Law students named dean’s fellows

LAWRENCE — A new group of committed law students is ready to serve through the 2012-13 Dean’s Fellows program in 2012.

From L-R: Rebecca Howlett, Kaitee Purdon, Brianna Harris, Lindsey Collins, Casey Walker, Lauren Luhrs, Brisa Izaguirre, Whitney Howard and Matthew Agnew. Nine second- and third-year students will mentor incoming students beginning in the fall, guiding them through the first year with a combination of experience and insight. This is the sixth year for the program, which is administered by the law school’s Office of Student Affairs.

“I’m excited to welcome these students to another year of the Dean’s Fellows program,” said Karen Hester, director of student affairs and diversity. “The new Dean’s Fellows have a range of backgrounds and experience, and I believe they will be able to successfully connect with the many different types of students who represent the first-year class.”

Although most of the students are new to the Dean’s Fellow program, Casey Walker will be a mentor for the second straight year. She hopes that new students can learn from the time she’s already spent in Green Hall.

“It's very fulfilling to be able to share the fruit of my struggles as a 1L, so that it might be a little easier for the next class,” she said. “I decided to be a Dean's Fellow again this year because it is a rewarding experience that keeps me from being too inwardly focused during grad school.”

The 2012-13 Dean’s Fellows are listed below:

Matthew Agnew, a first-year law student, completed a bachelor’s in women’s studies and political science at Wichita State University. Agnew plans to pursue a certificate in trial advocacy. He is president of the KU Public Interest Law Society and treasurer of the American Constitution Society. Agnew was a member of the 2012 KU Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team. He is also a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute.

Lindsey Collins, a first-year law student, earned her bachelor’s in English literature and biology at Drury University. She completed a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Collins came to KU Law from a career in nonprofit management and fundraising and plans to continue her legal career in public policy. She is a member of the Public Interest Law Society and the American Constitution Society.

Brianna Harris, a second-year law student, completed her bachelor’s in advertising at Bradley University. Harris is pursuing a certificate in advocacy.  She will serve on the Moot Court Council next year.  Harris has participated in the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies and has also served as the chief prosecutor for the KU Court of Parking Appeals. Harris served as treasurer of the Public Interest Law Society, and on the Dean's Student Advisory Board.

Whitney Howard, a first-year law student, earned a bachelor’s in political science and psychology at KU.  Howard plans to pursue a certificate in advocacy. She will study abroad in Ireland this summer, and she is a member of Women in Law.

Becky Howlett, a first-year law student, received a bachelor’s in journalism and English with distinction from the University of Kansas. Howlett will be working at an environmental law firm in Seattle this summer and plans to pursue a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. She serves as the education committee chair for the Environmental Law Society and is also actively involved with Women in Law.

Brisa Izaguirre, a first-year student, earned a bachelor’s in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication and psychology from the University of Kansas. Izaguirre is a 1L representative for the Hispanic American Law Students Association and a member of Women in Law. She plans to participate in the Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies next year.

Lauren Luhrs, a second-year student, received a bachelor’s in human ecology and mass communications at Kansas State University, and worked at the corporate headquarters of Payless ShoeSource for two years prior to starting law school. Last summer, Luhrs spent two weeks studying at the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School in New York City. She participated in the law school’s Externship Clinic, working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City, Kan.  Luhrs is the managing editor of the Kansas Law Review.     

Kaitee Purdon, a first-year student, received a bachelor’s from the University of Kansas and a master’s from the University of Texas at Austin, both in social work. Purdon plans to build on her six years of social work practice by pursuing juvenile or family law, and she will be working for the Douglas County Legal Aid Clinic this summer. She is involved in the St. Thomas More Society and Public Interest Law Society.

Casey Walker, a second-year student, completed a bachelor’s in history and English at the University of Kansas. She plans to pursue certificates in elder law and advocacy. Walker has participated in the Kansas Supreme Court Research Clinic and the Judicial Clerkship Clinic. She is returning for her second year as a Dean's Fellow.