Kayla Roehler Recognized by Kansas Sheriff's Association

Photograph: Kayla RoehlerIn an emergency, citizens turn to emergency response personnel. During the past year, Washburn Law 2L Kayla Roehler turned the tables and came to the rescue of Kansas sheriffs to educate and help them prepare advanced directives.

Roehler’s article “Is an Advanced Directive Right for Me?” (770 KB PDF) was published in the Kansas Sheriff’s Association journal. In the article, she referenced the fatal shooting of two police officers at a grocery store, located one block away from her house, and how life can change in an instant. “That is a night that will probably live in my memory every year,” said Roehler.

Her article emphasized the importance of having an advanced directive, an umbrella term that contains three types of documents: a durable power of attorney (DPOA) for health care decisions, a living will, and a do not resuscitate (DNR) directive.

At a Pro Bono project, Roehler joined several attorneys (including Washburn Law alumni) in preparing DPOAs and living wills for Kansas sheriffs. The Kansas Bar Association and the Kansas Legal Services co-sponsored the clinic.

Roehler observed at the clinic that the most difficult decision the sheriffs had to make appeared to be who was going to be their backup DPOA. Many chose their spouse as their primary DPOA, but had difficulty selecting a backup DPOA. She advised them to, “choose someone that they believed would fulfill their wishes, whether that is a child, neighbor, or friend.” Many sheriffs had more than one child, but could not decide which one to select. She responded, “You do not need to worry about hurting a child’s feelings for not getting chosen, because the children will just be happy someone can make decisions.”

On January 27, Roehler and Margann Bennett, Washburn Law’s director of Professional Development and Pro Bono, attended the Kansas Sherriff’s Association (KSA) meeting where Roehler was recognized for writing the article and assisting with the pro bono clinic. She receives credit towards Pro Bono Honors at graduation, which requires a minimum of 50 hours.

Roehler is a Research Editor for Vol. 54 of the Washburn Law Journal and also serves on Washburn Law’s 2013-14 Student Ambassador Team.