First Week Overview for Spring 2021 J.D. and LL.M. Incoming Students

Updated January 8, 2021.

Washburn University has determined it is necessary for the safety of the community to begin the first week of the Spring 2021 semester with remote learning classes. Thus, our First Week program will be entirely online as well. See the First Week Schedule of Activities for further details.


Washburn Law's First Week Program, which begins on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, for Spring 2021 incoming students, helps you become accustomed to the study of law in a supportive, introductory environment. In the interest of planning, you should prepare yourself for full days.

Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 7:00-8:00 p.m.
"So a Family Member is Going to Law School: What to Expect, How to Help, and Your Questions Answered"

Photograph: Jalen Lowry.Jalen Lowry, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, hosts an online event for family and friends of incoming law students. A Zoom invitation will be sent to you before the meeting. If you have not received the invitation by January 6, please contact Topics discussed will include what law students will be experiencing and ways they can be supported. If you, family members, or friends were unable to attend but have questions about law school please feel free to contact Dean Lowry at

Monday, January 11, 2021 – 7:00-8:00 p.m.
1L Small Group Reveal and First Meeting

Session is required, but will be recorded for those who have a conflict.

Meet your upper-class Mentor and fellow group members, and then attend small break-out sessions with your group. This will be a Zoom meeting in advance of First Week. A Zoom invitation will be sent to you before or on January 8. If you have not received the invitation by January 8 please contact

If you are not familiar with Zoom, take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with this program. For assistance with Zoom go to:, select "Technology Support Links" under the Resources for Faculty/Staff heading, then click the link below "Zoom Training." Register for access to Zoom if you have not done so already. Test your equipment (Zoom works on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones) and internet access (cable, wi-fi, cellular data plans). Contact Professor Thomas Sneed at with equipment/internet concerns.

Please Do These Things Before January 12

  1. Submit a photo for your Washburn ID (iCard)
    • In order for us to have your Washburn ID card ready in your orientation packet when you check in on Tuesday, January 12, please email your photo to
    • The photo should meet these specifications (373 KB PDF) (generally, full color; clear with good contrast; WHITE background; centered, frontal view of full face and shoulders; no hats/headgear except those worn daily for religious reasons; no articles not visible in your government issued ID; jpg file format; include first and last name as part of the filename).
    • You also need to verify your identity by 1) submitting a photo of your government issued photo ID and a piece of mail that includes your name and address OR 2) scheduling a meeting with the iCard office.
    • Questions can be sent to or call (785) 670-1188.
  2. Complete and Submit the Profile Information Form
    • Completing the Profile Information Form will expedite First Week Check In and help us get to know you better.
    • Information from the form is also used to compile the law school directory.
    • For your address, please use the address where you expect to be during the fall semester.
  3. Complete and Submit the Remote Attendance Survey
  4. Complete and Submit the Consent to Release Information Form
    • Download the Consent form (105 KB PDF)
    • Print your name on the line at the top of the form.
    • Place a checkmark next to each item for which you are granting consent.
    • Sign and date the form.
    • Scan the form or take a picture of it and email the picture to
    • Questions about the form can be sent to or call (785) 670-1185.
    • Changes to your consent can be made after submitting the form by contacting Donna Haverkamp, Law School Student Records Administrator, at
  5. Send Official Undergraduate Transcript to Washburn Law (J.D. Students Only)
    • The accreditation standards of the American Bar Association require that an official copy of your final undergraduate transcript, demonstrating that you have received your Bachelor's Degree, be on file at the law school.
    • The transcript must be official and sent directly from the institution in which you graduated to: Washburn University School of Law, Admissions Office, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS 66621.
    • Please note: copies of transcripts provided to LSDAS, for admissions purposes, do not fulfill this requirement.
  6. Compete the required readings and other assignments described below.

Thank You!

What You Should Bring to Law School

  1. Textbooks. Once you receive your section assignment, you should order your books. See
  2. Masks. You will be expected to wear a mask while on campus. You will need at least one mask for your arrival on January 12. During orientation, you will receive a law school mask, but you will probably also want several others so that you only have to do laundry on weekends. Please see the law school mask policy at
  3. Headphones. Recommended because you may find yourself in a room or the library with other students who are monitoring a class remotely.
  4. Portable charger/power bank. You may find it convenient to have one or two portable chargers/power banks. An electrical outlet may not always be available since seating in classrooms and the library is now configured to promote social distancing. Examples (but not recommending any specific brand) are covered in this review:
  5. Laptop. Any modern laptop should be able to access the campus wireless network. Instructions are at:

    Many Washburn law students use laptops to take final exams. The program typically used for online exams is Examplify. Learn more about Examplify:

    The above FAQ includes suggested requirements for Windows, Surface Pro, and Mac devices (tablets cannot be used with Examplify). If you are in the market for a new laptop, you might want to go above these minimum requirements by purchasing a device with the best processor and most memory that can be accommodated by your budget, expecting the laptop to last throughout law school. An SSD rather than a hard drive would provide for quicker startup. In addition, Washburn University ITS provides suggested minimum and "for best performance" requirements for Windows and Mac devices:

    Note that you will be able to download Office 365 to your laptop or other devices at no charge. There is no need to pay for a separate subscription:

    The law school IT staff, Jason Dinkel and David Vermooten, will also be happy to assist should you run into any issues setting up your new laptop or accessing the University network. Feel free to contact them now with questions:

First Week Theme: Professionalism in the Law

You should begin thinking about professionalism early in your career. Some of the following assignments directly address professionalism. All of them help prepare you for a professional career in the law.

Assignments: Readings to Be Completed Before January 12, 2021

In preparation for First Week you should read the following before arriving on January 12 (subject to updating).

Background Readings on Professionalism for January 12 and January 13 (required)

Professor Griggs's Assignment for January 14 and January 15 (required)

Your assignment for the Academic Skills class is to read and brief these four cases (297 KB PDF). You should have a completed brief for each case with you on the first day of class (January 14) when you will also be assessed on your class preparation. To aid you with the case reading and briefing assignments, here is an introductory guide to case law briefing, and instruction on how to read a legal opinion (272 KB PDF).

Financial Aid

See the Financial Aid section of the Admitted Student Checklist, Spring 2021 Entering Class.

First Week Check In

Photograph: North entrance of Washburn University School of Law.Incoming students are expected to check in on Tuesday morning, January 12, 2021, between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Please park in the north parking lot of the law school, at 17th and MacVicar (see directions to law school), and enter in the north door. You will be welcomed and directed to Room 102, where most of your First Week activities will take place.

At check-in:


Law school staff will formally enroll all first semester students prior to arrival on January 12, 2020. No Spring 2021 pre-enrollment steps need to be taken by incoming students.


Section assignments affect textbook purchases. You may purchase textbooks after being notified of your section assignment. See First Semester Class Schedules for information about ordering textbooks.


Tuition rates, per hour, for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

  • $803 - J.D. Resident
  • $1,253 - J.D. Non-resident

In addition, there is a $55 per semester student activity fee.

See Tuition and Costs for more information (based on 2020-2021 estimates).

LL.M. Students: Please see "Tuition for LL.M. Program."

Health Insurance

A Blanket Accident and Sickness Insurance plan is available to Washburn students. To learn more, see Student Health Services and Health Insurance Coverage.

Washburn University School of Law Directory

The Washburn Student Bar Association sponsors and publishes a directory of students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of each academic year. Photographs taken for the directory are also used to provide faculty with course rosters for their classes.

During check-in on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, we will take your photograph and ask you to provide/verify your address, phone number, hometown, and verify your undergraduate institution.

The directory is available in two formats: print, and electronically through a password protected area of the Washburn Law website. One copy of the print Directory is distributed to each student, faculty, and staff member at Washburn Law. Access to the electronic version of the Directory is limited to students, faculty, and staff at Washburn Law.

Although the information collected above is used to produce the Directory and by Washburn Law personnel in order serve you better during the school year, we recognize that you may not want to share some of this information outside the law school staff. When you provide your Directory information you may indicate your desire to not have one or more of the following items printed in the Directory and displayed in the electronic version:

  • Your photograph
  • Your local address
  • Your local phone number
  • Your hometown
  • Your undergraduate institution

You will receive a copy of the Directory in your information packet when you check in. Questions about the Directory may be sent to Martin Wisneski at

Optional Leisure Reading

We have identified several books related to adjusting to law school. You may find these interesting to read during your leisure time. Links to more information at, Barnes and Noble, and publisher websites are provided. Again, these are not mandatory readings.

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