Kianna Hawkins Chennault (J.D. ’17): Aspiring Criminal Litigator & New Mom

“Life happens while in law school, as much as we would like to put on blinders and just study. When you experience adversity or challenges, dig deep. You have what it takes to not just overcome, but to excel.”

Kianna Hawkins Chennualt (J.D. ’17)

The last semester of law school is stressful for most students, but when you’re expecting your first child, the workload seems a bit more intense. That did not deter Kianna Hawkins Chennault (J.D. ’17).

During her second year at Georgia State Law, Chennault became a member of the Georgia State University Law Review board, writing student notes and editing articles of accomplished professors. In her third year, she served as one of the 2016-17 symposium editors.

2017 Commencement
And Hooding Ceremony

  • 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 12: Georgia State University Sports Arena, 125 Decatur St., Atlanta GA 30303

“I planned, managed, and executed the symposium along with my co-editor while I was very pregnant and taking classes,” Chennault said. “The event was organized, engaging and well attended.”

Hawkins also served as a graduate teaching assistance for the Academic Success Program during her last semester (and trimester).

“Talk about a full load,” she said. “My faith in God really helped me to stay grounded and keep focused on my end goals. I also have a comprehensive planner/task organizer, where I wrote everything down.”

Chennault also credits her support system, inside and outside of law school, for helping her stay on track.

“My husband kept our son, Otis, during my night classes, and law school friends and staff kept my son while I attend lunches and other events,” she said. “I can proudly say that since having my son, I have not missed one class or assignment. If anything, the additional responsibility has made my time management even more efficient.”

Kianna Hawkins Chennault (J.D. '17) and Otis

“My husband kept our son, Otis, during my night classes, and law school friends and staff kept my son while I attend lunches and other events,” Kianna Hawkins Chennault (J.D. ’17) said.

Prior to attending law school, Chennault was a government security professional at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, working with classified contracts and international customers.

“I held a top-secret clearance and had some awesome co-workers. It was pretty cool,” Hawkins said. “But, I wasn’t personally fulfilled. I wanted to work within the criminal justice system. I enjoyed being an advocate for justice and marginalized populations.”

One of Chennault’s proudest accomplishments during law school was externing with District Judge Leigh Martin May of the Northern District of Georgia.

“Judges are super selective, so I was honored to be chosen. Judge May gave me so much insight into the real life application of law. It was truly an invaluable experience,” Chennault said.

Chennault plans to pursue a career criminal litigation and cherishes the time she spent at Georgia State Law.

“I absolutely loved Georgia State Law. The student body is so diverse and talented. I’m constantly amazed by the things my peers have done before and during law school. I’ve also really enjoyed the professors.”

Meet the Class of 2017

  • 2017 Commencement and Hooding Ceremony on May 12
    American Bar Association President Klein to Deliver 2017 Commencement Address
  • Team Namer (J.D. ’17): Siblings Team Up in Life and Law
  • Darlene Childers (J.D. ’17): Service & Leadership Hallmark of Experience
  • Justin Leef (J.D./M.P.A. ’17): Taking Initiative to Save Lives
  • Kianna Hawkins Chennault (J.D. ’17): Aspiring Criminal Litigator & New Mom
  • Alex Stone (J.D. ’17): Serving as a Voice For Those Who Cannot Speak
  • Amy BeMent (J.D. ’17): Moot Court Inspires Passion
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