Washburn Law’s actively engaged alumni offer first-year students a meaningful mentoring experience. You will be paired with practicing lawyers who offer an important connection to the community and serve as a resource for issues related to your career. Many mentor relationships extend beyond law school.
Connecting with alumni and friends of Washburn Law and building those relationships enhances first-year law students’ bank of resources.
The Mentor/Mentee Program, established in 2003, has successfully served as a primary networking opportunity for law students who want to meet with those who have navigated the real world of the legal profession.
“The program has always been about giving students a connection to the legal community, the real world, while also helping alumni to connect to the law school,” said Margann Bennett, director of Professional Development at Washburn Law.
Although the program has been successful, with an average of two-thirds of the first-year students voluntarily signing up each year, it’s important to Bennett to maintain a dynamic Mentor/Mentee Program. To that end, she introduced a three-tier approach to the program in 2011 that has increased the networking opportunities for the students as well as created an additional networking opportunity for alumni and friends of the law school.
In previous years, first-year students were matched one-on-one with alumni or friends of the law school. If the mentor was not able to attend the kick-off reception, the student couldn’t participate fully in the networking opportunities. Now, the Professional Development Office and the Admissions Office work together to match the students with recent graduates, those who graduated within the past five or six years.
We're grateful to our alumni who serve as mentors for first year students through our mentorship program! One of our alumni mentors, Ryan Hellmer, '09, arranged a tour of the Kansas Supreme Court and a chance to meet Justice Nancy Moritz, '85, for his mentee and fellow students. Students had the opportunity to speak with Justice Moritz and Justice Lee Johnson, '80, about the inner workings of the court. Justice Moritz was Hellmer's mentor when he was in law school.
Pictured left to right: Ryan Hellmer, '09; Kate Wary; Chris Staley; Hon. Nancy Moritz, '85; Nate Jiwanlal; and Tabitha Chapman.