By Courtney Carroll.
While many second-year law students are licking their wounds from their first year in law school, Kylie Oversen, a 2L at University of North Dakota School of Law, is preparing to accept her award as North Dakota Women’s Network Woman of the Year. The North Dakota Women’s Network presents this annual award to a North Dakota woman who has given a generous amount of her time, talent, and energy to ensure a better quality of life for women in North Dakota.
But considering the often strenuous and time-consuming nature of law school, how does a typical 2L manage to “generously” lend her time in earning such an award? Well, Kylie Oversen is not your typical 2L. In fact, she currently serves as a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives. Since 2013, Representative Oversen has served as a House Democrat for North Dakota’s 42nd District.
“My whole professional career, I have been surrounded by outstanding supporters and mentors who’ve advised and encouraged me to take my leadership one step beyond my comfort zone. I credit much of my success to these people, and hope I can play the same role for other emerging leaders,” Oversen said.
Prior to her work in state government, Oversen served as the student body president of the University of North Dakota, where she earned two bachelor’s degrees in social sciences and social work. Oversen’s Woman of the Year award came as a result of her extensive history of working to improve the lives of others.
“I hope to use my legal education to work in the public interest sector, hopefully with a nonprofit organization,” she said. “My interests are wide-ranging and I would love to work with health care, education, family, and children services, or in any field representing disadvantaged, at-risk clients.”
In addition to her current position as a state legislator, some of Oversen’s past work includes an internship with the Parents Learning and Understanding Supports (PLUS) nonprofit organization. Through this group, Oversen worked to promote the safety, well being, and stability for children and families in the Grand Forks, North Dakota, community. She worked as a counselor at the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program, which teaches young girls about city, county, and state government by running for offices, holding elections, writing laws, and participating in various other activities.
The North Dakota Women’s Network has been presenting a Woman of the Year award since 2007. The Women’s Network considers nominees who are leaders in women’s health and reproductive rights; educational opportunities for women; equal pay for equal work; equal representation in political offices; preventing violence against women and children; or the eradication of gender, familial, ethnic, racial and sexual orientation discrimination. Oversen was chosen by the Women’s Network’s Board of Directors for her significant work in supporting families, both from the classroom as a student, and from the House floor as a state representative.
“It was a great honor to receive this recognition from the North Dakota Women’s Network and really speaks to the great mentors and colleagues that I have worked with,” Oversen said. “We support and encourage each other in our work to improve the lives of our fellow North Dakotans.”
Courtney Carroll, a 3L at DePaul University School of Law in Chicago, is Seventh Circuit lieutenant governor of the Law Student Division.
Vol. 43 No. 3