Message from Dean Pratt, October 2019

Greetings Washburn Law Community!

Fall has finally arrived and Washburn Law is celebrating more than Halloween. We are also celebrating the success of our students and our alumni. I hope you can join us on Friday, November. 8, 2019, at the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center on campus for the Alumni Fellows Luncheon. This year, The Honorable Nancy Moritz from the class of 1985 is the law school's honoree. Judge Moritz serves as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and resides here in Topeka. Prior to being appointed to the federal bench, Judge Moritz served as a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court, and we are delighted to recognize her accomplishments as an alumna and her service as a jurist.

Just as Judge Moritz received both her undergraduate and her J.D. degrees from Washburn, so did the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellow this year: Richard D. Ross, B.A. '71, J.D. '75. I want to say a public "Congratulations!" to these two outstanding alumni of Washburn University School of Law. I must also extend my apology for not being able to attend the Alumni Fellows' Luncheon. I will be receiving a Legal Education Leadership Award that day from the Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair which will be held at Columbia University. But I will be able to celebrate with you at the Alumni Fellows Reception that will be held on November 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the law school lobby. I hope to see many of you there! (Please RSVP to by October 31 if you plan to attend.)

We are also celebrating the success of our most recent graduates who passed the Kansas bar exam this past July. I am proud to share that 90.2 percent of our Kansas bar takers passed the exam and were sworn in as new attorneys! Congratulations to all of them and thank you to the Kansas bar for welcoming them and mentoring them as they launch their careers. (See public photo album on Facebook.)

We are working hard to help all of our recent graduates secure employment. Presently, 78 percent of our graduates from the class of 2019 are employed. Our ability to launch graduates into law-related jobs is one factor that impacts our reputation as a law school. So, if you want to help your alma mater while also helping a recent graduate launch their career, please consider partnering with us in our Post-Graduate Law Fellows Program. This program will enable our partners to hire a recent Washburn Law graduate as a post-graduate fellow for a period of one year and a minimum salary of $40,000 (there is no maximum, so we hope that partners will pay compensation that is appropriate to their local market). The post graduate fellowship will afford the recent graduate the relevant practice experience and mentorship needed to launch their career and find permanent, long-term employment. The fellowship affords our partner employer the opportunity to add a talented attorney to their staff to meet short-term needs. If you are interested in hiring one of our recent graduates as a post graduate fellow please contact Director Tammy King in our Professional Development Office at

We are also continuing our focus on wellness. Several of us attended the Addiction and Recovery Conference hosted by the federal district court in Wichita and conceptualized by our alumnus The Honorable Tom Marten. There we learned ways to support members of our community who may be struggling with addiction or know someone who is. We plan to implement some of the things we learned including hosting more alcohol free events and teaching students how to avoid the trap of "digital addiction." We are going to host a "Yoga with the Dean" event before finals to remind students to take time out for self care, and I am grateful to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas for providing yoga mats so that our students who do not own one can have one at no cost and begin to explore yoga practice. I'd like to give special thanks to alumnus Sunee Mickle '06 for facilitating the law school's partnership with BCBS. Dean Jalen Lowry is serving on the Kansas task force for lawyer well-being and is bringing her wealth of experience with students to the discussion of what information should be requested on the bar application and other topics related to lawyer well-being. Finally, several of you as alumni have contributed funding to our student emergency fund to help a student who experiences a financial emergency. Your donation allows us to "teach the whole student" by supporting them beyond academics and helping with wellness by reducing food insecurity and financial stress. So, as usual, I want to say thank you for all that you do to help us help students.


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.