Photograph: Incoming law students taking professionalism oath..

Small Groups and Mentoring Program

1Ls meet in small groups twice during First Week and then again during their first two weeks at Washburn Law with their trained and heavily-vetted upper-class Mentor. The focus of group discussion and activity is the professionalism skills that faculty and legal employers have found critical to law school and career success. Some groups meet voluntarily longer into the semester; in all groups, the Mentors are readily available to their group members throughout the entire first semester. LL.M, M.S.L., Transfer, and Visiting students are also assigned a Mentor to help them with the transition to Washburn and answer questions.

Meet the Fall 2023 Mentors

Group Mentors serve as support and role models to first-semester 1Ls, leading small groups of 3-6.

(Mentors who have served previously are bolded.)

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 Weins, 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

How Mentors Help

The Mentors:

  • Provide social support for law students beginning their first semester at Washburn
  • Provide specific information regarding:
  • In addition, 1L Mentors (and LL.M Mentors as advised by the LL.M Director):
    • Provide role modeling to students forming their professional identity
    • Provide and discuss information that strengthens Washburn University School of Law's Six Core Strengths of:
      • Wellness
      • Competency
      • Communication
      • Leadership
      • Strategy
      • Ethics
    • Provide specific information, assignments, and feedback regarding:
      • Creating realistic law school schedules; short and long-term planning; deciding whether to take reduced loads; efficiency and competency tools and techniques
      • Honor Code; continuing duty to disclose from law school admissions applications; bar character and fitness investigations; Honor Code quiz
      • Detailed email etiquette desired by faculty and legal employers (134 KB PDF); email assignment
      • Social media; networking; legal hierarchy and custom; effective lawyering skills

Mentor Qualifications

Each fall, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs invites approximately four J-Section upper-class students to be Mentors to the incoming spring 1Ls; each spring, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs invites approximately 20 upper-class students to be Mentors for the incoming fall 1Ls. Invitations are based on the following criteria:

  • Excellent academic credentials
  • Excellent Honor Code record
  • Excellent reputation for professionalism
  • Recommendation and approval by:
    • The student's LARW professors
    • The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    • The Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Mentors are also often initially recommended by other deans, faculty members, and students. Mentors are chosen not only on the basis of their academic qualifications and stellar background of professionalism, but also on their reputation for collegiality and concern for their fellow-students. Mentors must pass a comprehensive background check. 1L Mentors must also complete intensive training.

Mentors are also assigned to LL.M., M.S.L., Visiting, and Transfer students, on the recommendation of the LL.M. Director and approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and receive the training given to 1L Mentors and also instruction by the LL.M. Director.

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Small Group and Mentoring Program Supervisor
Photograph: Danielle Dempsey-Swopes.

Danielle Dempsey-Swopes
Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Email Guidance

See Emailing Like a Professional (prepared by former Dean Lowry) (134 KB PDF)

Important Contacts For Your Phone