My First Year at Washburn Law: A Message from Dean Pratt

It's hard to believe that I am already concluding my first year as dean. It seemed to pass at lightning speed, but collectively the law school had many accomplishments this year. I would like to share a few of the highlights with you.

This year the law school and individual faculty members made greater use of social media platforms to share the work of Washburn Law with a broader audience. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay connected and see what we are doing. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @WashburnLawDean or connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook. Many of our law faculty members joined these social media outlets so please look to follow them as well, but remember that all faculty members have the academic freedom to express their views which do not necessarily represent the view of Washburn University or its law school.

The law school also launched what is being called one of the most innovative and revolutionary curricular options in legal education– our Third Year Anywhere™. This enrollment option will allow students to complete their final year of law school in the local legal market where they intend to practice law. Students in this enrollment option will earn credit for practicing law under the supervision of a lawyer and will complete the JD degree through online coursework. Consequently a significant cohort of our faculty spent the year educating themselves on online teaching pedagogy and engaging in the planning phase of online course development. It is truly exciting to see law professors with a national reputation for teaching excellence expand opportunities for students by moving into the world of distance education!

Photograph: Blake Klinkner.Another curricular change was facilitated by the hire of Professor Blake Klinkner who will focus on academic success and bar readiness. Professor Klinkner's expertise enables us to move academic support interventions to the first semester of law school so that struggling students are identified within the first weeks of law school and provided the support they need to ensure academic success. This early intervention is aimed at lowering and hopefully even eliminating academic attrition at the law school.

We partnered with The Brown Foundation to host a banquet commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The event was supported by many of our alumni and Topeka businesses so we were able to welcome over 300 people to campus. We issued citations of recognition to the living plaintiffs in the Topeka case, and we created a video proudly sharing the story of Washburn’s connection to the plaintiffs in the case.

The final highlights that I will share pertain to fundraising. We created a fundraising website housed on the law school's website so that our constituents can see the progress on our building campaign and see the names of our donors who have supported the fundraising effort. This year we crossed the half way mark on our fundraising goal of $20 million, raising over $1.7 million since July 1, 2018. See our progress, contribute, or simply learn more.

Carla D. Pratt
Dean and Professor of Law
Washburn University School of Law

Photograph: Dean Carla D. Pratt.

Carla D. Pratt
Dean


Dean Pratt talks about the impact education has had on her life and how law has a role in shaping higher education (3:43 minutes).
Logo: Top Law Schools
Dean Pratt talks to "TopLawSchools" about Washburn Law's student life, academics, admissions process, career opportunties, employment outcomes, and more.
Third Year Anywhere™ In The News
Graphic: Map showing possible third year anywhere externship locations.

Learn about the Third Year Anywhere™ Enrollment Option and check out the links to media coverage, below.

Graphic: Give to the law school new building campaign.

Make your gift to Ideal Place: The Building Campaign for Washburn University School of Law online by clicking "Give" above. Request more information from Patrick Mikesic, pmikesic@wualumni.org or (785) 670-1869.