Kris Kennedy ’95 Selected as Mentor of the Year

Arielle Dutton and Kris Kennedy
2L Arielle Dutton (left) and Mentor of the Year Kris Kennedy ’95

Kris Kennedy ’95 has been selected as the Texas Law 2022 Mentor of the Year, recognizing the positive impact she had on 2L Arielle Dutton in the past year. The announcement was made by Rémi Ratliff ’95, the director of the law school’s mentoring program.

Kennedy, who works with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, has been a mentor with Texas Law since 2016. She has worked directly with four law students and also did outreach to several other students during Covid. She was selected from 25 nominations submitted this year.

“I hope Arielle (and my other mentees) gained a broader perspective of the legal profession as a result of the mentoring experience,” said Kennedy. “My goal has been to serve as a sounding board and facilitator, connecting students when I can with friends and colleagues who have built careers in areas of the law in which my mentees have an interest. Arielle’s success building on those interactions is solely due to her own efforts and follow-through.”

“Kris is an amazing mentor and one of my biggest supporters,” said Dutton. “She not only helped me become more confident in my decisions and in my law school path, but she also helped me overcome a really challenging first year of law school. She is the type of mentor that I aim to be, and I hope other first-year law students are paired with similarly passionate and genuinely kind mentors like her.”

Kennedy explained how she and Arielle built a strong relationship. “We connected right away because we’re both moms, but apart from that shared experience, I think we built a connection simply by spending time together and talking,” Kennedy said. “Arielle and I have a foundation of friendship and trust, and the mentoring relationship is a natural extension of that.”

Prior to her current job, Kennedy held two other positions at the AG’s Office and worked at Nationwide, Crutsinger & Booth, Rose Walker LLP, and Brown Pruitt Peterson & Wambsganss. She is a double Longhorn, having earned her bachelor’s degree in Government.

“Kris is a wonderful, caring mentor who really thinks about what kind of help her student needs to succeed in law school,” noted Ratliff. “She truly made Arielle’s 1L year better and easier with her care and compassion.  That’s my hope for every mentoring pair!”

Texas Law has 1,023 active mentors in the Austin area, including 383 who were paired with first-year law students last year.

Kennedy joins a distinguished list of past Mentors of the Year including Kerstin Arnold ’95, Lisa Anderson ’88, The Hon. Patrick Keel ’89, Karen Burgess ’96, Ari Herbert ’18, and Cynthia Akatugba ’13. Watch the video: Celebrating Five Years of Alumni Leadership and Student Success.

The Texas Law Mentoring Program makes creates connections for law students to veteran professionals in our alumni community. All members of the Texas Law community can be enriched and enhanced by forging connections with this alumni network, starting with the first day of law school.