Krysta Ku, Katie Maier, and Dean Janet Stearns
When 3L Katie Maier spearheaded the Military Law Society’s clothing and school supply drive for an orphanage in Afghanistan, the last thing she expected was to receive anything in return. Much to her surprise, she would be the student behind the framed American flag that now hangs in the law library.
Maier, the Florida-born Vice President of the Military Law Society, attended West Point for college, majoring in Management and Systems Engineering. A Captain in the U.S. Army, Maier says she always knew she wanted to become a military attorney and attend UM for law school.
“I participated in a special program for the Army where I committed to become a JAG for the military upon graduation from law school,” Maier said. “UM is very near and dear to my heart as three generations of my family have attended–I love the students and the culture.”
Shortly after Maier moved to Miami for law school, a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy with whom Maier worked at the Pentagon was deployed to Afghanistan as part of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. Knowing Maier was a student with access to thousands of other students, the Lieutenant Commander contacted Maier about helping him collect donations for children at an Afghanistan orphanage.
After the Military Law Society agreed to sponsor the collection of donated goods, Maier announced the event in “The Hearsay” email and tabled for donations on the bricks. U.S. Military personnel in Afghanistan were pleased with the outcome of the donation drive. Projects like this have helped form a sense of community between the U.S. military and the Afghan communities.
“The student body was very supportive and people were eager to help,” said Maier. “It was a really successful event with UM Law students donating over 100 lbs. of supplies.”
To show their appreciation, the U.S. Military flew a flag over U.S. headquarters in Afghanistan in honor of Miami Law’s Military Law Society, and later shipped the flag to the law school along with a certificate of authenticity.
“The Flag demonstrates UM Law students’ commitment to the community and the Armed Forces and their general good character and commitment to service,” said Military Law Society President, Krysta Ku.
This past December, Janet Stearns, Dean of Students, met with Krysta Ku to find a permanent home at the law school to hang the framed flag and certificate. The flag has been hung on a wall near the main elevator in the law library.
“I am delighted that we have such an active Military Law Society at UM Law, and that we can honor their community service with this American Flag prominently displayed in the Law Library,” said Stearns.
Corey Gray, 3L, U.S. Army Captain, and Editor-in-Chief of the National Security and Armed Conflict Law Review is one of the many Military Law Society members who assisted with the donation drive.
“As a veteran, I am both proud and honored that the law school has displayed the flag in the library,” said Gray. “This flag will serve as a constant reminder of the contributions made by the men and women in uniform, and the unwavering support that UM Law gives to service members as law students.”
The Military Law Society acts as a guide for Miami law students interested in military law by creating a foundation for students who want to join the military or learn more about military law. The organization promotes military legal knowledge and hosts an annual JAG panel where students have the opportunity to speak with JAG officers from every branch of the military about what it takes to be a JAG attorney.