Public Policy Clinic

Public Policy Clinic

Students enrolled in this clinic undertake thorough, in-depth policy studies in response to requests from public officials. Requests for balanced studies are coordinated through the Legislative Research Department and the Revisor of Statutes Office.

Helping the greater good through public policy
Kelly Schodorf, L’16

Kelly Schodorf, L'16

Kelly Schodorf was no stranger to politics when she enrolled in Professor Schmidt’s public policy clinic. The daughter of a former state senator, by the time Schodorf arrived at Green Hall she had managed four campaigns and held public office herself, giving her a firsthand view of the policy process and its effect on Kansans.

“It was a high-stress, little-sleep, high-caffeine kind of job,” Schodorf said of her years as a campaign manager. “It really did help me get ready for law school.”

Professor Schmidt’s Public Policy Clinic includes guest speakers who are lawyers successfully working in the public policy sphere – as lawmakers, statewide office holders, lobbyists, Congressional and state legislative staff and nonprofit activists. The small class size affords intimate discussion, while each student writes his or her own in-depth research paper that, once finished, is sent to the Kansas Legislature for their use. “She gives you free rein to go at your own pace,” Schodorf said of Schmidt. “She will look over your drafts as many times as you want to guide you, but she allows you to work independently.”

Schodorf’s project centered on Kansas’ one-judge, one-county rule, which stipulates that each of Kansas’ 105 counties have at least one district or magistrate judge. Schodorf concluded that eliminating the statute would save the state money. “This is something we would have to invest in to save money in the long run,” Schodorf said. “It’s a tug-of-war and both sides make sense, but we’re coming to a crossroads.”

Schodorf looks forward to launching her career in Wichita. “I would like to take the firm route right now and eventually be able to help in the public policy realm,” she said. “I was raised to try to lend my expertise and knowledge and experience to help the greater good.”

The course is open to second- and third-year students in the fall semester. No application is required. Students enter the clinic by following standard enrollment procedures for:

LAW 976 Public Policy Clinic
The Public Policy Clinic undertakes in-depth, balanced policy studies in response to requests from public officials. Individual students, or teams of students, supervised by the clinic director, prepare the research reports. Designed to give students practical experience in applying analytical policy methods to public policy issues. FLD.

The class is not offered for the Spring 2016 semester.




    Jennifer Schmidt

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