Message from Dean Pratt

Dear Washburn Law Community,

As I write this message, we are welcoming 115 new students to Washburn Law. This fall, women are the majority of the entering first year class and 27% of the entering 1Ls are from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. And to top it off, we slightly improved the overall academic profile of the class with our median undergraduate GPA for the class rising to a 3.5.

We are very excited to have 24 students enrolled in The Third Year Anywhere™ enrollment option this year. Students are in placements in Kansas, Missouri, Florida, Washington, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, California, and the District of Columbia. It is exciting to see Washburn positioning students for law practice in local legal markets across the country, and I look forward to sharing the outcomes of the program with you. We will be tracking student employment and bar pass rates for this cohort of students to ensure that they enjoy the same or better outcomes as students who remain in residence at the law school during their third and final year of study.

Interest in the Third Year Anywhere™ enrollment option is high among our first-year students with 74% of them expressing interest in this new program. I want to thank all of our alumni who have completed the Placement Site Statement of Interest on our website expressing interest in possibly taking a student extern during their third year of law school. If you are interested in serving as a potential placement site for a student, please complete the Placement Site Statement of Interest form. It only takes a minute. We can never have too many opportunities for our students. With your help, we can afford more Washburn Law students an immersive practical experience prior to graduating to ensure that we continue the Washburn tradition of producing practice-ready graduates.

The excitement of a new school year has been tamped down a bit by the surge of the Covid-19 Delta variant that is producing breakthrough infections and hospitalizations of vaccinated individuals in our community. To address the new threat posted by the Delta variant, the University has reinstated the mask mandate requiring all individuals on campus to wear a mask while indoors. The University is also offering free vaccination on campus and education on the virus and the vaccinations so that individuals can make an informed decision about whether to be vaccinated. Most of our classes are being taught in person, but we have some courses that have been moved online in the past two weeks due to Covid concerns expressed by professors.

We are monitoring conditions in Barbados carefully to determine whether we will be able to teach our study abroad program there and host our alumni CLE excursion there in January. Presently Barbados has imposed quarantine requirements on visitors. If those requirements become more restrictive, we may have to cancel the study abroad and CLE programs in Barbados, so stay tuned for more information. Last year we were able to keep all employees healthy enough to continue to serve our students, and we will take the necessary precautions this year to keep everyone safe and healthy.

I attended my first ABA Council meeting last week, and I am very excited to have a seat at the table to help shape the regulatory framework governing ABA approved law schools. Thank you to everyone for the well wishes following my appointment to the Council. This academic year, Washburn Law will begin a comprehensive review of our academic program to ensure compliance with all ABA Standards.

Washburn Law's next accreditation site visit is scheduled for the 2023-2024 academic year so it is important for us to conduct our own internal compliance process well in advance of the scheduled site visit. With Dean Hunt's upcoming retirement, we will be hiring a director of compliance and administration this fall, so if you are interested in working with us, please look for that job posting in September.

Finally, I want to share that the construction of our new building is moving along right on schedule. You can visit our website to see video images of the progress at the site. I look forward to welcoming many of you back to campus in November of 2022 for the ribbon cutting ceremony. In the interim, please contact me with any questions or concerns you have. I always enjoy hearing from alumni.

Non nobis solum,


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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.