Message from Dean Pratt

Dear Washburn Law Community Members,

We are busy this summer engaging in university strategic planning, helping recent graduates prepare for the bar examination, and enrolling students for the fall semester.

Big changes are on the horizon for higher education and those changes will impact legal education, so it is important that we start to work now to plan for meeting the challenges of tomorrow. The United States is experiencing a decline in the birth rate with significant decline in the Midwest region. We are also going to see changing demographics with respect to the students who are enrolling in college over the next decade with an increase in Hispanic students and Asian students. Consequently, we are planning today to position Washburn to meet the needs of a more diverse student population, as well as a population of students that will expect greater use of technology in the delivery of their education.

Our recent graduates who are studying for the bar have access to our post-graduate bar readiness program taught by Professor Blake Klinkner and supervised by Professor Marsha Griggs who directs our Bar Readiness program. Professor Klinkner reports that this group is highly engaged. We wish them all the best on the bar exam.

We are also enrolling students for the fall semester. We entered a Teach-Out agreement with Florida Coastal Law School due to its impending closure. The Teach-out agreement allows Washburn Law to partner with Florida Coastal in providing the education that students enrolled at Florida Coastal need to complete the requirements for earning the J.D. degree. We expect about 25 Florida Coastal students to join Washburn Law as either visiting students or transfer students. Visiting students will earn credit at Washburn and those credit hours will transfer back to Florida Coastal so that the students earn the Florida Coastal J.D. degree. Transfer students have been admitted to Washburn in the ordinary course and will earn the Washburn Law degree upon successful completion of the degree requirements.

This coming academic year is the first full year that we will have students enrolled in the Third Year Anywhere™ enrollment option. Students in Third Year Anywhere™ will be located in rural Kansas, Wichita, the Kansas City metro area, Seattle, California, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, and Washington, D.C. We will be collecting data on the educational experience and outcomes for this cohort of students to ensure that they enjoy a bar pass rate and employment rate at or above the students who remain in residency in Topeka. We will also invite these students to share brief video testimonials about their experience once the academic year concludes. We look forward to sharing their experience with you this time next year.

My best for a safe and happy summer,


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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.