Message from Dean Pratt

Dear Washburn Law Community,

We have had a celebratory Black History Month here in Topeka. The Deans' Office partnered with our Black Law Students Association to bring Washburn Law alumnus Charles Sunwabe to campus to talk about his experience in the civil war in Liberia in the 1990s. We were all on the edge of our seat during Charles' talk and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as we heard how Liberian rebels killed innocent women and children all in the pursuit of power. It was a stark reminder of the importance of the Rule of Law and lawyers' role in preserving the Rule of Law. BLSA also hosted a screening of the award-winning documentary entitled Becoming Black Lawyers. In the film, Black lawyers spoke about their journey to the legal profession and their experience as lawyers. It was a powerful testament that encouraged our Black law students to continue working hard to achieve their goal of being a lawyer. Finally, I was honored to be invited by the Native American Law Students Association and BLSA to speak about the struggle for tribal civil rights for the freedmen descendants of the Five Tribes of Oklahoma. We had a great discussion about why the freedmen are being denied tribal citizenship in four tribes and how the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has successfully integrated over 8,000 freedmen descendants as citizens of the Cherokee Nation with all the rights of native Cherokees.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our summer study abroad program in Osaka, Japan, due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions. Professor Craig Martin is looking forward to taking students to Japan next summer and is open to taking a few alumni as well. If you are interested in the trip, please contact Professor Martin directly at

We are interviewing candidates for each of our faculty positions that are open. If you know someone who would like to help us fill our short-term teaching needs while we plan to conduct a search next year for tenure track faculty, please send them our link for these faculty positions. You will find each of the position descriptions here: Please share this link with your networks so we get a robust applicant pool. This is the perfect opportunity for someone looking for a nine-month sabbatical from their regular duties. This summer, we plan to launch a nationwide search for several tenure track faculty members, and we will share the job announcements with you when they are ready.

We are visiting alumni in Arizona this coming weekend and then we head to Texas at the beginning of March, so if you live in those states and want to attend an alumni event, please check your email for the invitations and rsvp for one of the events. We love meeting alumni in person and learning about what our alumni are doing, so I hope to see you at one of these events.

Construction of the new law school building continues on schedule. We have selected beautiful furniture for the building and we are meeting with the technology vendors at the beginning of March to make the final selections for the technology for each of our classrooms and conference/seminar rooms.

Finally, I have accepted an invitation to serve on the non-profit board of Helix, which is the non-profit bar preparation program created by AccessLex and sold to law students and graduates at cost. As someone who came from poverty and could not afford a bar prep program, I am committed to making bar preparation financially accessible to more law school graduates. So, I am happy to work with Helix to make bar prep a reality for all law school graduates. In addition, here at Washburn Law, we are working with the Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation to create a bar study stipend for students who would otherwise have to work while studying for the bar. Research tells us that the law graduates who devote uninterrupted time to bar study for 10 hours a day for at least eight weeks have a pass rate twice the pass rate of those who work while studying for the bar. If you would like to help us start a fund that would provide a bar study stipend to cover living expenses for graduates from low-income backgrounds, please contact me or Patrick Mikesic ( at the Foundation. We would be thrilled to have you partner with us to support recent graduates with great financial need.

As always, I thank you for all that you do to support your law school.

With much appreciation for alumni support,

Dean and Professor of Law

Short URL for this page:

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).
Logo: Top Law Schools
Dean Pratt talks to "TopLawSchools" about Washburn Law's student life, academics, admissions process, career opportunties, employment outcomes, and more.