Message from Dean Pratt, March 17, 2020

U.S. News & World Report has released its new 2021 Best Law Schools ranking and I’m pleased to share with you that Washburn University School of Law has improved its ranking by jumping up 25 places from 132 to 107. This is the largest gain in rank of any law school, so we are very excited by this news.

Two programs saw notable ranking increases as well: The Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Program moved to 18th in the nation from 20th in last year's rankings; our Clinical Training Program advanced to 44th in the nation from 61st last year.

While we are thankful for and proud of this recognition, we know that rankings are merely one measure of our law school’s success. Each of you, our alumni, are a testament to the benefits of an education at Washburn Law, so I want to thank you for your support of your law school and ask for your continued support as we work to enhance the reputation of the law school even further. Presently, we are consumed with moving to remote learning and operations amid the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, but I wanted to pause to share this good news with you. Because moving operations online is a huge undertaking for the law school, and we are trying to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all alumni events for the next eight weeks have been canceled.

You would be very proud of our faculty right now. Everyone has stepped up to teach their courses online, including faculty members who have never done so before. We are a unified faculty with one goal right now—serving our students to ensure that they can continue their education and get through these difficult times with minimal disruption to their education and their professional goals. Our staff have also been amazing during this challenging time. Many of them have taken on additional or new duties to provide technical support to our faculty, and all of our staff members are working collaboratively to ensure that we can pivot to distance education without missing a step.

With your support, we will get through this, and Washburn Law will continue to graduate practice-ready ethical lawyers who value their role as members of the legal profession. Right now we need alumni to contribute to our student scholarship fund because we are incurring expenses associated with the move to distance education that were not in our budget. Consequently, without your help, we will not be able to continue our scholarship program that allows upper-level students without a scholarship to apply for one. If you can help, please visit to make a contribution.

I am honored to be a part of such a strong, diverse, and dedicated community, and I look forward to continuing to partner with each of you to continue to make Washburn Law the best that it can be. Thank you again for all you do to ensure Washburn Law’s continued success!

With much respect and appreciation,

Your dean,

Carla Pratt

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.