Message from Dean Pratt

Dear Washburn Law Alumni and Friends,

With the arrival of Fall comes a new student recruitment season for Washburn University School of Law. We are actively recruiting the class of students who will enter law school in 2022. We are busy planning open house events and attending both in-person and virtual recruiting events. If you know someone who is interested in law school, please have them contact in our Admissions Office to schedule a visit. I assure you we will make them feel right at home.

Although applicants and applications to law school are up nationwide, applicants in the Midwest region are presently down 18%. This means that it will be a challenging recruitment season for us. We are responding by increasing our recruitment efforts outside of the Midwest region.

Construction of our new building for the law school is moving along on schedule. We are meeting with the interior designer soon to pick out furniture, so I am very excited about that. If you want to see the latest progress on construction, follow me on Twitter where I post updates. My Twitter handle is @washburnlawdean. You can also visit our website for the live camera feed of the construction. We plan to occupy the building in January of 2023.

We are looking forward to celebrating the 2021 recipients of our alumni awards at the ceremony scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. at White Concert Hall here on campus. Please join us as we celebrate Jennifer Cocking and LeTiffany Obozele as Graduate of the Last Decade honorees, and Jack Keinheksal, Linda Parks, Nancy Parrish and David Pierce who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Despite his best efforts to avoid being recognized, I am very happy that the committee selected Lucky DeFries as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Lucky gives so much of himself to his alma mater and his community, so this recognition is so well-deserved. I am also thrilled that we will honor the Parks family as the Washburn University School of Law Legacy Family. The Parks family has a long legacy at Washburn, and I look forward to celebrating it with them. Regent Blanche Williams Parks will accept the award on behalf of her family. Finally, I am excited to see Bethany Roberts receive Honorary Life Membership in the School of Law Alumni Association. Bethany has served our law school as an adjunct professor and as a member of the board of the Children and Family Law Center, so it is nice to see her become an honorary Ichabod lawyer. We will also be recognizing our 2020 winners with a video tribute as part of the celebration.

Speaking of awards, I am very pleased to share that alumnus and Distinguished Adjunct Professor Marcos Mendoza received the Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law for his article "The Limits of Insurance as Governance: Professional Liability Coverage for Civil Rights Claims Against Public School Districts." It is given each year by the Education Law Association to an author whose scholarly excellence impacts education law. Past recipients include Professor Justin Driver at Yale Law School and former Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. The Education Law Association is a national, non-profit organization that promotes the interest and understanding of the legal framework of education and the rights of students, parents, school boards, and school employees. We are all so proud to see Marcos' outstanding work recognized with this prestigious award.

We hosted our first in-person alumni event in Houston at the end of September. It was a delight to see familiar faces and meet a few of our alumni who I had not had the privilege of meeting. We are planning more in-person events, so if you want to host one in your city or town, please let us know.

Due to rising pandemic cases in Barbados, we had to cancel our January alumni CLE excursion to Barbados and move the study abroad program online. Because it's no fun to study about Caribbean law in Topeka we are going to try to take students on a field trip to Barbados during spring break to visit legal institutions in Barbados and meet members of the bench and bar there. We are hopeful that we will be able to take alumni to Barbados in January of 2023. Until then, please come visit us in Topeka or visit with us at one of our virtual alumni events.



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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.