KU News: Ten KU Law students honored for scholarship, leadership and service

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From the Office of Public Affairs | http://www.news.ku.edu

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Editors: Note honorees from Lawrence, Wathena, Wichita and the Greater Kansas City area.

 

Contact: Emma Herrman, School of Law, [email protected], @kulawschool

Ten KU Law students honored for scholarship, leadership and service

 

LAWRENCE – Ten University of Kansas School of Law students received awards during the spring 2024 semester for distinguishing themselves in scholarship, leadership and service to the law school and the community.

The recipients:

Anshul Banga, Atlanta: Class of 1949 Leadership Award
Elm Beck, Olathe: Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership and Service Award
Chris Birzer, Leawood: Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement
Karlie Bischoff, Kansas City, Missouri: Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership and Service Award
Abbey Brower, Sterling, Colorado: Walter Hiersteiner Outstanding Service Award
Christy Harris, Dallas: The Dru Mort Sampson Center for Diversity & Inclusion Award of Distinction
Jackie Jeschke, Lawrence: Robert F. Bennett Award
Anthony Leeks, Wichita: Janean Meigs Memorial Award
Olivia Almirudis Schneider, San Antonio: Class of 1949 Leadership Award
Collin Studer, Wathena: Justice Lloyd Kagey Leadership Award

All but one of the honorees are graduates in the Class of 2024 who were recognized at the KU Law hooding ceremony May 11. Chris Birzer, of Leawood, was selected to serve as the 2024 banner carrier, an honor bestowed upon the student who exemplifies excellence in their program. The class is composed of 118 recipients of the Juris Doctor as well as four Master of Laws in American Legal Studies and 12 Master of Science in Homeland Security: Law & Policy graduates.

Funds for the awards are managed by KU Endowment, the independent and nonprofit organization serving as KU’s official fundraising and fund-management organization. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Student awards are listed below alphabetically.

Anshul Banga, of Atlanta, received the Class of 1949 Leadership Award. This award is given to the students who contributed most significantly to the overall experience of the students in Green Hall. Throughout his time in law school, he has held leadership positions and given back to the KU Law community in many ways. Banga served as Student Bar Association president for the 2023-2024 academic year and served as co-president of Student Ambassadors. He also served as chief judge of traffic court. Banga is the son of Ajay and Saveta Banga. He is a graduate of Peachtree Ridge High School and the University of Georgia.

Elm Beck, of Olathe, received the Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership and Service Award. This award is given annually to the graduate who has most distinguished themselves in the combined areas of scholarship, leadership and service. Beck was the founder of the Trans Law Students Association. They also served as a Dean’s Fellow, Shook Hardy & Bacon Scholar and executive staff articles editor for the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. During law school, they volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Douglas County, completing over 160 hours of pro bono service and earning Pro Bono Distinction upon graduation. Beck is the child of Darren and Angela Beck. They graduated from the University of Kansas.

Chris Birzer, of Leawood, received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement. This award is given to the graduate who has made the most significant contribution toward overall legal scholarship. A gifted moot court competitor, Birzer won the NNALSA Moot Court Competition as a second-year student and has since served on the Moot Court Council and the Kansas Law Review as the executive comments editor. His paper discussing third-party felony murder was published in Kansas Law Review. Birzer is the son of Kevin and Michele Birzer. He is a graduate of Blue Valley West High School, KU and Emporia State University.

Karlie Bischoff, of Kansas City, Missouri, received the Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership and Service Award. This award is given to the graduates who have most distinguished themselves in the combined areas of scholarship, leadership and service. Bischoff served as an articles editor for the Kansas Law Review, where she wrote two published articles, participated in moot court competitions and was a member of the Moot Court Council. She was a Student Ambassador for all three years as well as a Lawyering Skills writing teaching assistant, providing effective mentoring and assistance for students who needed extra help with writing skills. Bischoff is the daughter of Robert and Lisa Bischoff. She graduated from Park Hill South High School and Truman State University.

Abbey Brower, of Sterling, Colorado, received the Walter Hiersteiner Outstanding Service Award. The recipient of this award is the graduate whose service to their fellow students in the School of Law or the university community demonstrates the greatest promise for contribution to the legal profession and to society. This past year, Brower represented KU Law at Baylor University’s “The Closer” Transactional Law competition. She was a Lawyering Skills teaching assistant who went above and beyond to connect with students. Brower is the daughter of Chris and Julie Brower. She graduated from Sterling High School and Colorado State University.

Christy Harris, of Dallas, received the Dru Mort Sampson Center for Diversity & Inclusion Award of Distinction as a second-year student. This award is given to a student who has exhibited exemplary leadership and a commitment to promoting diversity and belonging – both in Green Hall and in the law school’s broader communities. Harris has served as a Student Ambassador for two years and as secretary this past year for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA). She graduated from Skyline High School and Texas A&M University – Commerce.

Jackie Jeschke, of Lawrence, received the Robert F. Bennett Award. This award is presented to the graduate whose undergraduate degree is from a Kansas university or college and who has demonstrated leadership qualities through public service. This year, Jeschke served as co-head Dean’s Fellow and the editor-in-chief of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. She took home first place at the Wayne State Taft Transactional Law Competition with her partner, Alli Baden. Jeschke is the daughter of Neil and Donna McCullough. She graduated from Free State High School, KU and KU Medical Center.

Anthony Leeks, of Wichita, received the Janean Meigs Memorial Award. This award is given to the graduate who has demonstrated a caring spirit in service to the students of the university and/or the community at large. This past year, Leeks led two student organizations as president: Sports Law Society and Black Law Students Association (BLSA). He was an active member of KU Law’s Moot Court Program and won the second-best brief award at this year’s Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition. Leeks is the son of Anthony and Robin Leeks. He graduated from Wichita West High School and KU.

Olivia Almirudis Schneider, of San Antonio, received the Class of 1949 Leadership Award. This award is given to the students who contributed most significantly to the overall experience of the students in Green Hall. Schneider served as the president of the Student Bar Association for first-year law students, president of Women in Law, was a Student Ambassador and staff editor for the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. In her second year, she was a member of the Dean’s Professional Identity Formation Committee and was part of the Dean’s Academic Affairs Committee in her third year. She brought back Pub Night to its pre-pandemic glory, raising record funds for a local nonprofit, and served as a mentor to other organizations including First Gen Professionals and the Hispanic American Law Students Association. She graduated from the University of Incarnate Word.

Collin Studer, of Wathena, received the Justice Lloyd Kagey Leadership Award. This award is presented to the graduate who has most distinguished themselves through leadership in the School of Law. This year, Studer served as the editor-in-chief of the Kansas Law Review. He has also been a member of the Moot Court Council. As personable as he is kind, Studer leads his classmates by example. He is always open and available to give personal advice or have a legal discussion and has a curious legal mind. He graduated from Wathena High School and Baker University.

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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

 

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