PUBLIC LAW SPOTLIGHT: KEVIN R. KISH
Written by Carmen L. Gibbs
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHY YOU WANTED TO BE A LAWYER.
My family are members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and my brothers and I were exposed from childhood to Quaker commitments to social justice, including a core principle (or "testimony") of equality. Quakers have had a historically complex relationship toward law and lawyering. Law can encourage and sometimes require conflict in ways that are at odds with the tradition’s aspiration for peaceful and consensual dispute resolution. Some Quakers in history sought to avoid court proceedings entirely. But others saw the legal system as a powerful way to achieve greater equality. And Quakers have a rich tradition of civil disobedience in the face of laws they deemed unjust.
I grew up in a working-class family and community in Virginia. Like many "first generation" law students, I didn’t know lawyers or imagine law as a career path. Throughout my childhood, my dad worked multiple simultaneous jobs and my mom provided childcare to other families from our home. Through them, I learned to value and respect work of all kinds, but I also saw the precarity of maintaining a home and providing for a family when you rely on your next paycheck for survival.