KU law students make honor roll for pro bono service

LAWRENCE – Twenty-nine University of Kansas School of Law students contributed more than 3,373 hours of free legal services over the past year, earning a spot on KU Law’s Pro Bono Honor Roll.

Students prepared tax returns for low-income residents, represented the interests of children as court-appointed special advocates, helped clients expunge past criminal convictions and prepared guardianship petitions for families seeking to secure their adult children’s futures.

“KU Law students are committed to giving back to the community and making service part of their professional lives,” said Meredith Schnug, associate director of KU’s Legal Aid Clinic. “Through pro bono work, students also gain hands-on legal experience that enriches their education and better prepares them for practice.”    

Pro bono work is defined as uncompensated, law-related work that benefits the public, such as through a nonprofit organization or government agency.

The following students completed 15 hours or more of pro bono service during the 2017-2018 academic year. Students are listed by name, graduation year and hometown:

  • Ashley Barnes, 2020, El Dorado
  • Vince Becraft, 2020, Seary, Arkansas
  • Nicholas Bjornson, 2018, Overland Park
  • Erik Blume, 2019, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Aaron Bowen, 2018, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Terra Brockman, 2020, Overland Park
  • Matthew Cohen, 2018, Streamwood, Illinois
  • Maria Davies, 2020, Lawrence
  • Katie Gilman, 2018, Wichita
  • Dukgi Goh, 2020, Los Angeles
  • Gabriella Guerena, 2018, El Paso, Texas
  • Traci Hagedorn, 2019, Topeka
  • David Hammack, 2018, Lawrence
  • Bradley Hook, 2018, Kansas City, Kansas
  • Helen Jacober Atkinson, 2018, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Andi Leuszler, 2020, Lenexa
  • Yuyang Lin, 2018, Quanzhou, China
  • Maslyn Locke, 2018, Los Alamos, New Mexico
  • Jacob Nemeroff, 2019, Marietta, Georgia
  • Mathew Petersen, 2018, Wichita
  • Spencer Phillips, 2020, Austin, Texas
  • Jessie Pringle, 2019, Chanute
  • Alexander Rindels, 2019, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Kaylie Schmutz, 2018, Sedalia, Missouri
  • Brandi Spates, 2019, Waterloo, Iowa
  • Diana Stanley, 2020, Wichita
  • Joe Uhlman, 2018, Wichita
  • Tayler Vena, 2018, Overland Park
  • Samantha Yianitsas, 2018, Industry, Texas

In addition, 15 students were honored at graduation with Pro Bono Distinction for having completed 50 hours or more of pro bono service throughout their law school career:

  • Aaron Bowen
  • Nicholas Bjornson
  • Matthew Cohen
  • Katie Gilman
  • Gabriella Guerena
  • David Hammack
  • Bradley Hook
  • Helen Jacober Atkinson
  • Yuyang Lin
  • Maslyn Locke
  • Mathew Petersen
  • Kaylie Schmutz
  • Joe Uhlman
  • Tayler Vena
  • Samantha Yianitsas

Graduate Katie Gilman volunteered with the Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, mentoring a 9-year-old boy, attending all of his hearings, writing reports and more.

“It has been amazing to watch him grow and to see his case develop,” Gilman said. “I cannot wait for him to be adopted and out of the system.”

Fri, 06/01/2018


Mindie Paget

Media Contacts

Mindie Paget

Office of Research