Washburn Law Clinic Held Swearing-in Ceremony for Fall 2019 Semester


Eighteen Washburn Law Clinic interns were sworn-in to practice law and represent clients in court in the state of Kansas under special permission granted by the Kansas Supreme Court. The swearing-in ceremony was on Thursday, Sept. 18 with   Judge Lori Dougherty-Bichsel administering the attorney's oath and offering words of wisdom during her keynote address.

"Your actions will impact your clients," Dougherty-Bichsel said. "Be courteous, respectful, and considerate. If the opposing counsel or party behaves unprofessionally, don't reciprocate. If you have a dispute that cannot be resolved without judicial intervention, focus on the disputed issues, not on the feelings. And always, always, always act with candor, honesty, and fairness towards the courts. One of the most important, if not the most important, qualities of a lawyer is to be ethical. No one client and no one goal is worth compromising your personal integrity or your potential for becoming an attorney."

The Washburn Law Clinic empowers students to gain experience and apply the skills and knowledge obtained in the classroom by representing real-life clients in actual cases. By allowing the interns to practice under the supervision of a faculty member in different areas including civil litigation, criminal law, family law and immigration, and small business and transactional law, the students are more prepared to enter into a professional environment with hands-on experience.

Dougherty-Bichsel has served as a judge for the City of Topeka Municipal Court since 2017. Prior to that, she was senior counsel in the litigation division for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. She also taught Civil Procedure at Washburn University School of Law in the spring of 2016. In her address to the students, she emphasized the importance of giving back to the community.

"Don't forget to enjoy what you are doing; you chose this profession for a reason," she said. "Give back to the community through your pro bono work, civic or charitable involvements, mentoring, or some other form of service."

The interns for fall 2019 are Lanna J. Allen, Nellie A. Betzen, Tanya J. Buettgenbach, Philip D. Depew, Jacob T. Gayer, Michael J. Hawthorne, Clarissa C. Harvey, Joshua B. Howell, Kenneth L. McBride, Taylor M. Meeks, Jason E. Mewhirter, Christopher Noone, Kirstin E. Harden, Reece Simpson, Derrick P. Smith, Michael R. Tamou, Heather D. Wedel, and Cynthia Zaczyk.