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

First Week Overview and Schedule for Fall 2023 Incoming Students (Tentative)

Updated: August 10, 2023.

Information for LL.M., M.S.L., and Transfer Students.


Washburn Law's First Week Program, which begins on Monday, August 21, 2023 for J.D. incoming students, helps you become accustomed to the study of law in a supportive, introductory environment. In the interest of planning, you should prepare yourself for full days.

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 First Week, you should not attend, and you should notify Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at, 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.

Kansas Requires Tuberculosis Health Verification for All New Students: Without verification, a student may not be allowed to attend classes! Please follow this link to answer four short "yes or no" questions: Student Health Verification - Washburn University.

Recording by Students Prohibited: Recording by students or distribution of school recordings are prohibited pursuant to Part I.A.1.h of the Washburn University School of Law Honor Code. See

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 Robert J. 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.

Thursday, August 17, 2023 – 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom:
"So a Family Member is Going to Law School: What to Expect, How to Help, and Your Questions Answered"

Photograph: Danielle Dempsey-Swopes.Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, hosts an online event for family and friends of incoming law students. A Zoom invitation will be sent to you before the meeting. If you have not received the invitation by August 9, please contact Topics discussed will include what law students will be experiencing and ways they can be supported. If you, family members, or friends were unable to attend but have questions about law school please feel free to contact Dean Dempsey-Swopes at

Please Do These Things Before August 21

  1. Complete and submit Washburn University's Student Health Verification (four "yes or no" questions).
    • Kansas requires tuberculosis health verification for all new students.
    • Without verification, a student may not be allowed to attend classes!
  2. Submit a photo for your Washburn ID (iCard)
    • In order for us to have your Washburn ID card ready for pick up on Monday, August 21 (or earlier if you wish to do so at the iCard Center in Memorial Union), please upload your photo at
      • Login with your credentials, generally, plus your password.
      • Problems logging in or need help activating your account?
        Please contact Washburn University Information Technology Services (ITS) at (785) 670-3000. Have your Washburn ID number (W followed by 8-digits) available when you call; your ID number was sent to you from the Washburn Law Admissions Office in an email.
    • After logging in: click the "Upload ID Photo" quick link then "Choose File" under Upload ID Photo.
    • Your photo should meet these specifications (199 KB PDF) (generally, full color; clear with good contrast; WHITE background; centered, frontal view of full face and shoulders; no hats/headgear except those worn daily for religious reasons; no articles not visible in your government issued ID; jpg file format; include first and last name as part of the filename).
    • Questions about uploading your photo can be sent to or call (785) 670-1188.
  3. Complete and Submit the Profile Information Form
    • Completing the Profile Information Form will expedite First Week Check In and help us get to know you better.
    • Information from the form is also used to compile the law school directory.
    • For your address, please use the address where you expect to be during the fall semester.
  4. Complete and Submit the Consent to Release Information Form
    • Download the Consent form (105 KB PDF)
    • Print your name on the line at the top of the form.
    • Place a checkmark next to each item for which you are granting consent.
    • Sign and date the form.
    • Scan the form or take a picture of it and email the picture to
    • Questions about the form can be sent to or call (785) 670-1185.
    • Changes to your consent can be made after submitting the form by contacting Donna Haverkamp, Law School Student Records Administrator, at
  5. Send Official Undergraduate Transcript to Washburn Law
    • The accreditation standards of the American Bar Association require that an official copy of your final undergraduate transcript, demonstrating that you have received your Bachelor's Degree, be on file at the law school.
    • The transcript must be official and sent directly by the institution from which you graduated to: Washburn University School of Law, Admissions Office, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS 66621.
    • Please note: copies of transcripts provided to LSDAS, for admissions purposes, do not fulfill this requirement.
  6. Compete the required readings and other assignments described below.
  7. Order Your Textbooks.
    • More information will be sent to you about your academic schedule and textbooks at a later date.

Thank You!

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:

    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:

First Week Theme: Professionalism in the Law

You should begin thinking about professionalism early in your career. Some of the following assignments directly address professionalism. All of them help prepare you for a professional career in the law.

Assignments: Readings to Be Completed Before August 21, 2023

In preparation for First Week you should read the following before arriving on August 21.

Background Readings on Professionalism for August 21 and August 22 (required)

Professor Baldwin's Academic Skills Assignment for August 23 and August 24 (required)

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).

Financial Aid

See the Financial Aid section of the Admitted Student Checklist, Fall 2023 Entering Class (link forthcoming).

First Week Check-in

Incoming students are expected to check in on Monday morning, between 8:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., via the main entrance of Robert J. Dole Hall. See below for the tentative first week schedule.

Enrollment and Section Assignments

Law school staff will formally enroll all first semester students for their fall courses prior to arrival on August 21, 2023. No Fall 2023 pre-enrollment steps need to be taken by incoming students.


Tuition rates, per hour, for the 2023-2024 academic year are:

  • $878 - Resident
  • $1,330 - Non-resident

In addition, there is a $55 per semester student activity fee.

Health Insurance

A Blanket Accident and Sickness Insurance plan is available to Washburn students. To learn more, see Student Health Services and Health Insurance Coverage.

First Week Schedule

All events, unless otherwise noted, will be in Room 151, Robert J. Dole Hall (Washburn Law building).
*** NOTE: Drinks must be bottled water or in cups with lids, and snacks need to be pre-packaged and mess free. ***

If you find you have other free time, feel free to go to the Memorial Union to visit the Ichabod Shop for books or the Student Services Office for your iCard at the Union. You may also want to review required readings, listed above.

Monday, August 21

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

8:45-10:00 a.m. – Check-In – Robert J. Dole Hall Lobby

  • Incoming students are expected to check in on Monday morning, August 21, 2023, between 8:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Students will have their photos taken for the Washburn University School of Law Directory, receive their registration packet, and their Washburn Law Alumni Association gifts of t-shirt and water bottle.
  • Professional dress is not required, but your picture will be taken for the student directory, so you'll want to feel confident in what you're wearing.
  • Student Ambassadors will be available for questions.
  • While you are waiting, feel free to socialize or review required readings.

10:00-10:45 a.m. – Welcome

10:45-11:30 a.m. – Belonging

  • Dean Emily Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

11:30 a.m.-Noon – Law School Resources – Part I

  • Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
    • Introduction of WSBA President Caitlin Riffer
    • Introduction of WSBA Vice President Kiley Deain
  • Finance
  • Accommodations/Facilities/Staff
    • Director Shelby Grau, Director of Compliance and Administration
  • Discussion of Professionalism Small Group Program and the Formation of Your Professional Identity per ABA Standard 303
    • Explanation of Program and Introduction of Small Group Mentors

Noon-1:00 p.m. – Box Lunches (provided) with Small Group Mentors and First Small Group Meeting at Law School. Pick up your lunches in the Law School Lobby, and your Mentors will take you to your meeting space.

A Section

Photograph: Anthony Albertini. Photograph: Michael Braun. Photograph: Quintin Brown. Photograph: Carter Jones.
Anthony Albertini, Michael Braun, Quintin Brown, Carter Jones

Photograph: Sarah Lynch-Chaput. Photograph: Liz Ngatia. Photograph: Natalie Schulte. Photograph: Christin Smith.
Sarah Lynch-Chaput, Liz Ngatia, Natalie Schulte, Christin Smith

Photograph: Carly Steward. Photograph: Gabriel Walker. Photograph: Andrew Wiens. Photograph: Nis Wilbur.
Carly Steward, Gabriel Walker, Andrew Wiens, Nis Wilbur

B Section

Photograph: Jordan Akins. Photograph: Spencer Cook. Photograph: Kiley Deain. Photograph: Andrew Foreman.
Jordan Akins, Spencer Cook, Kiley Deain, Andrew Foreman

Photograph: Gabrielle Frawley. Photograph: Kinsey Griffith. Photograph: Haylee Householter. Photograph: Will Hoy.
Gabrielle Frawley, Kinsey Griffith, Haylee Householter, Will Hoy

Photograph: Carissa Occhipinto. Photograph: Caitlin Riffer. Photograph: Jacob Tubach. Photograph: Candice Wilson.
Carissa Occhipinto, Caitlin Riffer, Jacob Tubach, Candice Wilson

LL.M. / Transfer / Visiting

Photograph: Marvin Dale. Photograph: Andrew Doan. Photograph: Oliver Gilmore.
Marvin Dale, Andrew Doan, Oliver Gilmore

Photograph: Miaeda Hutchinson. Photograph: Nick Kaechele. Photograph: Caitlin Kremer.
Miaeda Hutchinson, Nick Kaechele, Caitlin Kremer

1:00-2:00 p.m. – Cross-Cultural Competency for Lawyers: ABA Standard 303

2:00 p.m. – Law Library and Laptop Set-Up and Instruction

  • Welcome by Professor Thomas Sneed, Director of Law Library
  • Laptop and Printer Set-Up, Explanation of D2L
    • Ms. Barbara Ginzburg, Head of Access Services
    • Mr. Gannon Minnick, User Services Administrator
    • Mr. Ronald Lagos, User Services Administrator
    • Library staff will be available after their presentations to answer individual questions.

Once your tech set-up and questions are resolved, please drive to the Brown Park Building to view an important part of the history of Washburn Law. The building, normally closed on Mondays, is open for Washburn Law Students by special arrangement from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

This is a required event: please be sure to sign the register at the Park Building, noting on the register that you are a Washburn Law Student.

Graphic: Cover of volume 42, issue 2 of Washburn Lawyer.Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park Building – 1515 SE Monroe, Topeka, Kansas

  • You should plan on about an hour to self-tour.

Directions: The National Historic Park 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 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.

Tuesday, August 22

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

Wear your Washburn Law t-shirt today for the class photo! (t-shirt distributed at check-in)

10:15-10:45 a.m. – Class photo

  • Ms. Karli Davis, Director of Marketing
  • Mr. Ryan Purcell, Assistant Director of Marketing
  • An Ambassador will watch your belongings so you can leave them in the auditorium while we take the photo.

10:45-11:30 a.m. – Law School Resources, Part II: Planning for a Meaningful Career

  • Dean Tammy King, Assistant Dean for Professional Development.
  • Director Kate Davis, Assistant Director for Professional Development.

11:30 a.m.-Noon – KALAP and Wellness (ABA Standard 303)

Noon-1:00 p.m. – Pizza (provided) and Meet with Your Small Groups at the Law Building. Pizza will be available in the Law School Lobby and your Mentor will lead you to your meeting space. This will be your only meeting in the law school today.

1:00-2:00 p.m. – University Resources

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Professionalism and the Honor Code (Academic Section)

  • Dean Emily Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

3:00-4:00 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 Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

4:00-4:05 p.m. – Administration of Professionalism Oath by Associate Dean for Student Affairs Danielle Dempsey-Swopes.

After the administration of the Oath, you are free for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, August 23 AND Thursday, August 24

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (Lunch will be provided for students during the lunch break in the Law School Lobby.)

Academic Skills Program

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).

Thursday Evening, August 24

  • Phi Alpha Delta's Back to School Bash (optional)
    • Starts 6:30 p.m. at Lake Shawnee Shelter #1
    • 3400 SE Leisure Lane, Topeka 66605
    • Enjoy yard games while getting to know current PAD members and your classmates.

Friday, August 25

  • Taco Bar & Games with the Washburn Student Bar Association (optional)
  • 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Law School Lobby
  • Join WSBA in games and a free taco bar! Open to all students, faculty, and staff.

Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27

  • Unscheduled Days

Log into your D2L course pages to find any assignments for the first week of class.
(Fall class assignments aren't posted yet, but they should be by August 25.)

Monday, August 28

  • Regular class schedule begins

Other Activities Throughout the Semester

Most law students are advised to not 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.

Professionalism Group Meetings (Mandatory) will continue for the first few weeks of the regular semester from 12:45-1:30 p.m. See Fall Course Schedule.

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 on Wednesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 28 in the First and Second Floor Commons of the Law School.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 – 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Student Organizations

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

Thursday, September 28, 2023 – 12:30-1:30 p.m. – 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.