Photograph: Spring 2021 small group leaders.

1L Small Groups and Mentoring Program

1Ls meet in small groups during their first five weeks at Washburn Law with their trained and heavily-vetted upper-class Mentor. The focus of group discussion and activity is the professionalism skills that faculty and legal employers have found critical to law school and career success. Some groups meet voluntarily for longer than five weeks; in all groups, the Mentors are readily available to their group members throughout the entire first semester.

Dean Lowry (bottom row, center) with Mentors during a Zoom training session.
Photograph: Dean Jalen Lowry with Mentors during Zoom training session.

Group Mentors

Group Mentors serve as support and role models to first-semester 1Ls, leading small groups of 3-6 students for at least the first five weeks of their semester.

2021 Spring 1L Mentors and Group Members

  • David Braun (Section B)
    • Mr. Jacob Cibulka
    • Mr. Edward Gallardo
    • Mr. Evan Perry
    • Mr. Muhannad Bin Radhyan
  • Cia Huebner (Section A)
    • Mr. Justin Guinn
    • Mr. Peter Harrison
    • Mr. Wade Heger
    • Ms. Molly Morgan
    • Mr. Elias Mordecai
  • Crystal Moe (Section B)
    • Ms. Alison Chambers
    • Ms. Abbie Krane
    • Ms. Makiah Newman
    • Ms. Cristina Silva
  • Daniel Sloan (Section B)
    • Ms. Audra Clark
    • Ms. Asia Hardy
    • Mr. Dustin Gleason
    • Mr. Theodore Summers
  • Cari Smith (Section A)
    • Mr. Vincent Burton
    • Mr. Anthony Hamersky
    • Ms. Allison Sadler
    • Ms. Yvonne Sparrowsmith

The Mentors:

  • Provide social support for law students beginning their first semester
  • Provide role modeling to 1Ls forming their professional identity
  • Provide and discuss information that strengthens Washburn University School of Law's Six Core Strengths of:
    • Wellness
    • Competency
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Strategy
    • Ethics
  • Provide specific information, assignments, and feedback regarding:
    • Group contact and support information; scheduling; and law school basics
    • Law school and outside resources for students
    • Creating realistic law school schedules; short and long-term planning; deciding whether to take reduced loads; efficiency and competency tools and techniques
    • Honor Code; continuing duty to disclose from law school admissions applications; bar character and fitness investigations; Honor Code quiz
    • Detailed email etiquette desired by faculty and legal employers; email assignment
    • Social media; networking; legal hierarchy and custom; effective lawyering skills

Mentor Qualifications

Each fall, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs invites approximately four J-Section upper-class students to be Mentors to the incoming spring 1Ls; each spring, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs invites approximately 20 upper-class students to be Mentors for the incoming fall 1Ls. Invitations are based on the following criteria:

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (usually higher);
  • Excellent Honor Code record
  • Excellent reputation for professionalism
  • Recommendation and approval by:
    • The student's LARW professors
    • The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    • The Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Mentors are also often initially recommended by other deans, faculty members, and students. Mentors are chosen not only on the basis of their academic qualifications and stellar background of professionalism, but also on their reputation for collegiality and concern for their fellow-students. Mentors must successfully complete intensive training and pass a comprehensive background check.

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