native Women Confront Sexual Violence” is the first lecture in the spring Gallery Lecture Series lineup and will be from 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Watson Library, third floor West.

In this presentation, Deer will focus on the past, present and future efforts to address the high rates of sexual violence in Indian country. Deer will explain the parameters of tribal criminal jurisdiction and explore how intersectional feminism can be deployed to develop concrete solutions.

The spring Gallery Lecture Series is developed in conjunction with the Haricombe Gallery exhibition, “Side by Side.” The Gallery Lecture Series features interdisciplinary lectures and creative works from scholars and researchers across campus. This lecture is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided. For more information, visit the Gallery Lecture Series webpage.

The second lecture in the spring Gallery Lecture Series is scheduled for 2-3:30 p.m. April 24 and will feature Sierra Watt, a political science doctoral candidate. Watt will present “The Political Representation of Women Within Native American Tribal Governments.” 

KU ranks 18th among public law schools for employment at nation's largest firms

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2017 KU Law graduate at career fair

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Law ranks in the top 25 percent of law schools sending graduates to the nation’s largest law firms, according to the National Law Journal’s annual report on “Go-To Law Schools.”

KU ranked 18th among public law schools and 50th overall in percentage of new graduates hired at the 100 largest law firms in the country – with 8 percent of graduates in the class of 2017 joining those firms as associates.

“The quality and affordability of a KU law degree make it possible for our graduates to pursue whatever career feeds their passions. Some choose the 'Big Law' route. Others take small-firm, business, government and public interest jobs, or serve as judicial clerks,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “The fact that our students pay the lowest tuition among all schools in a ranking that focuses on landing employment at the nation’s largest firms, and with some of the highest starting salaries, underscores the incredible value of a KU Law education.”

KU has the lowest tuition among schools in the report, with students paying nearly $46,000 less per year than students at the most expensive school on the list.

The National Law Journal ranked the top 50 law schools by the percentage of 2017 law school graduates who took associate positions at the largest 100 firms. It also compared how each law school’s cost compares to its large firm hiring record.

The National Law Journal surveys the country’s largest law firms about which schools produced their new class of associates. The rankings are not based on data reported by law schools.

Conference to explore collaborations between Indian tribes, states

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

LAWRENCE – American Indian law scholars and advocates will gather at the University of Kansas this week to discuss “Tribal-State Collaborations: Advantages & Obstacles” during the 22nd annual Tribal Law & Government Conference.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, in 104 Green Hall.

“In the modern era, tribes have an increasing presence beyond the reservation. As a result, interactions between tribes and states and localities have also increased by necessity,” said Elizabeth Kronk Warner, professor of law and director of KU’s Tribal Law & Government Center. “This conference explores obstacles to effective collaboration between these sovereign entities, as well as offering insights into best practices.”

Judge William Thorne, the first Native American appointed to the Utah judiciary, will deliver the keynote address. Thorne began his service as a tribal court judge in 1979 with an appointment as a pro tem judge on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Court. Since then, he has served as a tribal judge in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Wisconsin, Washington, Michigan and California. In 2000, Thorne was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals after serving 14 years as a state trial judge. He is now retired.

Other presenters:

  • Sarah Deer, professor, KU
  • Matthew L.M. Fletcher, professor and director, Indigenous Law & Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Tonya Kowalski,  professor, Washburn University School of Law
  • Hon. Michael Petoskey, chief judge, Pokagon Band
  • Victoria Sweet, program attorney, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Hon. Korey Wahwassuck, judge, Ninth Judicial District, Minnesota
  • Heather Whiteman Runs Him, staff attorney, Native American Rights Fund.

Thorne’s address will be followed by two panel discussions exploring collaborations between state and tribal courts and tribal-state collaborations related to law enforcement, cultural preservation and the Indian Child Welfare Act. The program will conclude with an ethics presentation on maintaining tribal confidences.

The event is open to the public, but the registration deadline has passed. Walk-in registrations may be accommodated by contacting Emily Sharp.

Five hours of continuing legal education credit, including one hour of ethics, are approved in Kansas and Missouri. Preview the schedule on the conference website.

KU students advance to national finals in transactional law competition

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Danielle Promaroli, Anna Lavigne and Courtney McCray

LAWRENCE – A team of University of Kansas School of Law students will compete in the finals of the National Transactional LawMeet next month after winning the regional round in Provo, Utah.

The law school sent three teams to the regional competitions, which offer a “moot court” experience for students with aspirations to practice transactional law. Anna Lavigne, of South Saint Paul, Minnesota; Courtney McCray, of Mission, and Danielle Promaroli, of Wentzville, Missouri, were named finalists in Utah and won the prize for best seller’s side draft agreement. This is the third time in the five years that KU has competed in the LawMeet that a Jayhawk team has advanced to nationals.

“It was an amazing experience garnering real-world skills,” Lavigne said. “The competition included so many facets of transactional law, both in written drafting and real-time negotiating, and it made me feel confident in my chosen career path.”

Haley Claxton, of Olathe; Nell Neary, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Alex Rindels, of Edmond, Oklahoma, finished third in Boulder, Colorado; and Riley Buckler, of Kansas City, Missouri; Evan Drees, of Prairie Village, and Lauren Johannes, of Overland Park, finished third in Austin, Texas.

Teams were assigned to represent either the buyers or sellers of a business. Over the course of two months, they drafted a purchase agreement, interviewed their clients and marked up opposing teams’ drafts. On Feb. 23, 96 teams met at eight regional sites to negotiate a resolution. Two teams from each region – one buyer and one seller – were selected to compete in the national rounds in April in New York.

Competition judges included partners from leading law firms, corporate general counsels and other senior practitioners. They chose finalists after evaluating which teams most adeptly combine their lawyering skills, drafting, marking-up and negotiating techniques with their knowledge of corporate and other facets of business law and business sense to develop innovative solutions to negotiate a draft agreement.

Other law schools represented at the Provo regional included West Virginia University, University of Colorado, University of Denver, University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Utah and University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Centennial Teaching Professor Webb Hecker and KU Law alumnus and adjunct professor Kelley Sears, class of 1974, coached the teams in preparation for the competition. Three practicing attorneys also provided expert feedback: Eric Mikkelson, class of 1994; Brian Wolf, class of 2008, and Stan Woodworth, class of 1978.

“This year’s competition was especially exciting for me because it was two years in the making. After placing third in last year’s regional competition, I had my sights set on a higher finish,” Promaroli said. “I did not expect to not only win the competition but also win best draft – something that a KU Law team has not done before. After more than 300 hours of work between the three of us, I am thrilled that our hard work paid off.”

McCray said the competition had been the most challenging and fulfilling part of law school: “I am excited we made it this far and cannot wait to see what we accomplish in New York.” 

Photo: From left, KU Law students Danielle Promaroli, Anna Lavigne and Courtney McCray.

Lecturer to address link between domestic violence, animal cruelty

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

LAWRENCE — A New Zealand lawyer will discuss the connection between domestic violence and animal cruelty during the 2018 Diplomat’s Forum at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Anita Killeen, former chief prosecutor in New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office, will present “Animal Law: The Connection between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty – A New Zealand Perspective” at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, in 104 Green Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Killeen is founder and chair of the internationally recognized Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Auckland Pro Bono Panel of Prosecutors, a group of senior New Zealand lawyers who prosecute animal cruelty cases for free. She will discuss significant case law and empirical research linking domestic violence and animal cruelty and will recommend legislative changes to help curb abuse.

Killeen regularly publishes and speaks nationally and internationally. She is a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Programme, an international member of the American Bar Association Animal Law Committee and a member of the International Association of Prosecutors. A former criminal law tutor at the Auckland University School of Law, Killeen also has served in New Zealand’s Government Chief Legal Advisors’ Forum and the Organised and Financial Crime Policy Action Group.

Killeen is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and both the Institute of Directors and the Institute for Strategic Leadership (New Zealand).

The Diplomat’s Forum is the law school’s most prestigious annual international and comparative law event. Its aim is to provide a platform for an open sharing of thoughts on international law and relations and the United States through the perspective of a professional with notable diplomatic experience in the service of a foreign government.

Past speakers have included the general counsel and legal director of the International Monetary Fund; China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations; Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of commerce and industry and chief World Trade Organization technical negotiator; the consul generals of Japan and Austria; and the chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

KU law students top regional trial competition, advance to nationals

Friday, February 23, 2018

KU Law students Joe Uhlman, Jordan Kane and Ben Stringer

LAWRENCE – A University of Kansas School of Law mock trial team is heading to nationals after winning the qualifying rounds of the National Trial Competition this month in Fargo, North Dakota.

Third-year KU Law students Jordan Kane, of Overland Park, Ben Stringer, of Jacksonville, Florida, and Joe Uhlman, of Sedgwick, came out ahead of teams representing 11 other law schools from seven states to win Region 9 of the competition, sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association. They will compete in the national rounds April 4-8 in Austin, Texas.

“It’s nice to see our hard work pay off in a tough competition,” Kane said. “We knocked out two undefeated teams and got great litigation experience. I am grateful that mock trial gives me the opportunity to flex my trial muscles before I leave law school.”

KU Law students Lindsie Ford, Jamie Winningham and Tyler Fix also competed in Fargo. They joined students from law schools in Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin who competed in Region 9. Nationwide, the competition attracts teams from more than 140 law schools and involves more than 1,000 students each year.

“Mock trial has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my time at Green Hall,” Stringer said. “I am excited for one last shot to represent KU Law at nationals and show everyone in Austin we can compete with the best in the country.”

KU Law’s national mock trial teams are composed of students who excel in the school’s in-house Mock Trial Competition course. Instructor Alice Craig coaches the students.

In other advocacy competition team news, KU Law students Janae Graham, of Odessa, Missouri, and Chris Carey, of Westwood Hills, placed second in the Tulane Mardi Gras National Sports Law Invitational Feb. 7-9 in New Orleans. Professor Pam Keller coached the team.

KU Law’s moot court program ranks 17th in the nation, according to rankings published by the University of Houston Law Center. KU law students accumulated enough points during the 2016-2017 season to break into the top 20 for the second year in a row, rising two spots above KU Law’s No. 19 ranking for the 2015-2016 season. Moot court competitions simulate appellate court proceedings, with students submitting a written brief and presenting oral arguments to judges. Conversely, mock trials allow students to practice lower-court trials – representing a party, preparing a case for trial and trying the case to a jury.

Top photo: KU Law students Joe Uhlman, Jordan Kane and Ben Stringer won Region 9 of the National Trial Competition.

Right photo: Chris Carey and Janae Graham took second place at the Tulane Mardi Gras National Sports Law Invitational.

Law school symposium to explore future of public education

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Public Education Symposium PosterLAWRENCE — Ongoing funding shortfalls, a persistent achievement gap and competing political interests present obstacles for public educators and administrators. How can these issues be addressed to ensure that all children have access to free, quality education?

Legal scholars and policy experts will gather in Lawrence this week to discuss these themes at the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy’s annual symposium. “Public Education Policy in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities” will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at the University of Kansas School of Law, 1535 W. 15th St. 

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register and preview the complete schedule online.

“Public education is the foundation of our modern society,” said Alex Monteith, symposium editor. “It is essential to engage in open dialogue and exchange ideas so that we may work together to improve our public education system nationwide."

The program will address the role and importance of public education, culturally and economically, through the lens of law and policy. Speakers will explore Kansas' current challenges with public school financing, as well as national trends and recent policy changes. Sessions will be divided into two sections: School Financing and Litigation, and Issues in Public Education (including discussion on closing the achievement gap, charter schools and public education for refugees).

Presenters include:

  • Kristi Bowman, vice dean for academic affairs and professor of law, Michigan State University 
  • Jeff King, former vice president, Kansas Senate; senior attorney, Collins & Jones
  • Emily Rauscher, assistant professor of sociology, KU
  • Alan Rupe, managing partner, Lewis Brisbois LLC 
  • Anna Shavers, professor of law, University of Nebraska
  • James Shuls, assistant professor and graduate program director of educational leadership and policy studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis 
  • Connor Warner, assistant professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City 
  • Daniel Weddle, professor of law, University of Missouri-Kansas City 
  • Joshua Weishart, professor of law, West Virginia University 

Scholarship associated with the program will be published in a future issue of the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy. Contact Symposium Editor Alex Monteith at for more information.

Law students, Legal Services for Students assisting with free tax preparation

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Editor's note: The April 12 tax preparation session at Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority Resident Services has been canceled due to renovations at the site, 1600 Haskell Ave., Apt. 187.

LAWRENCE – As tax season gets underway, two University of Kansas groups are offering free tax preparation services for those who qualify.

School of Law students with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will prepare returns for taxpayers who are residents of Kansas, Missouri or Illinois; who earn less than $54,000 per household per year; and who do not itemize their deductions. The program runs from Feb. 21 through April 16.

Legal Services for Students (LSS) is also offering free tax assistance through a VITA grant from the Internal Revenue Service. Any U.S. resident taxpayer may prepare and electronically file their federal and state tax returns for free via the LSS website if their income was $64,000 or less in 2017. International students and international staff at KU may also prepare their taxes using free software with no income limit.

Last year, KU law students prepared about 240 federal and state tax returns. LSS directly prepared 140 returns in 2017 and assisted more than 1,100 individuals in preparing their own returns through the tax workshops at the KU computer lab. View the workshop schedule (PDF). For more information about tax assistance provided by Legal Services for Students, contact the office at 785-864-5665 or

“The tax preparation workshops are a great way for students and staff to learn about properly preparing and filing their own tax returns,” said Jo Hardesty, director of Legal Services for Students. “LSS tax attorneys and KU law student interns are available at the workshops to assist and answer tax questions that may arise.”

The law school’s VITA program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and the number of preparers varies with the site. Those seeking assistance are encouraged to arrive near the start of each session. Taxpayers should bring proof of identification and all relevant documentation, including proof of income, expenditures and health insurance-related documents. For more information, call 785-864-9227.

Law students Jordan Haas and Karlee Canaday are coordinating this year’s VITA program, with about 25 other law students helping to prepare returns. Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school and professor of tax-related law, serves as the VITA faculty coordinator.

“VITA provides great value to the community and KU students,” Haas said. “It gives KU law students practical experience with tax law and customer service while also helping individuals who seek an alternative to paying a professional or risking error in preparing their own returns.”

Spring 2018 VITA Schedule

Monday 6-8:45 p.m., Green Hall, Wheat Law Library, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.
Wednesday 3-5:45 p.m., Green Hall, Wheat Law Library, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.
Thursday 3-5 p.m., Ballard Center, 708 Elm
CANCELED week of April 8: 5:15-6:30 p.m., Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority Resident Services, 1600 Haskell Ave., Apt. 187
Saturday 10-11:45 a.m., Green Hall, Wheat Law Library, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.

Sessions run Wednesday, Feb. 21, through Monday, April 16. No sessions will be held Feb. 26 (Monday) or March 17-25 (University of Kansas spring break).

Taxes are due Tuesday, April 17, instead of Sunday, April 15, this year due to the federal observance of Emancipation Day.


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