Message from Dean Pratt

Dear Washburn Law Alumni and Friends:

For many in our community, Christmas and Hanukkah are traditional times when we gather with loved ones to celebrate faith and family. This year, the winter holidays will be very different as many of us shelter in place and plan for virtual celebrations in lieu of travel and in-person celebrations. The pandemic may be pushing us to celebrate differently, but we cannot allow it to steal our joy.

Washburn Law is continuing to celebrate the season of peace, joy, and love with several virtual activities. For our friends and alumni, we held a virtual alumni event on December 9 where ugly holiday sweaters were on full display and Santa made a guest appearance to hear the wishes of children while meeting with them privately in Zoom breakout rooms and read a special story and provide good wishes for students during finals. For our amazing law school staff who have maintained such a positive attitude during this challenging year, our faculty is hosting a holiday party on December 17 where several staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty this year will be recognized with an award for their outstanding contribution to Washburn Law. Employees who are on campus on December 17 are invited to pick up a box of hor d'oeuvres, compliments of the University, prior to logging on to the Zoom holiday party.

We have had December visits with several law firms that have a cohort of Washburn Law alumni as lawyers. I want to thank the Hinkle and Martin Pringle law firms in Wichita for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us via Zoom and hear the latest update on the law school. We are hoping to host a Zoom celebration with Fleeson Gooing soon to celebrate the firm’s $100,000 gift to the law school building campaign. We are very grateful to the firm and all our alumni at Fleeson for this very generous gift to the building campaign. I especially want to thank Bill Townsley for his continuing support of the law school and the campaign for the new building.

Speaking of the new building, if you haven't seen the architectural renderings for the new building, please visit our website to see a few highlights.

December also brings the joyous occasion of graduation for some of our students. Although we cannot convene in person to host a commencement ceremony, the University is preparing a graduation video to honor our graduates and commemorate their accomplishment. The law school faculty and staff has also created a video tribute to our graduates as a special keepsake that they can share with friends and family. Please follow us on Facebook to see the video tribute and share the link with others.

Following graduation, we are planning to take some much needed downtime to rest, restore ourselves, and prepare for the spring 2021 semester.

In January, many of our staff and faculty members will be participating in the online annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). At that meeting, Professor Marsha Griggs will receive the AALS Academic Support Section's Trailblazer Award for her groundbreaking work in the area of academic support and bar readiness. If you have not read Professor Griggs' work, you will find links to her works at SSRN and on her publications and activities page on the law school website. We are so very proud of our colleague for bringing this national recognition to Washburn!

In January, we will also welcome a cohort of new first-year students to Washburn. Some of them will be joining us remotely from their home state due to the pandemic, but they will all be Ichabods, and we look forward to inviting them to our alumni events so that you can welcome them to Washburn.

In concluding, I wish you all a healthy holiday season and I look forward to seeing you on our alumni Zoom sessions in the spring semester.

With warm wishes,

Carla Pratt

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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.