“As a Weigand Scholar, I discovered that I was now part of a network in the legal field built on integrity, perseverance, and people who treat mistakes as learning experiences rather than failure.
I grew confident in my ability to serve others as an attorney when I met Weigand Scholars who also take pride in serving their famllies and communities, both within and in addition to the practice of law.“
Weigand Scholar: 2018, 2019
B.S., Journalism, University of Kansas, 2015
J.D. Washburn University School of Law, 2019
Kuckelman Torline Kirkland
Originally from Sugar Creek, Missouri, Jennifer and her family moved to Olathe, Kansas, in 1999 so her sister who has profound disabilities and deafness could have better educational resources and attend Kansas School for the Deaf.
Jennifer became an advocate for her sister’s social, educational and employment needs, and plans to share those skills of advocacy with those of all ability levels in her career as an attorney.
Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Kansas where she earned her Bachelor of Science in journalism, Bachelor of Arts with honors in film and media studies, and studied under an Arabic language fellowship. Before beginning her law school career at Washburn University School of Law in fall 2016, Jennifer worked as editor of the Kansas Bar Association Journal, and held writing and editing positions in the pharmaceutical industry and for a branch of the National Science Foundation.
In her first two years at Washburn Law, Jennifer has clerked with the litigation firm Kuckelman Torline Kirkland in Overland Park, Lathrop Gage in Kansas City, and served as a judicial extern for Judge Julie Robinson, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, and Judge Nancy Moritz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She has been honored with the Kansas Bar Foundation John E. Shamberg Memorial Scholarship, Lathrop Gage Scholarship award, and the Frank M. Rice Scholarship, and CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Evidence, Child Advocacy Training, Civil Procedure, Legal Research and Writing, and Law & Economics.
Jennifer proudly accepted a judicial clerkship with Judge Robinson in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas beginning Fall 2019. In the fall of 2020, she joined the firm of Kuckelman Torline Kirkland in Kansas City.
During her last year of law school, Jennifer was proud to serve as a Notes Editor on the Washburn Law Journal, and volunteer in the Kansas City area with groups that create opportunities for those with disabilities.
In addition to the law and disability advocacy, Jennifer’s interests include fishing, archery, and celebrating and educating others about her rich Slovak heritage with several Czech and Slovak organizations in Kansas and Missouri.
“I have benefited in so many different ways during my first year as a Weigand scholar—from the network this organization provides to gain career advice and guidance, to the support and encouragement that have reaffirmed my strong desire to serve Kansans, especially those with barriers to access to justice. I am eager to see what this year as a Weigand scholar brings, and look forward to contributing to the continued growth of the program as I build my legal career.“