Photograph: eagle statue in front of Robert J. Dole Hall

First Week Overview and Schedule for Fall 2024 Incoming Students

Updated: April 10, 2024.

LLM: August 12-21, 2024

JD First Year: August 15–21, 2024

In-person attendance is expected for all events unless otherwise noted. If you find that you are experiencing a health and safety concern at any time during Orientation, you should not attend, and you should notify so that the event can be recorded for you when possible. A health and safety concern includes a fever, cough, sore throat, or exposure to COVID-19.

Washburn University School of Law moved to its new building, Robert J. Dole Hall, located on the southeast corner of the Washburn University campus, in July 2023. The physical address of Dole Hall is: 2073 SW Washburn Terrace E, Topeka, KS 66621. Parking is available adjacent to the building.

Photograph: Location of parking at Washburn University School of Law.

NOTE: All times shown below are Central Time (CT); e.g., 7:00 p.m. CT = 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time = 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time = 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

ALL STUDENTS Please Do These Things Before August 15

  1. Complete and Submit the Consent to Release Information Form
  2. Compete the required readings and other assignments described below.

What You Should Bring to Law School

  1. Portable charger/power bank. You may find it convenient to have one or two portable chargers/power banks. An electrical outlet may not always be available. Examples (but not recommending any specific brand) are covered in this review:
  2. Laptop. Any modern laptop should be able to access the campus wireless network. Instructions are at:

    Many Washburn law students use laptops to take final exams. The program typically used for online exams is Examplify. Learn more about Examplify.

    The above FAQ includes suggested requirements for Windows, Surface Pro, and Mac devices (tablets cannot be used with Examplify). If you are in the market for a new laptop, you might want to go above these minimum requirements by purchasing a device with the best processor and most memory that can be accommodated by your budget, expecting the laptop to last throughout law school. An SSD rather than a hard drive would provide for quicker startup. In addition, Washburn University ITS provides suggested minimum and "for best performance" requirements for Windows and Mac devices: computer recommendations.

    Note that you will be able to download Office 365 to your laptop or other devices at no charge. There is no need to pay for a separate subscription:

    The Law School will also be happy to assist should you run into any issues setting up your new laptop or accessing the University network. Contact Professor Thomas Sneed, Director of the Law Library, with questions:

Assignments: Readings to Be Completed Before August 15, 2024

Background Readings on Professionalism (required)

Professor Baldwin's Academic Skills Assignment for August 19 and August 20 (LL.M students are required to attend this with J.D. students)

Your assignment for the Academic Skills class is to read and brief these four cases (297 KB PDF). You should have a completed brief for each case with you on the first day of class (August 23) when you will also be assessed on your class preparation. To aid you with the case reading and briefing assignments, here is an introductory guide to case law briefing, and instruction on how to read a legal opinion (272 KB PDF).

LL.M. Students Fall 2024 Orientation Schedule of Activities

While modifications may occur to this schedule, attendance is required for all events unless otherwise noted.

LLM Students – Arrive in Topeka by Monday, August 12

LL.M. Students should plan to arrive in Topeka no later than Monday, August 12, 2024. You are responsible for ensuring you complete any required quarantine period prior to the beginning of LL.M. Orientation. It will take some time for you to set up your household, source and buy food and get other necessities you could not bring with you. You will want to set up your accommodations, find out where the nearest grocery store is, and figure out transportation to and from campus. Please have these things settled before you start Orientation on August 14, so you are not scrambling for time.

LLM Students, Tuesday, August 13

9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – International House – 1824 SW Jewell Ave, Topeka, KS 66621

  • Check-in with the Washburn University Office of International Programs
  • Provide copies of signed Form I-20 and F-1 visa
  • Required tuberculosis/TB testing (will be scheduled for you by Office of International Programs). This is required before you can attend classes.
  • Get your WU student ID (iCard)
  • Health and safety on campus/in Topeka
  • WU health insurance policy

Afternoon 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. – Office of International Programs – International House

  • Business Office session (payment options, setting up a payment plan, etc.)
  • Introduction to the Topeka Metro Bus system
  • Student and Faculty Panel Q&A
  • On-campus Employment: How to find and apply for an on-campus job

LLM Students, Wednesday, August 14

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Dole Hall School of Law Building, 2073 SW Washburn Terrace E, Topeka Kansas 66621, Room 150

BRING A GOVERNMENT-ISSUED PICTURE ID (PASSPORT) TODAY. Bring your laptop to each day of orientation.

9:00 a.m. – Breakfast and Introductions

  • Professor Lori McMillan, Director of LL.M. Program
  • Dean Jeffrey Jackson
  • Dean Emily Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Dean Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
  • Professor Chelsea Baldwin, Assistant Director of Academic Enrichment and Bar Passage
  • Professor Thomas Sneed, Director of the Law Library
  • Professor Michelle Ewert, Director of Law Clinic
  • Professor Glen McBeth, Instructional Technology, Law Library
  • Dean Tammy King, Assistant Dean, Professional Development Office (PDO)
  • Student Ambassadors

10:00 a.m. – Technology Connection

Technology staff will assist you with connecting to the Washburn University wireless network and verify that your email address is active. Be sure to have your computer and phone with you!

10:30 a.m. – Directory and Class Photo

Take your photo for the School of Law directory. There will also be an LL.M. class photo taken at this time.

11:00 a.m. – Bar Admission Introductory Information

Professor McMillan, will provide an introduction to the program and share some information for those of you considering taking a U.S. bar exam.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Course Selection

You will finalize your course selections (based on the questionnaire you filled out previously) with Professor McMillan

12:30-1:30 p.m.  Lunch (provided) 

1:30-2:00 p.m. – Landlord/Tenant Rights in Kansas

Professor Michelle Ewert will give a presentation on:

  • security deposits (max amounts allowed, return at end of tenancy)
  • how to report problems to the landlord
  • landlord duties and right of entry
  • terminating a tenancy

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Washburn Law Honor Code

Dean Grant will give an essential presentation to LL.M. students about how to stay out of trouble with the Honor Code. Such codes are taken very seriously in U.S. legal culture, and failure to understand and comply with the Honor Code can result in serious repercussions, including failing classes, inability to take a bar exam in any state in the U.S., and even dismissal from law school. You need to know these rules, so you can avoid trouble and help ensure your success in earning your degree.

Please read the Honor Code and Procedure for Law Students at prior to this session.

3:00-4:30 p.m. – Campus Tours

LL.M. Ambassadors will take you around campus and show you where to find the bookstore, cafeteria, Health Services, and gym. Students who have not submitted a photo for their Washburn ID (see above) will be taken to have their Washburn ID issued, which requires government-issued identification (usually passport). 

Week 1 Schedule – JD/LLM New Student Orientation for First Year Law Students

Thursday, August 15

All Thursday, August 15 sessions, will be in the Law School Building: Room 151

Breaks are NOT noted on the schedule but will be provided throughout the day as needed.

9:00 a.m. – Breakfast, Check-in and Photos – WU Law Admissions and Marketing Team

10:00-10:30a.m. – Welcome -

10:30-11:00 – Law School Resources   

  • Accommodations
  • Lockers
  • Student mail folders
  • Professionalism Mentors and Tutors
  • Library and Tech Staff
  • Law Student Organizations
  • Academic Support and Bar Passage
  • Professional Development and Employment
  • Moot Court, Journal, Client Competition
  • Centers. Internships, Externships and Clinic

11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. – Washburn University Campus Resources

  • Washburn University Financial Aid
  • Washburn University Recreation and Wellness Center
  • Washburn Law Student Emergency Loan Program.
  • Washburn University Alumni Association Emergency Assistance Grant
  • Washburn University Food Bank – BFB Outpost
  • Washburn University Police Department/IALERT  (785) 670-1153
  • Washburn University Health Services (785) 670-1470
  • Washburn University Counseling Services (785) 670-3100
  • Washburn University Campus Advocate
  • Washburn University EEOC Office
  • Washburn University International House

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch (provided) 

1:00-1:30 p.m. – Email, Wi-Fi, Printing – Get Connected
Technology staff will assist you with connecting to the Washburn University wireless network and verify that your email address is active. Be sure to have your computer and phone with you!

1:30-2:30 p.m. - I Belong at WU Law

"Belonging" - Dean Emily Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 

2:30-3:00 p.m. – Planning for a Meaningful Legal Career (optional for LL.M students who are not planning to work in the U.S.) - Dean Tammy King, Assistant Dean for Professional Develo p.m.ent.

3:00-4:00 p.m. - Time Management for Busy Law Students - Succeeding in U.S. Legal Education- Professor Chelsea Baldwin

HOMEWORK: Take what you learn in this workshop to read and brief the cases at the following link,  for the sessions on Monday August 19 and Tuesday August 20.

4:00-5:00 p.m. Building Tours and Campus Tours 

JD/LLM New Student Orientation

Friday, August 16

All Friday, August 16, sessions will be in the Law School Building Room 151

9:00-10:00 a.m. – KALAP and Student Wellness (ABA Standard 303)
KALAP Wellness: Director Danielle Hall, Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program (KALAP)

10:00-11:00 a.m. – Professionalism and the Honor Code (Academic Section) (required for LL.M students despite having a previous session with Dean Grant) - Dean Emily Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Character and Fitness Qualifications for the Bar Exam
Ms. Kathleen J. Selzler, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator and Admissions Attorney for the Kansas Supreme Court, will present important information about the Character and Fitness investigations required for licensure.

Ms. Selzer will be joined by Ms. Royetta Rodewald, Investigative Specialist, Office of the Disciplinary Administrator (, and Amanda Kohlman, Attorney Admission Administrator (

If you have individual questions for the Disciplinary Office after today, you may call Ms. Selzler at (785) 435-8218 or email her at

If you discover after the presentation that you have any matters that you need to report to the law school, please call (785) 670-1662 and set up a meeting with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

12:30-1:30 p.m. – Lunch (provided) – Meet Your Mentor - Lunch (provided) with your professionalism mentor and mentor group.

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Cross-Cultural Competency for Lawyers: ABA Standard 303 – Professor Michelle Ewert

2:30 p.m. – Student Oath of Professionalism

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. – Tour – Brown v. Board National Historic Park (REQUIRED)
Please be sure to sign the register at the Park, noting on the register that you are a Washburn Law Student.

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park Building – 1515 SE Monroe, Topeka, Kansas
You should plan at least one hour to self-tour.  The National Historic Park Building is about five minutes east of the law school. (See map below. From the Law School Building go north on SW Washburn Avenue. Turn right on 17th Street and go east until you reach the Park Building's parking lot on your left just past Monroe Street. If you need disability-accessible parking, go through the parking lot and park behind the building.)

It is advised that you do not wear spike heels or expensive shoes, as the path to the building is sometimes not good in bad weather.

Please contact Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, if you need a ride to the Park:

See the Summer 2004 issue of Washburn Lawyer for more information about Washburn Law graduates involved in the Brown case.

You are free for the rest of the day once you have finished your tour.

Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18

Unscheduled days. 

Week 2 JD/LLM New Student Orientation

Monday, August 19

All Monday, August 19, sessions will be in the Law School Building Room 151

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Breakfast and Academic Skills Program – Part 1

Professor Chelsea Baldwin, Academic Enrichment and Bar Passage

Review required readings. This intensive program will introduce students to many of the basic skills and processes they need to succeed in law school. Students will begin the study of case law during the program and the process of learning how to extract critical information from case readings. Students will also be exposed to law school fact patterns and the mechanics of answering law school examination questions. These skills are not explicitly taught in the traditional legal education model, but the program represents Washburn's commitment to cutting-edge legal pedagogy that is supported by modern educational research.

The Academic Skills Program is required for all J.D. and LL.M. students. It is optional for Transfer and Visiting students (but highly encouraged for those who will not yet be starting their third year).

12:00-1:00 p.m. – Lunch (provided) and Student Panel

2L Students will share their experience as first-year law students.

1:00-2:00 p.m. Library Tour and Research Techniques - Library staff

Bring your laptop.  Students will get their Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis database account information, and have an introductory training session on how to use these databases, Zoom, and D2L (the Learning Management System used by Washburn).

2:00-4:00 p.m. – Academic Skills Program – Part 2

Professor Chelsea Baldwin

JD/LLM New Student Orientation

Tuesday, August 20

All Tuesday, August 20, sessions will be in the Law School Building Room 151

9:00 a.m. – Class Photo - Wear your Washburn Law t-shirt today for the J.D./LL.M class photo! (t-shirt distributed at check-in) – Marketing Staff

9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. – Academic Skills Program Part 3

Professor Chelsea Baldwin

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Professionalism Mentor Group Meeting - Professionalism Group Meetings (Mandatory) will continue for the first few weeks of the regular semester. This meeting will be used to set the location and time for each group.

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch provided.


1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. – Academic Skills Program Part 4

Professor Chelsea Baldwin 

Thursday August 22 – Regular Law School Classes Begin

Other Activities Throughout the Semester

Most law students are advised not to immerse themselves in other activities at the beginning of their first semester, until they find their footing and know how much time they will actually have.

Professional Development Office (PDO) Events

  • Orientation to Your Professional Development Office – TBD
  • Legal Resume and Cover Letter Workshop – TBD

Academic Support Events

  • Dates TBD: Academic Support will email you details.

Washburn Student Bar Association Events

  • Welcome Back Event for all students: Details TBD and announced in the WSBA Newsletter, which is emailed to students each weekend.
  • WSBA Fall Elections: Details TBD.

Opportunity Fairs / Organizations

Learn about student and non-student organizations at the Opportunity Fairs – Dates TBD.

Feel free to contact the organizations on your own at any time. More information about Student Organizations can be found at

Non-Student Organizations Opportunity Fair

Information about and opportunities with university, law school, and legal community organizations.

Short URL for this page:

Important Dates
  • August 15: Direct Deposit Financial Aid Refunds Available (incoming students)
  • August 17: Family & Friends: What to Expect, How to Help, and Your Questions Answered About Law School (Zoom) (7:00-8:00 p.m.)
  • August 21: First Week Begins for Entering Students (9:15 a.m.)
  • August 28: Regular Classes Begin
  • September 8: Tuition Payment Deadline; Last day to receive 100% tuition refund
  • TBA: Student Organizations Opportunity Fair (12:30-1:30 p.m.)
  • TBA: Non-Student Organizations Opportunity Fair (12:30-1:30 p.m.)
  • December 5-15: Final Exams
Help With Zoom

If you are not familiar with Zoom, please familiarize yourself with this program. For assistance with Zoom go to:, select "Technology Support Links," then click the link below "Zoom Training." Register for access to Zoom if you have not done so already. Test your equipment (Zoom works on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones) and internet access (cable, wifi, cellular data plans).

Contact Professor Thomas Sneed at with equipment/internet concerns.

D2L Tutorials

The learning management system used by Washburn University is D2L (Desire2Learn). You should not need to access D2L for First Week activities. The following tutorials will help acclimate you to D2L for your regular classes that begin on August 30:

Additional tutorials are available in your D2L account under the "Online Student Resource Center" link near the top of the page.

To access D2L at Washburn University go to:

  • Your login credentials are your Washburn email address and password.

D2L support is available 24 hours a day by calling (866) 888-1272.