Photograph: Composite of students at various first week activities.

First Week Overview for Fall 2021 Incoming Students (Tentative)

Updated: August 8, 2021.

Introduction

Washburn Law's First Week Program, which begins on Monday, August 23, 2021, for Fall 2021 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.

Current Covid Information (updated 8/8/2021)

We expect that most of our students will be attending First Week and subsequent classes in person, and we encourage them to do so. However, students who have health and safety concerns may attend First Week and all classes remotely. Any student who has should attend remotely during the period in which they might put others at risk.

All classes, unless otherwise noted on the schedule, will be offered in person and broadcast to remote participants via Zoom.

Masks: The university has announced that masks will be required for most indoor activities, regardless of a person's vaccination status. See https://www.washburnlaw.edu/students/covid19/20210806update.html.

The full regulations and exceptions are outlined at the university's Covid webpage. See https://www.washburn.edu/student-life/health-safety/index.html.

The university will review its policy weekly and send out any updates via email, as well as updating the site above.

ABA variance on distance education for Fall 2021. The law school has a variance from the American Bar Association Standards on distance education for the Fall 2021 semester. The variance means that distance education credits accumulated by students due to the pandemic will not count against the 30 credit maximum allowed for J.D. students. The variance allows students who are concerned about contracting Covid-19 to participate in classes remotely. The variance also allows students who have a symptom of Covid-19 to participate in classes remotely until their medical provider instructs that it is safe to return to the classroom. The variance does not allow students to participate remotely as a matter of convenience. Because Washburn does not require students or employees to show proof of vaccination before coming on campus, students participating in classes in-person may be exposed to unvaccinated persons.


NOTE: All times shown below are Central Time (CT); e.g., 7:30 p.m. CT = 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time = 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time = 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.


If you are not familiar with Zoom, take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with this program. For assistance with Zoom go to: https://washburn.edu/student-life/health-safety/, 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 thomas.sneed@washburn.edu with equipment/internet concerns.

Friday, August 20, 2021 – 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Professionalism Group Reveal and First Meeting

Session is required, but will be recorded for those who have a conflict.

Meet your upper-class Mentor and group members, and then attend small break-out sessions with your group. This will be a Zoom meeting in advance of First Week. A Zoom invitation will be sent to you approximately mid-August. If you have not received the invitation please contact admissions@washburnlaw.edu.

Please Do These Things Before August 23

  1. 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 23 (or earlier if you wish to do so at the iCard Center in Memorial Union), please upload your photo at https://get.cbord.com/washburn.
      • Login with your MyWashburn.edu credentials, generally, firstname.lastname@washburn.edu 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 by Cory Payne 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 icard@washburn.edu or call (785) 670-1188.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 admissions@washburnlaw.edu.
    • Questions about the form can be sent to admissions@washburnlaw.edu 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 donna.haverkamp@washburn.edu.
  4. 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 from the institution in 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.
  5. Compete the required readings and other assignments described below.

Thank You!

What You Should Bring to Law School

Textbooks. Once you receive your section assignment, you should order your books. More information will be sent to you about your academic schedule and textbooks at a later date.

  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 since seating in classrooms and the library is now configured to promote social distancing. Examples (but not recommending any specific brand) are covered in this review: https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-best-portable-chargers-and-power-banks-for-2020.
  2. Laptop. Any modern laptop should be able to access the campus wireless network. Instructions are at: https://washburn.edu/its/wireless/index.html.

    Many Washburn law students use laptops to take final exams. The program typically used for online exams is Examplify. Learn more about Examplify: https://washburnlaw.edu/students/academic/examsoft/faq.html.

    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: https://washburn.edu/its/tech-recommendations.html.

    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: https://washburn.edu/its/office-365/index.html.

    The law school IT staff, Jason Dinkel and David Vermooten, will also be happy to assist should you run into any issues setting up your new laptop or accessing the University network. Feel free to contact them now with questions: lawtech@washburn.edu.

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 23, 2021

In preparation for First Week you should read the following before arriving on August 23.

Background Readings on Professionalism for August 23 and August 24 (required)

Professor Griggs's Assignment for August 25 and August 26 (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 25) 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 2021 Entering Class.

First Week Check-in

Photograph: Southeast entrance of Washburn University Memorial Union.Incoming students are expected to check in on Monday morning, August 23, 2021, between 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Please note that First Week activities will be held in the Memorial Union, Washburn Rooms A/B. Please enter Memorial Union through the southeast entrance (see directions and map below); go up one flight of stairs (or take the elevator up one flight); and then turn left to enter Washburn Rooms A/B. Please find a seat where you can leave your belongings and proceed to check-in for your Washburn University School of Law Directory photo and enjoy the continental breakfast.

Library staff and Student Ambassadors will be available for questions.

While you are waiting, feel free to socialize, read, visit the restrooms, or review required readings listed above. The restrooms are off the lobby and additional restrooms are on the floor below.

See also the tentative first week schedule.

To get to Memorial Union from the Law School (see map below and follow signs): 1) from the east side of the Law School walk east past the Living Learning Center, past the Union north entrance (with clock tower), and past the Union; 2) just past the Union turn right (south), walk past the northeast entrance and continue to the southeast entrance and enter the Union.

Map: Law School to southeast entrance of Memorial Union.|

Enrollment and Section Assignments

Law school staff will formally enroll all first semester students prior to arrival on August 23, 2021. No Fall 2021 pre-enrollment steps need to be taken by incoming students.

You will be assigned to one of two equal sections for class scheduling purposes prior to your arrival at Washburn Law. To ensure equality, section assignments will not be made until the end of July. You will be notified when section assignments have been made.

Textbooks

Section assignments affect textbook purchases. You may purchase textbooks after being notified of your section assignment sometime in July.

Tuition

Tuition rates, per hour, for the 2021-2022 academic year are:

  • $819 - Resident
  • $1,253 - Non-resident

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

See Tuition and Costs for more information (based on 2021-2022 estimates).

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.

Washburn University School of Law Directory

The Washburn Student Bar Association sponsors and publishes a directory of students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of each academic year. Photographs taken for the directory are also used to provide faculty with course rosters for their classes.

During check-in on Monday, August 23, 2021, we will take your photograph and ask you to provide/verify your address, phone number, hometown, and verify your undergraduate institution.

The directory is available in two formats: print, and electronically through a password protected area of the Washburn Law website. One copy of the print Directory is distributed to each student, faculty, and staff member at Washburn Law. Access to the electronic version of the Directory is limited to students, faculty, and staff at Washburn Law.

Although the information collected above is used to produce the Directory and by Washburn Law personnel in order serve you better during the school year, we recognize that you may not want to share some of this information outside the law school staff. When you provide your Directory information you may indicate your desire to not have one or more of the following items printed in the Directory and displayed in the electronic version:

  • Your photograph
  • Your local address
  • Your local phone number
  • Your hometown
  • Your undergraduate institution

Questions about the Directory may be sent to Martin Wisneski at martin.wisneski@washburn.edu.

Optional Leisure Reading

You may find the books and sources below interesting to read during your leisure time. Links to more information at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and publisher websites are provided. Again, these are not mandatory readings.

Short URL for this page:
https://washburnlaw.edu/firstweek

Important Dates
  • July 26: Section Release Party (Zoom)
  • August 2: Family & Friends: What to Expect, How to Help, and Your Questions Answered About Law School (Zoom)
  • August 20: Professionalism Group Reveal & First Meeting (Zoom)
  • August 23: Direct Deposit Financial Aid Refunds Available
  • August 23: First Week Begins for Entering Students
  • August 30: Regular Classes Begin
  • August 30: All School Picnic (RSVP)
  • September 10: Tuition Payment Deadline
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: d2l.washburn.edu.

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

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