Brandon Bethel named National Jurist Law Student of the Year

April 5, 2023

University of Missouri School of Law student Brandon Bethel was recently named a 2023 Law Student of the Year by The National Jurist magazine.

“Since the day he stepped onto campus, Brandon has single-handedly improved the physical space of Mizzou Law, improving the lives of his fellow students and our entire community,” Interim Dean Paul Litton said. “In my 17 years at Mizzou Law, we have not seen a student make a greater impact on our community.”

Bethel is a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. He has transformed Hulston Hall, helping create and maintain a Wellness Room where students can take breaks from the stresses of law school. He even distributes inspirational messages with information about health and wellness resources for struggling students, especially around exam time.

He also helped beautify the offices of the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association and the Business, Entrepreneurship and Tax Law Review. Bethel has also refreshed display cases and artwork throughout the building, making its learning spaces more representative of the student body. On top of all that, he has significantly upgraded the student lounge and cafeteria.

During his first year in law school, Bethel was instrumental in resurrecting the Health Law Society student group from years of inactivity. He also serves as an incredibly active member of the student body. He is president of the MU chapter of OUTLaw, a student organization dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ law student community, as well as co-chair of the MU Women’s Law Association fundraising auction.

Bethel said he devotes his energy toward improving the spaces around him to encourage comfort for students.

“A comfortable environment allows us to have comfortable conversations,” he said. “Comfort can help decrease stress and help reduce unhealthy competition. It’s important to show that these things are possible so that in the future they can be built upon to help everybody.”

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