KU Law announces new and promoted faculty

Headshots of faculty members Patrick Perkins, Kyle Velte and Jamila Jefferson-Jones of the University of Kansas School of Law


LAWRENCE – KU Law welcomed the newest member our of faculty and announced promotions for two more professors for the fall 2023 semester.

New faculty addition

Patrick Perkins has joined the University of Kansas School of Law faculty this fall. As an associate professor of law, he teaches Business Organizations, Corporate Finance and Entrepreneurial Law.

Perkins comes to KU Law from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where he was the Jeff and Cynthia Harris Clinical Fellow in the Entrepreneurial Business Law Clinic. He previously worked as a transactional attorney representing technology startup companies in Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City.

Perkins earned his J.D. at the University of Michigan Law School. He received his B.A. in Public Relations at Brigham Young University. He also studied at Nanjing University as a Chinese Flagship Scholar. His scholarship focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation and small businesses.

Karelitz Chair in Evidence Law named

Kyle Velte, associate dean for faculty and professor of law, has been named the Karelitz Chair in Evidence Law. This chair position was made possible by the Leon Karelitz Charitable Trust to enhance the teaching of evidence at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Velte joined the KU Law faculty as an associate professor in 2018 and was promoted to professor in 2022. She assumed the role of associate dean for faculty in August 2022 and recently became the Karelitz Chair in Evidence Law.

She teaches Evidence, Torts, Employment Discrimination Law and Gender Identity Law. Her scholarship, which examines the intersection of sexuality, gender and the law, has appeared in law journals, including the Yale Law & Policy Review, Minnesota Law Review and Connecticut Law Review. Velte holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and a J.D., summa cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law. 

She received a 2022 Dukeminier Award for her article “Recovering the Race Analogy in LGBTQ Religious Exemption Cases.” This award is the highest honor one can receive in the field of LGBTQ legal scholarship.

For the spring 2023 and fall 2023 semesters, Velte is also a Visiting Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where she teaches Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Law.

Firm funds associate dean for DEIB

Jamila Jefferson-Jones, professor of law and associate dean for diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging, has been named the Pillsbury Winthrop Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, thanks to a gift from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Jefferson-Jones joined the KU Law faculty as a professor in 2022. She teaches Property Law and a Fair Housing Seminar. Her legal scholarship examines the ways members of favored racialized groups exclude minoritized populations from public and private spaces, thus enforcing the racial segregation of space and racist notions of supremacy. Her work harnesses critical race methodologies, focusing in part on the use or threat of violence against members of disfavored groups.

She is a co-author of "Culturally Proficient Lawyering: A Coursebook" (forthcoming in 2024), an instructional text that can be used by law schools offering courses to satisfy the American Bar Association’s new accreditation Standard 303(c) which mandates instruction on racism, bias and cross cultural competence. She is also a highly requested speaker on issues of diversity and cultural competence in the legal profession. 

As the inaugural associate dean for DEIB, Jefferson-Jones coordinates with the law school’s DEIB advisory committees of faculty and staff, students and alumni to set the strategic vision for KU Law’s efforts in this area. By engaging with the law school community, she aims to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all members of the KU Law community.

Jefferson-Jones holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In 2021, she received the Jefferson B. Fordham Advocacy Award from the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law, recognizing her outstanding legal advocacy in the field.