Graphic: Proposed north entrance to new law school building, and thumbnails of floorplans.

Ideal Place: The Building Campaign for Washburn University School of Law

Imagine.

A law school that allows students to go anywhere around the globe, to gain the knowledge and experience they need while developing relationships that will support their professional aspirations.

An exciting new enrollment option at Washburn Law, called Third Year Anywhere, will provide students this opportunity. Through enrollment in an immersive externship, third year students will practice law 20 hours per week under the supervision of a licensed lawyer and take online coursework. This is just one way Washburn Law is reimagining legal education.

To enhance this curricular enrollment option and meet the evolving expectations of students, Washburn Law needs a new facility with integrated technology in classrooms. Integrating technology into classrooms will enable the law school to broadcast class sessions to students who are in a remote field placement beyond a commutable distance to Topeka, Kansas.

Legal Education From A Distance

Legal education has embraced distance education as a form of instruction. It is imperative for the law school to develop a curriculum that integrates distance learning and enhances student accessibility of legal education. To accomplish this, the law faculty needs a state-of-the-art recording studio. Faculty will be able to self-record lectures using a teleprompter, reducing the need to look away from the camera. These lectures will be uploaded to an online course management system that allows students to watch them from anywhere.

The new building will afford Washburn Law the capability to engage in live lecture capture. Class sessions will be automatically recorded and uploaded so that students who were absent, or who want to review for clarification or enhanced understanding, can view any or all of the class again.

As we look to the next 50 years and beyond, Washburn Law seeks to position itself for the future by adapting our learning environment to accommodate new trends in legal education while also preserving our longstanding tradition of providing the best legal education to our students.

How You Can Help

Washburn Law's current building opened in 1969, at a time when the internet did not exist and wifi permeability was a nonexistant factor in building construction. Renovation of the existing law school building is unlikely to yield the best environment for 21st century law study and would cost nearly as much as the construction of a new facility.

Consequently, Washburn University has undertaken a campaign to raise half of the funds necessary to construct a new law school building on the southeast corner of the campus. The remaining funds needed for construction will be provided by Washburn. Construction of this new facility will afford Washburn University School of Law a building that represents the cutting edge, forward thinking legal education that Washburn Law delivers to its students.

Your gift, and financial support from donors like you, will help Washburn Law's highly regarded programs continue to evolve.

Ways to Give

You can help by way of one or more of the following:

  • Cash, check, or credit card.
  • Gifts of life insurance.
  • Gifts of real estate.
  • Estate gifts through
    • bequests,
    • life income,
    • charitable remainder trust, and/or
    • appreciated assets.

Learn more. To discuss your gift please contact:

Photograph: Patrick Mikesic.
Patrick Mikesic
Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, School of Law
pmikesic@wualumni.org
(785) 670-1869

Photograph: Karla Whitaker.
Karla Whitaker
Development Director, School of Law
kwhitaker@wualumni.org
(785) 670-2781

Short URL for this page:
http://washburnlaw.edu/newbuilding

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.

Photograph: Cynthia Heath.

Cynthia Heath: $1 million challenge met.

Honoring Brown v. Board

Washburn Law was one of the first predominately white public law schools to admit African-Americans and prepare them for the practice of law. Dean Carla Pratt reflects on Washburn's unique and vital connection to the Brown v. Board decision, a civil rights movement cornerstone case that helped to show that "separate but equal" education was not, in fact, equal at all. Our hope is to enshrine this legacy in a new building that radiates Washburn Law's social justice heritage and our place in history.

Photograph: Larry and Annette Gurney.

"Our motivation was out of gratitude to Washburn Law School. The quality education we received enabled us to have satisfying careers, as well as raise and educate our children. We viewed the law school building project as a way to enhance what Washburn already does well."
Larry, BBA '81, JD '84, & Annette Gurney, BA '80, JD '83, on why they gave to the Law School Building Fund.

Progress So Far

As of May 16, 2019.

Total Project Cost:
$40 million

Funds Committed to Date:

  • Washburn University:
    $20 million
  • Gifts/Pledges Received:
    $10.1 million

Total Funds Committed:
$30.1 million

Total Donors:
1,102

From Washburn Law Faculty and Staff Donors:
$427,559

Why Not Just Remodel?

The current building, which opened 50 years ago in 1969, is not suited to the delivery of distance education due to challenges with wifi permeability. We cannot be certain that a renovation would remedy this problem.

Moreover, when the law school investigated the viability of renovating and tacking on another addition to the existing building, several architectural firms provided cost estimates that were nearly as much as the cost to construct a new building.

Consequently, the best approach is to build a new law school facility designed to deliver both in-person and distance education. It is expected that the existing facility will be repurposed for other university programming.