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KU Law students make 2020 honor roll for pro bono service

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

KU Law Guardianship Assistance Program 2020

LAWRENCE – Fifty-one University of Kansas School of Law students contributed 2,578 hours of free legal services over the past year.

Students prepared tax returns for low-income residents, helped clients expunge past criminal convictions, represented the interests of children in foster care as court-appointed special advocates and worked with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, prosecutors’ offices and public defenders’ offices.

“Despite having many demands on their time, KU Law students are dedicated to serving the public good,” said Meredith Schnug, clinical associate professor and chair of KU Law’s Pro Bono Committee. “Through pro bono service, students have the opportunity to see firsthand how the law impacts people’s everyday lives and how lawyers can make a positive impact.”

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

Through the pro bono Guardianship Assistance Program, nine law students helped 12 families start the process of obtaining legal guardianship of their adult children with cognitive disabilities. Students traveled to Wichita on March 6 to meet with the families and obtain information needed to draft guardianship petitions. The petitions drafted will provide legal protection and security for these adults for decades to come.

“This program was an opportunity to contribute to the Wichita community and apply what I learned in class to help real people. Helping a family reminded me of the importance of the work lawyers do,” said second-year law student Trey Duran, who participated in the 2020 Guardianship Assistance Program.

The following 31 students completed 15 hours or more of pro bono service during the 2019-2020 academic year, earning a spot on KU Law’s Pro Bono Honor Roll. Students are listed by name, graduation year and hometown:

  • Hannah Bedford, 2020, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Ellen Bertels, 2021, Wichita
  • Terra Brockman, 2020, Overland Park
  • Noelle Daniel, 2022, Solon, Ohio
  • Emma Easom, 2021, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Megan Elder, 2020, Wamego
  • Hannah Eubanks, 2022, Tempe, Arizona
  • Alec Feather, 2022, Overland Park
  • Tatum Gibbar, 2022, Overland Park
  • Dukgi Goh, 2020, Los Angeles
  • Delaney Hiegert, 2021, Topeka
  • Courtney Hurtig, 2019, Alma
  • Max Iverson, 2020, Lawrence
  • Eliza Kassebaum, 2020, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Chloe Ketchmark, 2022, Overland Park
  • Joseph Lawrence Korbel, 2020, San Antonio
  • Leah Lewsader, 2021, Carbondale, Illinois
  • Konnor Manley, 2022, Eureka, Missouri
  • Cori Moffett, 2021, Houston
  • Bria Nelson, 2021, Woodstock, Illinois
  • Audrey Nelson, 2022, Prairie Village
  • Sara Pagnotta, 2021, Leawood
  • Peter Qiu, 2021, Hutchinson
  • Grace Seger, 2022, Olathe
  • Kendra Stacey, 2022, Kansas City, Kansas
  • Grace Stewart-Johnson, 2022, Wichita
  • Edwin Sullivan, 2022, Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Emily Thompson, 2021, Mission Hills
  • Hayden Walker, 2020, Paradise Valley, Arizona
  • Heidi Wolff-Stanton, 2022, Camdenton, Missouri
  • Rachel Zierden, 2022, Minneapolis

In addition, 12 students were honored with Pro Bono Distinction for having completed 50 hours or more of pro bono service throughout their law school career. Collectively, members of the Class of 2020 completed 2,199 hours of pro bono service.

The university's Commencement ceremonies and KU Law’s Hooding Ceremony were postponed due to the developing situation around the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 12 students will still be recognized with Pro Bono Distinction for their achievements.

Students recognized with Pro Bono Distinction:

  • Hannah Bedford, 2020, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Terra Brockman, 2020, Overland Park
  • Megan Elder, 2020, Wamego
  • Dukgi Goh, 2020, Los Angeles
  • Courtney Hurtig, 2019, Alma
  • Grace Hussey, 2020, Milwaukee
  • Max Iverson, 2020, Lawrence
  • Eliza Kassebaum, 2020, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Joseph Lawrence Korbel, 2020, San Antonio
  • Ariel Rhines, 2020, Shawnee
  • Jaden Scott, 2020, Louisburg
  • Hayden Walker, 2020, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Jaden Scott earned pro bono hours through her work with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and Kansas Athletics Inc.’s compliance department.

“I believe people who are lucky enough to attend college and pursue a career of their choice have a civic duty to give back to the community and those who are less fortunate,” Scott said. “It is often the case that when you aim to serve others, they end up making a positive difference in your own life. Whoever chooses to complete pro bono hours will definitely not regret it.”

Students also participated in the spring 2020 “Clean Slate” Expungement Clinic, a partnership between KU Law’s Legal Aid Clinic and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

Sixteen KU Law students volunteered for the clinic, which provided free legal representation to eligible individuals seeking to expunge records in Douglas County District Court and/or Lawrence Municipal Court. At this year’s clinic, students met with 45 clients. The expungement clinic’s docket in April was canceled due to COVID-19 and has not yet been rescheduled. KU Law students will continue to represent eligible clients through the final hearings.

Photo: KU Law students assisted with the spring 2020 Guardianship Assistance Program in Wichita. From left: Hunter Lindquist, Natasha Richartz, Noelle Daniel, Edwin Sullivan, Alec Feather, Trey Duran and Katie Tepezano.