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Student Ambassadors

Matthew Riley

Matthew Riley

3L  |  Parkville, MO  |  William Jewell College  |  matthewriley@ku.edu

Hello, and welcome!

My name is Matthew Riley. With the exception of spending a great year living and enjoying Boston, I've kept rather close to home. I grew up in Parkville, Mo., went to William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., got my Master's Degree from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, and now am enjoying learning the law in the fun and always interesting locale, Lawrence, Kansas.

I grew up developing the notion that attending law school and practicing law would be the direction my life would take. Now that my notions have transformed themselves into reality - I can tell you that as important as the choice to pursue the vocation of law is, the choice of where to attend law school is just as important. While I searched and obtained various offers from other law schools, KU Law and myself ended up being a great fit for each other.

Collegiality and diversity are only two of many qualities that are integrated, sought out, and valued within the KU community. These qualities are a few which led me to initially choose KU Law, and as I enter my 3L year, are qualities that continue to make my law school experience fun, exciting, and rewarding.

The KU Law community is collegial. This past year I have met some of the most extraordinary individuals who have helped me tremendously and taken an interest in my success in law school and beyond. From the Dean to the professors, from those amazing individuals in Career Services to our smiling librarians, I've always found their door open and my day brightened by our interactions. I've come to find each of these individuals as not only accessible but deeply interested in forming a community that centers upon the happiness and success of the students. Half the success of the law school community comes from the KU Law's emphasis and focus on being student-centered. The other half that makes KU's community successful are my peers; those I've had the privilege of meeting and interacting with over the course of this last year. KU Law is a community where you'll find very intelligent and extremely thoughtful students wherever you turn: A 3L who helps you consider and discuss what classes you should take, a 2L who offers an outline and how to prep for the final, or your 1L peers who collaborate with you to understand a more convoluted point in Civil Procedure. In all these ways and more, the collegial community that has surrounded me and that I've had the great privilege of being a part of, provides me confidence that I made the right choice in coming to KU Law.

Furthermore, the KU Law community is diverse. KU Law has not only composed a very diverse community of students, but values diversity by actively promoting it both in and outside the classroom. As a member of the LGBT community, I have found KU to be extremely supportive in allowing my perspectives on issues to be heard, considered, and respected. Furthermore, KU Law continues to encourage and support the LGBT community by helping us co-sponsor a debate on gay marriage this year, and helping to send a few students to Los Angeles for Lavender Law, the largest LGBT law conference in the nation. As president and now treasurer of OUTLaws and Allies, the LGBT group at the law school, I have been so grateful for the continual and unwavering support we have received from the administration, faculty, and students. The existence of so much diversity composing our community and its support by KU Law has provided me a multitude of opportunities to reconsider and reshape my perspective. KU Law is a school that encourages everyone with a diverse perspective to share their experiences. It is from hearing and wrestling with these perspectives that I've grown so much this past year.

I hope you will come and visit KU, and perhaps you will find our community to be one you would benefit from as much as I have.

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