Julie M. Cheslik, associate dean for students and associate professor of law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is known on a national scale for her work and leadership in teaching property law and serving as editor of UMKC’s Urban Lawyer Journal.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
Being recognized by my students as “professor of the year” on several occasions has been the most wonderful and humbling experience of my career.
What inspired you to get involved in the public service or justice system?
For many women my age, if you loved school, being a doctor or a lawyer seemed promising options. I get queasy at the sight of blood, so being a doctor was out.
What is something that would surprise people about you?
I have a tattoo.
What is the best advice you have ever been given or received?
When I was newly hired in my first law teaching job as the director of UMKC’s legal writing program, a speaker at a teaching conference gave this great advice from the guardian angel prayer. She said our job was “to light, to guard, to rule, to guide.”
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was about 10 years old, I received the best Christmas gift ever – a large chalkboard! From that day on, my three younger sisters were my students and I made them sit in makeshift desks in our basement and listen to my lessons. When my sisters escaped, I used their dolls as students instead. So being a law professor is the culmination of a lifelong dream.
What has been your favorite part of your job?
The people, and the opportunity to have a positive impact on someone’s life. Every day I am surrounded by the most wonderful students and colleagues.