Olivia Kuenzi was recently selected for the Ms. JD 2023-2024 3L Fellowship cohort, which promotes mentoring and professional development for future female attorneys. The one-year program is designed to foster a commitment to excellence in a new generation of women attorneys, inspired by the generation of trailblazers who paved the way for their success.
Through the course of this one year program, fellows receive invitations and financial support to attend ABA and Ms. JD events and work on a group and individual projects at their respective law schools. Additionally, fellows are paired with accomplished mentors chosen from among Brent Award honorees, Spirit of Excellence Award recipients and ABA Commission on Women in the Profession Commissioners.
During her time at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Kuenzi has served as Student Bar Association Treasurer and as an active member in the Student Legislative Initiative of Cleveland and the Law and Political Economy Society.
While she originally aimed to work in health policy post-graduation, her focus has pivoted to privacy and data security, where she feels healthcare, technology and civil rights intersect.
Despite her success, Kuenzi recalls the challenge of her 1L year.
"During my 1L spring semester, I took incompletes in Civil Procedure, Property, and Legislation and Regulation, indefinitely postponing my finals as I struggled with narcolepsy,” she says. "Not only did I struggle to stay awake throughout the semester, but my narcolepsy impeded my ability to form memories and remember what I had just learned."
"I had three options - successfully take the three finals by August, retroactively withdraw from the classes and take a mandatory semester leave of absence, or drop out. I was truly at a crossroads. I spent May, June and early July working closely with my sleep doctor to try different options for managing my narcolepsy, hoping that I would eventually be in a place where I could study for and pass my finals before August. Thankfully, everything worked out - I took the three finals in the last three weeks of July."
"I will always be grateful for Dean Marshall's unwavering empathy and compassion during our regular check-ins throughout the summer. She recognized and supported my determination to finish the semester, yet never made me prioritize my education over my health. Without Dean Marshall's patience and understanding, I don't know if I would still be in law school, let alone selected as a Ms. JD Fellow and on track to graduate with my class in May 2024."
Kuenzi is looking forward to Ms. JD 3L Fellowship kick-off in August, where all the fellows will meet (virtually) for the first time. “It's an honor to be part of such an inspiring and accomplished cohort.” Additionally, Kuenzi is excited for an appellate-heavy 3L year, as she will be in the Appellate Clinic in the fall and work as one of the TAs for the first ever LLEAP-3 course in appellate advocacy. She also intends to try out for the Nationals Moot Court Team.