John D. Ensley Memorial Writing Award

Photograph: John D. Ensley.Washburn University School of Law presents the John D. Ensley Memorial Writing Award semi-annually to the student who writes the top memo in the Washburn Law Journal writing competition. The award memorializes John D. Ensley, a 1983 Washburn Law School graduate, whose experience on the law journal made him a careful practitioner of the craft of legal writing. The first award was presented during the fall 2000 semester.

Mr. Ensley passed away at age 40 from cancer on February 3, 1999. He was a member of the Washburn University School of Law Class of 1983. His father, Arden K. Ensley, also a graduate of the law school, is a member of the class of 1954.

As an attorney, his specialties included commercial, government, real estate, securities and educational law. He worked with the law firm of Eidson, Lewis, Porter and Haynes until 1989, when he joined the firm of Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds and Palmer, where he became a partner in 1993. He was admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1983 and he was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998. He was a member in the American, Kansas and Topeka Bar Associations. He had been a speaker at the Washburn Law Institute.

While a law student, Mr. Ensley was the Assistant Comments Editor of the Washburn Law Journal. He authored "Civil Rights: A Civil Remedy for Religious Deprogramming Victim Under 42 U.S.C. §1985(3)," 21 Washburn L.J. 663. Ensley also worked for the Kansas Secretary of State office while he attended Washburn Law. He was a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity.

As an undergraduate, Ensley was a member of Sagamore men's honors fraternity and Alpha Delta fraternity at Washburn University. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Libby) Ensley, Kansas 22nd District Court magistrate judge, and their two children, Jessica and Daniel. Additional gifts to the John D. Ensley Memorial Scholarship may be sent to: Washburn University School of Law, Attn: Ensley Scholarship, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66621.

Award Recipients

Recipients of the Ensley writing award:

  • Volume 51: Leah N. Bockover
  • Volume 50: Robert J. Rojas and Robert Fitzgerald
  • Volume 49: Stacey L. Sheon and Dustin L. Kirk
  • Volume 48: Ashley G. Hawkinson and Gage A. Rohlf
  • Volume 47: Heather R. Klaasen and Dustin L. Grant
  • Volume 46: David Wolfe and Taylor Hight
  • Volume 45: Andrew J. Parmenter and Patrick A. Turner
  • Volume 44: James A. Bentley and Eunice C. Peters
  • Volume 43: Vincent M. Cox and Peter B. Bieri
  • Volume 42: Judith Taylor and Steven Crossland
  • Volume 41: Gregory Graffman and Duston J. Slinkard
  • Volume 40: Cailin Farrell