Message from Dean Pratt, August 12, 2019

I am happy to report that we increased applications to Washburn Law this year despite the fact that applications in the Midwest were down slightly. We have about the same number of students starting law school this August as we did last year and the overall academic profile of the entering J.D. class is higher than last year. This cohort of J.D. students will be our first group of students who will be eligible to undertake their third year of law study in the geographic location where they intend to practice. To make that possible, about a dozen faculty members spent this past year taking coursework on how to teach effectively online, and working with an instructional designer to create an online version of a course that they already teach. This fall, thanks to the sponsorship of a generous alumnus in Wichita, several of those faculty members will have the opportunity to attend a conference in Denver that is dedicated to the topic of online pedagogy in law schools. It is truly exciting to see our faculty meet the challenge of delivering a 21st Century legal education and I look forward to sharing our progress with you.

This year we are continuing our strategic planning process with the goal of adopting a strategic plan by the end of this academic year. It will be a five year plan so we are calling it Vision 2025, and we want alumni input as we develop the plan. Consequently, when we went on the road meeting with alumni this summer, we invited alumni to tell us what their favorite thing was about Washburn Law that we should definitely keep and what goal(s), other than building a new law school facility, would they like to see the law school achieve over the next five years. If you were unable to make it to an alumni event and are unable to attend one of our strategic planning sessions on campus, please share your thoughts with us through this 2-question survey. This is your law school-- we want to hear from you!

Photograph: Blake Klinkner.Finally this month, I want to highlight that we are working to strengthen our academic success and bar readiness programs. Toward that end, we hired a new faculty member, Professor Blake Klinkner to join our academic success and bar readiness team.

In addition to hiring Professor Klinkner, we also contracted with a company called Adaptibar to provide us with adaptive learning software that uses past multiple choice questions from the bar exam to create an individualized study plan for each student based on the areas where that student needs to improve. This type of individualized instruction was not possible prior to this technology so we are very excited to integrate Adaptibar into our bar readiness course and provide Adaptibar at no extra charge to all students who take the bar readiness course.

Carla D. Pratt
Dean and Professor of Law
Washburn University School of Law

Photograph: Dean Carla D. Pratt.

Carla D. Pratt

Dean Pratt talks about the impact education has had on her life and how law has a role in shaping higher education (3:43 minutes).
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Dean Pratt talks to "TopLawSchools" about Washburn Law's student life, academics, admissions process, career opportunties, employment outcomes, and more.