Diversity at KU Law
KU Law values diversity in its student body and believes that the intentional creation of a diverse learning environment is essential to achieving the university's educational mission. The university fosters a multicultural environment in which the dignity and rights of the individual are respected. The law school's Faculty Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, its alumni Diversity Advisory Council and its diverse student organizations help support diversity through workshops, presentations, awareness exercises and social events.
To build a diverse community, the university considers, in addition to academic credentials, the following criteria for student admission decisions, scholarship recognition, and program participation. While each factor is significant, no one factor will be considered determinative in the decision process:
- Bilingual or multilingual abilities
- Cultural background
- Evidence of commitment to diversity
- Evidence of leadership skills
- First generation college student
- Geographic diversity
- Financial, social, family, physical or educational hardships
- Previous career before pursuing higher education
- Service to community
- Socio-economic status
- Urban/rural background
- Other unique contributions
Diverse Student Organizations
The following student organizations at KU Law provide support and assistance to their members, promote cultural awareness in the law school and in the legal profession and serve as vehicles for law school and community involvement. They often partner in planning service and social activities throughout the year. Members also collaborate in their efforts to recruit and mentor new students.
Membership in each of these organizations is open to all students. Contact information is available by clicking on the links below.
Diversity in Law Banquet
Asian Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Hispanic American Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association, and OUTLaws Allies take turns hosting this annual event, which celebrates the ways in which diversity enriches KU Law and serves as a major fundraiser for the Diversity Scholarship Fund.
20th Annual Diversity in Law Banquet
March 6, 2015 | 6 p.m. cocktails | 7 p.m. dinner
Arterra Event Gallery, 2161 Quail Creek Drive
RSVP and view the dinner menu by February 26:
Kimberly Jones, a 1994 graduate of the law school, will speak at the event. Jones practices employment law with Seyferth Blumenthal & Harris LLC in Kansas City, Missouri, was a founder of the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and serves on many boards in the greater Kansas City area.
Special thanks to our sponsors
Melanie D. Wilson & L. Michele Reeves
- Armstrong Teasdale LLP
- Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City
- Kutak Rock LLP
- Littler Mendelson PC
- Sandra Craig McKenzie
- Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy Chartered
- Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC
- Payne & Jones Chartered
- Reinhardt Financial Services
- Corey Rayburn Yung & Betty Yung
- Baird Holm LLP
- The Law Office of David J. Brown LC
- Cerner Corporation Legal Group
- Hinkle Law Firm LLC
- Hite, Fanning & Honeyman LLP
- Johnson County Bar Association
- Kansas Bar Association
- KCMBA Diversity Section
- Korell & Frohlin LLP
- Lewis Rice & Fingersh LC
- Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer LLP
- Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
- Betsy & Steve Six
- Sloan Eisenbarth Glassman McEntire & Jarboe LLC
- Smith Mohlman LeRoy LLC
- Leah Terranova & David Rubenstein
- Triplett Woolf & Garretson LLC
- Wichita Bar Association
- Arterra Event Gallery
- Boulevard Brewing Company
- Brian J. Clark Productions LLC
- Owens Flower Shop
A live auction and variety show with faculty and student participants highlights this event. Hosted by Women in Law, Pub Night raises funds for local charities that provide support and assistance to women and children.
Thanksgiving Food Drive
The entire student body actively supports this annual food drive sponsored by the Black Law Students Association. First-year small sections compete to contribute the most items. Faculty members support the cause by exchanging "passes" in class for a canned food donation. Items collected provide Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of families in the Lawrence community.
Thurgood Marshall Law Day
The Black Law Students Association reaches out to the youth of the community to provide them with cultivating and enriching discussions on contemporary law topics and diversity in the profession.
Faculty Committee on Diversity & Inclusion
Led by Melanie Wilson, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, the Faculty Committee on Diversity & Inclusion promotes tolerance and professionalism in law school and the practice of law. Committee members include Professors Quinton Lucas, Betsy Six, Elizabeth Kronk Warner and Corey Rayburn Yung, and Career Services Director Leah Terranova.
2014-15 Committee Activities
- Diversity & Inclusion Social at Johnny's North, October 2, 2014 | View photos
- Guest speaker: Donald Prophete, From the NFL to the Law Firm: Making a Play for Diversity," February 12, 2015
- Inaugural Diversity Dash, diversity-themed scavenger hunt for students and faculty, April 1, 2015
- First-year student orientation session on tolerance and professionalism in the law school and the practice of law.
- Periodic meetings with the Diversity Advisory Council and law student organizations.
- Diversity Workshop for faculty during the Faculty Retreat, August 2014.
- Presentation about diversity on campus and in the classroom during Fall 2014 faculty meeting.
Diversity Advisory Council
The Diversity Advisory Council counts among its members culturally diverse and accomplished KU Law alumni who have agreed to share their wisdom and experience. They serve as a resource to Dean Stephen Mazza in the recruitment and retention of students from groups that are under-represented in law school classrooms, among the practicing Bar and on the Bench. Current members of the council are:
- Mayra Aguirre, L'07
- Laura Clark Fey, L'92
- Amy Fowler, L'00
- Tonda Hill, L'12
- Rico Kolster, L'00
- Pat Konopka, L'94
- Don Low, L'75
- Jehan Kamil Moore, L'05
- Demetrius Peterson, L'09
- Kelley Sears, L'74
- Jabari Wamble, L'06
- Issaku Yamaashi, L'00
- Holly Zane, L'86
- Gabe Zorogastua, L'07