Recent Examples of Kelly’s Writing:
A Personal Reflection, Written June 2021
June 20, A Day of Various Emotions
June 20th is my birthday. As a kid, it was the best day to celebrate. It was often the last day of school and it was usually the first evening of summer. I loved that my parents arranged for a bouncy castle in our backyard with lots of candy and popsicles for all the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Smiles were abundant as we celebrated multiple occasions with sugar dripping from our lips. And, the sun shined and the stars twinkled; it never rained on June 20.
I was even more thrilled when June 20 landed on Father's Day. My dad was the best dad a kid could ask for and sharing the day with him was magical, even though he really surrendered his special day to me. He was everything to me, and in my eyes, my dad did everything right.
As I went through my college years and the years that soon followed, the excitement of a June 20 birthday lessened. Although it never failed to be a beautiful day, friends were scattered and I wasn't home to celebrate with my dad when our special days overlapped. Time passed and at 30, I was pregnant with twins due to arrive late July. As my birthday approached that year, my doctor said, "June 20 will mark nearly 35 weeks — if you can make it to then, these kids will be born healthy and close enough to full term." When June 20th came, and I turned 31, my heart was so full. I was beyond grateful and felt like I conquered the world. I had healthy twins on June 30, 2003.
For the next seven years, I loved sharing my birthday time with my children and my dad. It was always two weeks filled with arts and crafts, swimming, dance recitals, soccer games, little league fun, and a couple All-Star games. The kids would get ready for day camp and my dad would always join for much of it. We would celebrate all the happy last days of June together. Of course, the candy and popsicles were always present, it was the start to summer!
My dad passed away when the twins were eight and my younger son was four. June 20 is now a hard day when it falls on Father's Day. We celebrate my husband and I try to enjoy the day, but I miss my dad and all that he brought to our lives. I try to focus on all the good surrounding June 20 — the ending of long school years, the travel baseball final tournaments, and the sectional soccer championships. I have loved zipping the camp trunks knowing the kids are off to their happy place for a bit. We include candy and the popsicles; my dad loved to eat and would expect that we continue to count our celebrations and not our calories.
Tomorrow is June 20, 2021, and it will be the most emotional June 20 thus far. I'm turning 49. My son is graduating middle school on June 21, and my twins are graduating high school on June 23. The joy is palpable. It is also Father's Day and it is my first birthday with breast cancer. Ironically, I was diagnosed four days earlier on June 16. The month that has brought me so much emotion has done so again.
I will think of my dad and my childhood, and all the good both brought me. I will think of my twins who are graduating in three days and who are turning 18 in ten days. I will think of my younger son who doesn't remember my dad, but who looks exactly like him. It may not be a great day, but I will be strong, and I will smile for them, for my husband, and for my dad. And, I will be strong and dressed with smiles on June 20, 2022, when I turn 50 the day after Father's Day. I will enjoy the sunshine, the sugar and the love that my dad would want me to embrace.
Written for 2021 Washington University Law Alumni Magazine
It was the Spring of 1997, I was a second year law student at Wash U. I should add that I was rather small, and Jewish. I was already in love with being a law student at Wash U. I felt the enthusiasm, energy and brilliance radiate from my professors and fellow students. It was a real treat to be a student at Wash U, kind of like a spoiled kid during holiday time. Of course, it was also really special that I had met my future husband on the first day of our Orientation the year before. Our Orientation group consisted of about 10 people, and meeting my husband within that group was the start of an amazing journey.
I sat in my Constitutional Law class with Professor La Pierre. I so vividly remember around the middle of the semester, he walked around and personally handed each of us a new case. The stack of papers had been photocopied and stapled together; it was too new to be included in our textbook, but as Professor La Pierre walked around with his long hair, beard and thick glasses, he noted it was an important one. It was US v. Virginia (1996). We spent the next few classes focusing on Justice Ginsburg’s majority opinion in which, under the Equal Protection Clause, the Court struck down The Virginia MIlitary Academy’s (VMI) ability to exclude women and keep the school all male. The case was our final study of gender as a suspect class, and I would not forget it.
Since that time, I have learned more about Justice Ginsburg and not only what she achieved for herself, all women and our society, but how she achieved. As the first Jewish woman on the Court, she was known to write, speak and live with thought, passion and care. She succeeded at Harvard Law School among nearly all men, while she cared for her newborn daughter and her ill husband. I thought about this as I was a young law professor trying to teach, publish and care for newborn twins. Despite my thoughts returning to RBG’s abilities, I couldn’t do it and left my position. As I stayed home for many years with my twins, and younger son down the road, I was constantly reminded of how RBG led with thought, passion and care. You can parent this way, befriend this way, advocate this way, and live your life this way whether you are in law or not.
Not only have I kept RBG’s way in my head and heart, but Wash U has remained a deep part of me. I am reminded of how fortunate I was to learn in such an incredibly kind, motivating, and inspiring environment. Those newborn twins are now seniors in high school, and while I have gone back to part time law teaching through the years, I now watch them apply to college. My son is a politics junky, and my daughter hopes to help children with social and emotional challenges. I can only hope their academic experiences to come are even close to the amazing experiences and opportunities I, and their dad, had at Wash U. And I hope that they have learned to live their lives with thought, passion and care.
RBG and Wash U are so intertwined for me; both are legacies that have taught me so much and will stay with me for my lifetime.
Examples of Kelly’s Past Scholarly Writing:
Levi, Kelly Koenig (2001) "Allowing a Title VII Punitive Damage Award Without an Accompanying Compensatory or Nominal Award: Further Unifying the Federal Civil Rights Laws," Kentucky Law Journal: Vol. 89 : Iss. 3 , Article 4.
Kelly K. Levi, Post Charge Title VII Claims: A Proposal Allowing Courts to Have 'Charge' When Evaluating Whether to Proceed or to Require a Second Filing, 18 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. (2002).
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol18/iss3/5
Leslie Yalof Garfield and Kelly Koenig Levi, Finding Success in the "Cauldron of Competition:" The Effectiveness of Academic Support Programs, 2004 BYU Educ. & L.J. 1 (2004). Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.byu.edu/elj/vol2004/iss1/2
Kelly Koenig Levi, Figure This: Judging or Federal Fraud? A Proposal To Criminalize Fraudulent Judging and Officiating in the International Figure Skating Arena, 25 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L.J. 97 (2002).
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_comm_ent_law_journal/vol25/iss1/3
Kelly B. Koenig, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf's Suspension for Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem: A “Free Throw” for the NBA and Denver Nuggets, or a “Slam Dunk” Violation of Abdul-Rauf's Title VII Rights?, 76 Wash. U. L. Q. 377 (1998).
Available at: https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/law_lawreview/vol76/iss1/23
Kelly’s Writing Experience and Education:
Mentor to NYC Public High School Students, IMentor; goal to develop college-readiness skills, including the college application process (2021)
Legal Writing Instructor and Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School, 2008 – 2018 (non consecutive semesters); intent to return Spring 2022
Director of Academic Support and Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School (2000-2004)
Proskauer Rose, Employment Department Associate, 1998-2000
JD, Washington University School of Law, Order of the Coif, 1998
Executive Developments Editor, Washington University Law Quarterly, 1997-1998
BS, University of Vermont, magna cum laude, 1994