Current and Past Fellows
Polsinelli Healthcare Law Fellow
Deja Williams (2023-2025)
Deja Williams joined the Office of the General Counsel in June 2023 after being selected for the Polsinelli Healthcare Law Fellowship, a collaboration between the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), the firm of Polsinelli and the University of Kansas Health System. Deja’s primary role is serving as a seconded attorney to the University’s General Counsel and also the General Counsel for the University of Kansas Health System on a broad range of legal issues encompassing hospital operations, patient care and issues impacting the allied health professions and academic medical center. Deja is a 2023 graduate of the George Washington University School of Law, and she earned her Master of Social Work in 2018 from the University of Michigan. Before attending law school, she served her hometown community of Columbus, Ohio, as a Multi-systemic Therapist, and while attending law school, she clerked for the Supreme Court of Michigan.
With an understanding of the power of education and a passion for blending principles of social work into the practice of law, Deja has long envisioned commencing her career in healthcare through the work of universities. Deja is determined to enhance her understanding of healthcare law and broaden her specific interests in Behavioral Health, Senior Housing & Long-term Care, Research Ethics & Compliance, and Health Information Privacy & Security. Her excitement comes foremost from the opportunity to further the positive impact KUMC has on its students and community.
Husch Blackwell Higher Education Law Fellow
Noel Fisher (2022-2024)
Noel joined the Office of the General Counsel in June 2022 after being selected for the Husch Blackwell Higher Education Law Fellowship. A collaboration between the University of Kansas and the firm of Husch Blackwell, Noel’s primary role is serving as a seconded attorney to the Office of the General Counsel on the campus of the University of Kansas, working directly with KU General Counsel attorneys on a broad range of legal issues facing higher education, the University of Kansas and its affiliates. With a passion for the work of universities, Noel has long hoped to build a career in the higher education world. He’s excited by the positive impact schools have on both their students and their communities, and as a Lawrence native, he’s especially glad to serve the university that has shaped his own hometown. With a love of solving complex problems, he’s also well-suited to navigate the multifaceted structure of a major state university. A 2021 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law, Noel previously served as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Missouri Court of Appeals prior to returning to the Lawrence/Kansas City area.
Polsinelli Healthcare Law Fellow
Haley Essner (2021-2023)
Haley Essner joined the KU General Counsel’s office and University of Kansas Health System in June 2021 as a Healthcare Law Fellow. Haley previously completed an externship program with Ascension and worked with a nonprofit organization, Missouri Appleseed, on health law issues related to the criminal justice system. Haley earned a B.S. in Finance with a minor in Business Law from Southeast Missouri State University and a J.D. with a Health Law concentration from Saint Louis University School of Law.
Higher Education Law Fellow
Marissa Hotujac (2020-2022)
Marissa Hotujac joined the General Counsel’s office in June 2020 as a Higher Education Law Fellow. Marissa previously clerked with the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C., the KU General Counsel’s office, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, and the Third Judicial District Court in Topeka, Kansas. Marissa also served as a Staff Article Editor for the University of Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. Marissa earned a B.A. in Communication from Truman State University and a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law.
Marissa joined Husch Blackwell in 2022 and currently represents educational institutions in litigation involving civil rights, class action claims and employment disputes. She also assists with policy review, provides counsel on compliance with education-related statutes and regulations, and guides clients through both internal and government investigations.