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 and Staff Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, its alumni Diversity Advisory Council, its Dean’s Diversity Leadership 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
- Socioeconomic 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.
- Asian Law Students Association (ALSA)
- Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
- Hispanic American Law Students Association (HALSA)
- Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)
- Non-Traditionals in Law Association (NILA)
- OutLaws & Allies
- Women in Law (WIL)
Dean's Diversity Leadership Council
Established in 2015, the Dean’s Diversity Leadership Council (DDLC) is a student organization dedicated to promoting diversity and fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of the KU Law community. The DDLC serves as an advisory council to the Dean and to the KU Law Faculty/Staff Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, which assists all members of the KU Law community in diversity and inclusion matters. Among other accomplishments, the DDLC has created and distributed a KU Law Climate Survey and hosted a panel discussion on the importance of diversity in the legal profession. Moving forward, the DDLC will build on these actions and take an active role in helping to ensure that the KU Law environment is one in which everyone is comfortable talking about their ideas and concerns in a manner that is respectful and productive.
Council members for 2017-2018 are:
- Bander Talal S. Almohammadi
- Alyssa Bauer
- Arturo Garcia
- James Hampton
- David Hammack
- Waynell L. Henson
- Jordan Kane
- Mathew Peterson
- John Seitz
- John Truong
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 fundraiser for the Diversity Scholarship Fund.
23rd Annual Diversity in Law Banquet
March 9, 2018 | 6 p.m. cocktails | 7 p.m. dinner
The Oread Hotel, Hancock Ballroom
1200 Oread Avenue, Lawrence, KS
Registration is now closed.
Matthew L.M. Fletcher, professor of law and director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at Michigan State University will speak at the event. He sits as chief justice on the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and as an appellate judge for many other tribes. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band, located in Peshawbestown, Michigan.
Matthew L.M. Fletcher is Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He sits as the Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and also sits as an appellate judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band, located in Peshawbestown, Michigan.
Fletcher is the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of American Indians. He recently published a hornbook, Federal Indian Law (West Academic Publishing 2016). Professor Fletcher co-authored the sixth and seventh editions of Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law (West Publishing 2011 and 2017). With Wenona Singel and Kathryn Fort, Professor Fletcher is under contract with the American Bar Association to write a tribal law practice guide. He also authored American Indian Tribal Law (Aspen 2011), the first casebook for law students on tribal law; The Return of the Eagle: The Legal History of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (Michigan State University Press 2012); and American Indian Education: Counternarratives in Racism, Struggle, and the Law (Routledge 2008). He co-edited The Indian Civil Rights Act at Forty with Kristen A. Carpenter and Angela R. Riley (UCLA American Indian Studies Press 2012), and Facing the Future: The Indian Child Welfare Act at 30 with Wenona T. Singel and Kathryn E. Fort (Michigan State University Press 2009). Professor Fletcher’s scholarship has been cited twice by the United States Supreme Court; in more than a dozen federal, state, and tribal courts; in dozens of federal, state, and tribal court briefs; and in hundreds of law review articles and other secondary legal authorities. Finally, Professor Fletcher is the primary editor and author of the leading law blog on American Indian law and policy, Turtle Talk.
Fletcher graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997 and the University of Michigan in 1994. He has worked as a staff attorney for four Indian Tribes – the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, and the Grand Traverse Band He previously sat on the judiciaries of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; and served as a consultant to the Seneca Nation of Indians Court of Appeals. He is married to Wenona Singel, a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and they have two sons, Owen and Emmett.
The 2018 Diversity in Law Banquet is hosted by the Native American Law Students Association.
Special thanks to our sponsors
- Johnson County Bar Association
- Leverage Law Group LLC
- Payne & Jones Chartered
- Polsinelli PC
- Security Benefit
- Seyferth, Blumenthal & Harris LLC
- Spencer Fane LLP
- Treviño Law Office
- Baird Holm LLP
- Cerner Corporation
- Clark, Mize & Linville Chartered
- Kansas Bar Association
- Kansas City Lesbian, Gay and Allied Lawyers (KC LEGAL)
- Kansas Trial Lawyers Association
- Kansas Women Attorneys Association
- Law Office of David J. Brown
- Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer LLP
- Steve & Betsy Six
- Wichita Bar Association
- Wichita Women Attorneys Association
- Minuteman Press
- The Oread
- 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/Staff Committee on Diversity & Inclusion
Led by Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Kronk Warner, the Faculty and Staff Committee on Diversity & Inclusion promotes tolerance and professionalism in law school and the practice of law. Committee members include Professors Quinton Lucas, Jean Phillips, Betsy Six, Lua Yuille, and Corey Rayburn Yung, as well as Michelle LeFlore, Mindie Paget and Leah Terranova from the KU Law staff.
- Fall Diversity & Inclusion Social at Johnny's North | View photos
- Guest speakers and panels on diversity-related issues
- The Diversity Dash, a diversity-themed scavenger hunt for students
- First-year student orientation session on professionalism, communication, and community in the law school and the practice of law
- Professionalism training for clinic students in their third year of law school
- Annual diversity training for faculty during the fall faculty retreat
- Periodic meetings with the Diversity Advisory Council (alumni), the Dean’s Diversity Leadership Council (DDLC), and law student organizations
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
- Rico Kolster, L’00
- Pat Konopka, L’94
- Jehan Kamil Moore, L’05
- Demetrius Peterson, L’09
- Melissa Plunkett, L'11
- Kelley Sears, L’74
- Henry Thomas, L’13
- Jabari Wamble, L’06
- Issaku Yamaashi, L’00
- Alyse Zadalis, L’15
- Holly Zane, L’86
- Gabe Zorogastua, L’07