KBF to honor Amy Fellows Cline with the Robert K. Weary Award
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Posted by: Meg Wickham
KBF to honor Amy Fellows Cline with the Robert K. Weary Award
TOPEKA, Kan. (April 30, 2020) —
The Kansas Bar Foundation (KBF) Board of Trustees selected Amy Fellows Cline to receive the foundation’s most prestigious award, the Robert K. “Weary” Award. The award recognizes lawyers or law firms for exemplary service and commitment to the goals of the KBF.
Susan Berson, KBF Trustee for District 11, nominated Cline for the award.
“During my experience as a Trustee on the Kansas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees, I have seen Ms. Cline consistently demonstrate the qualities that embody the Robert K. Weary Award. Ms. Cline has donated the most valuable thing private practice lawyers have: our time. With each project, I have seen Ms. Cline undertake her duties and responsibilities with excellence and a persistence from which KBF and all of us as trustees have benefited,” stated Berson.
Anyone who has worked with Amy can attest to her depth of commitment and nonstop energy. She became a KBF Fellow in 2013 and has served on the board for several years. She was president in 2018-19. During her service, she has been instrumental in guiding the process for establishing guidelines and policy for the administration of the KBF Community Redevelopment and Homeowners’ Assistance Fund grant program. This program was created when the KBF received $3.2 million as part of a national settlement between Bank of America and the Department of Justice. She also led the process for establishing updated guidelines and donor agreements for administration of the KBF law student scholarships program.
“With energy and foresight, Amy saw the KBF safely through challenges at a time of administrative transition. She revamped the scholarship documentation process. Her eye for detail shows not only in her professional work, but in her work as a volunteer as well, all to the benefit of any organization she serves,” stated Susan Saidian, KBF President.
One thing colleagues quickly recognize is that Cline is all about having fun while getting things done. Be ready for some new experiences if she is on your board.
“A great example of this is the fresh new approach Amy took to the KBF Dinner during her Presidency. In an attempt to reenergize what has been a traditional black-tie optional event, Amy stepped outside the box and created a casual, fun outing at the Evel Knievel Museum. Attendees not only heard from the award recipients, but also had the opportunity to explore the Evel Knievel archives and complete a virtual jump as part of the museum tour. The event ended with a concert from a local Topeka band where attendees danced and sang to music from the 1980s, 90s and 2000s,” stated Terri Pemberton, KBF Trustee.
Cline’s passion for the KBF is evident in her continued efforts to keep the KBF relevant for new generations of Kansas lawyers. Pemberton explained that Cline was instrumental in creating a Donors and Scholars Reception for the KBF Scholarship recipients. Rather than having the scholarship recipients recognized briefly as part of the KBA annual Court Appreciation Dinner, Cline designed an event more focused on the recipients and one that allows a broader base of participation from the legal community. This new format presents a unique networking opportunity for the law student recipients and attendees alike.
Cline attended high school in Valley Center, Kan. She graduated magna cum laude from Wichita State University with a degree in political science and went on to attend the University of Kansas School of Law. In 2000, she joined Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch, LLC, and represented clients in general civil litigation matters in federal and state courts. In 2004, she joined Triplett Woolf Garretson, LLC, in Wichita and became a partner in 2008. While her career has been demanding, she has found time to volunteer with organizations that support access to justice.
“Equal justice under the law is one of our most fundamental and precious rights as Americans. To safeguard this right, we need to ensure that access to our legal system and education about how it operates are available to all. I became a fellow of the KBF because it promotes these goals through its various grants, scholarships and educational efforts,” Cline stated. “The KBF is a great avenue to maximize the individual contributions of lawyers from across the state, to collectively benefit all Kansans. The time I have spent working on KBF programs and with KBF lawyer members and staff has been some of the most rewarding and fulfilling efforts of my professional career. I look forward to continuing to serve its mission in the future.”
Cline has a long history of volunteering. She served as president of the board for Kansas Legal Services from 2014-2015. She currently serves on the KU Law School Board of Governors, where she enjoys interacting with prospective and current law students, working with KU Law alumni and professors, and helping to improve the education and experience offered by KU Law.
Cline recalls her first day as a law student and how it has led her to making a point of getting to know other attorneys.
“While I did not know one lawyer on my first day of law school, I have focused my energy on getting to know as many as I could since graduation,“ Cline explained.
The Robert K. Weary Award is traditionally presented at the annual KBF dinner in June. Due to Covid-19 and social distancing requirements, the Weary Award will be presented during a ceremony at a later date.
The foundation awarded the first Weary award in 2000 to Robert K. Weary, despite his objection to receiving it. Mr. Weary was a member of the KBF Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2000 and served on the KBF Investment Committee. In 1997, Mr. Weary donated the lead gift for the Kansas Law Center building campaign. Mr. Weary passed away in 2001. In 2017, the Kansas Law Center (home to the Kansas Bar Association and the Kansas Bar Foundation) was rededicated and renamed the Robert L. Gernon Law Center to honor the memory of the late Robert L. Gernon, former Kansas Supreme Court Justice.
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About the Kansas Bar Foundation
For over 60 years, the Kansas Bar Foundation has funded opportunities for the citizens of Kansas for charitable and educational projects that foster the welfare, honor and integrity of the legal system by improving its accessibility, equality and uniformity, and by enhancing the public opinion of the role of lawyers in our society. Since 1984, with funding from Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts, the Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants to provide legal services to those who cannot afford them and for educational programs in our schools for our children.