Fundraising for the Judge Gregory L. Waller Public Interest Legal Fellowship, announced earlier this summer, has surpassed its original goal of $200,000, ensuring recipients for the first two fellowships can be selected this fall.
The fellowship, which pays tribute to the late Judge Waller, was established to help diversify and strengthen the pool of attorneys who start their careers in Wichita. The award is designed to encourage skilled and dedicated attorneys to work in the areas of the justice system that most often impact our local community’s disenfranchised and marginalized residents, like Waller did for much of his career.
The Waller fellowship, worth $10,000, will aid two young attorneys by offering currently enrolled or recently graduated law school students a six-month housing stipend, a top-tier bar exam study program, and mentorship with an active judge.
Judge Waller was one of only a few African Americans to serve the state of Kansas as both a prosecutor and a judge. He was one of Kansas’s only three black district court judges; along with being a committed Christian and family man, he was a dedicated community leader.
Judge Waller was also a big advocate for diversity and inclusion; he served as an active member of the Wichita Bar Association’s Professional Development Committee, guiding the committee on encouraging and promoting diversity in the bar.
Koch Industries, Spirit AeroSystems, Jack Focht, Gloria Farha Flentje, and local Community Financial Partners; Emprise Bank, Fidelity Bank, and INTRUST Bank donated over $10,000 to the Waller Legal Fellowship. Many other law offices contributed to the fellowship, as did several community organizations, including the NAACP and the Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi.
Click here for the full list of donors.