Photograph: Composite of students at various first week activities.

First Week Overview for Fall 2021 Incoming Students (Tentative)

Updated: March 12, 2021.


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.

The First Week Overview and Schedule are premised on the possibility that Covid restrictions will still require masks and social distancing. The schedule may change closer to the beginning of the Fall semester if these restrictions change. Currently, the rules are that
"Students, faculty, staff, and visitors must wear masks . . . in all hallways, public spaces, classrooms, and other common areas of campus buildings. Masks must also be worn when in offices, work spaces, or outdoor settings when 6-feet social distancing cannot be maintained."
See the Washburn University mask regulations (143 KB PDF).

Monday, August 2, 2021 – 7:30-8:30 p.m.
"So a Family Member is Going to Law School: What to Expect, How to Help, and Your Questions Answered"

Photograph: Jalen Lowry.Jalen Lowry, 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 July 26, 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 Lowry at

Friday, August 20, 2021 – 8:00-9:00 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 at the end of July. If you have not received the invitation please contact

If you are not familiar with Zoom, take this opportunity to 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.

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 in your orientation packet when you checkin on Monday, August 23, please email your photo to
    • The photo should meet these specifications (373 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).
    • You also need to verify your identity by 1) submitting a photo of your government issued photo ID and a piece of mail that includes your name and address or 2) scheduling a meeting with the iCard office.
    • Questions can be sent to 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
    • 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
  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. Masks. As of the current date, you will be expected to wear a mask while on campus. You will need at least one mask for your arrival on August 23. You will probably also want several others so that you only have to do laundry on weekends. Please see university mask regulations at (143 KB PDF).
  2. Headphones. Recommended because you may find yourself in a room or the library with other students who are monitoring a class remotely.
  3. 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:
  4. 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 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:

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 8:15 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. You’ll find your alphabetical assigned seating.

  • A at the front of the room, Z in the back.
  • At each seat will be a name plate, an Orientation Packet, and a Washburn Law t-shirt.

Photograph: Washburn Room A/B in the Memorial Union.

Library staff and Student Ambassadors will be available for questions.

Students will be called one at a time from their seats to check in during this time and to have their photos taken for the Washburn University School of Law Directory.

While you are waiting, feel free to socialize while seated at your tables, to read, to visit the restrooms, or to review required readings listed above. Signs will mark the restrooms off the lobby and also for the restrooms the floor below.

See also the complete first week schedule (available mid-April 2021).

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.


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


Tuition rates, per hour, for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

  • $803 - 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 2020-2021 estimates).

2021-2022 rates will be available in July 2021.

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

Optional Leisure Reading

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

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