Message from Dean Pratt

Dear Washburn Law Community,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and hopeful. In this season of thanksgiving, I am reflecting on all the things that we have to be thankful for at Washburn Law. First, I am thankful for our dedicated alumni who support the law school by giving their time, talent, and treasure. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, the new law school building is under construction and making good progress despite the supply chain issues that are impacting many industries including the construction industry. You can follow the progress of construction on our website.

I am also thankful to our alumni for mentoring our students, especially alumni who stepped forward to offer an externship placement to our students enrolled in the Third Year Anywhere™ program. The student feedback from the program has been overwhelmingly positive as students share that this program is the perfect capstone to their legal education that allows them to apply their classroom learning in the real world. Alumni mentorship of these budding lawyers is what made this program possible, and I want to thank everyone who has completed a statement of interest form expressing a willingness to consider a student for a Third Year Anywhere™ placement. If you have not completed a no obligation statement of interest form, you can do so by visiting our website.

I am also grateful for our students who overwhelmingly express a desire to work to extend access to justice to more Americans and help make our profession the best that it can be. Our students are already getting involved in helping to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges. As climate talks were opening in Glasgow this month, five Washburn Law students, Heather Kellum, 2L, Al Kishek, 3L, Gabrielle Frawley, 2L, John Spisak, 3L, and Gustavy Niemtschik, 3L, worked long hours to help create a proposal to cut carbon emissions while meeting the development needs of developing nations around the globe. They did this extracurricular work under the supervision of Professor Freddy Sourgens who was consulted by OPEC's general counsel to work on a proposal for strategic migration toward decarbonization. This is just one example of the leadership that we can expect from this generation of future Washburn Lawyers.

I am also grateful for our faculty and staff who work tirelessly to serve the needs of our students. Our staff have worked hard to support our students during the pandemic. From providing support to students in job searches to mental health support and academic advising, our staff has risen to the challenge of maintaining their high standards for supporting students.

Our admissions staff are busy recruiting students to Washburn Law during the most competitive recruitment season that I have seen in 20 years. Even though applicants to law school are down in the Midwest, our admissions team, under the leadership of Dean Preston Nicholson, is poised for a successful year of student recruitment for 2022.

Our faculty continues to teach in a hybrid format this semester with some students present in the classroom and some students participating remotely due to a symptom of COVID-19 or a positive test. With the ability to participate in class remotely, we do not create the moral hazard of having students who are sick attend class in the law school building in order to meet faculty attendance policies that are required by law school accreditation standards. Hybrid teaching is the most challenging form of classroom teaching, but Washburn Law's faculty has risen to the occasion and are doing an outstanding job.

You can see that we have much to be thankful for as we gather with friends and family this year. I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!



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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.