Message from Dean Jackson

Hello, Washburn Law, Alumni and Community,

I am filled with gratitude as I write my first Dean's letter to our alumni. As you know, Carla Pratt announced her resignation as Dean of Washburn University's School of Law in April. Upon her departure, I was approached to serve as the Interim Dean. So, four months later, I am excited to share the latest news at the law school.

This week we welcomed 92 new first-year J.D. students, 8 LL.M. students, and 3 transfer J.D. students to Washburn Law for the Fall Semester. The students come from 14 different states, with 56% of the class from Kansas. Overall, 42 different undergraduate schools are represented.

This new class also marks a historic milestone this year as the most diverse group of students the law school has seen, with 43% self-reporting as a member of at least one under-represented population, which includes ethnic identity, gender identity, and sexual orientation. This diverse representation is crucial to our commitment to creating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Our students learn best when voices from diverse backgrounds are represented in the classroom. This new class embodies the commitment we've made to both recruiting and retaining these students. It is rewarding to see these fruits of our labor.

Now I want to switch gears and bring attention to your dedication to the law school with a building update. Words cannot accurately express our excitement and appreciation for what you, our alumni, have made happen as we watch the progress continue in the new building. That is why we were disappointed to learn recently that the supply chain issues in the news have finally hindered the progress of our new home. If you have been lucky enough to see the progress, you’ll notice that part of the beauty of the new building is the amount of natural light we will gain from the large bank of windows overlooking the Dole Plaza. Unfortunately, the plate glass for those stunning windows has been subject to availability issues. Without the windows, we can’t seal the building, and the expected delivery date has pushed the opening back beyond the start of the Spring semester. That means that we will have to hold Spring classes in the existing building. At this moment, we can cautiously anticipate having the keys in our hands in early spring.

I feel extremely disappointed for the students in our 3L class, who have already suffered through so much with the pandemic. Their perseverance during a difficult law school experience is sure to make them more resilient as lawyers. And while they will not have the chance to occupy the new space, we’re considering ways to honor this class in the new building. In the meantime, be on the lookout for an invitation to a dedication event once construction is complete. And as always, if you have any questions, please reach out to me. As I often mention, this is your law school. I’m always happy to hear from you.



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