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 2022 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: Devin Canfield. Photograph: Ben Gienke. Photograph: Emma Hochman. Photograph: Heather Kellum.
Devin Canfield, Ben Gienke, Emma Hochman, Heather Kellum

Photograph: Emily Lauritsen. Photograph: Derek Leiblie. Photograph: Sarah Lynch-Chaput.
Emily Lauritsen, Derek Leiblie, Sarah Lynch-Chaput

Photograph: Gabby Stein. Photograph: Andrew Stewart. Photograph: Braden Sullivan. Photograph: Gabriel Walker.
Gabby Stein, Andrew Stewart, Braden Sullivan, Gabriel Walker

B Section

Photograph: Spencer Cook. Photograph: Kiley Deain. Photograph: Cameron Edens. Photograph: Melanie Harbaugh.
Spencer Cook, Kiley Deain, Cameron Edens, Melanie Harbaugh

Photograph: Caleb Hitz. Photograph: Carissa Occhipinto. Photograph: Hannah Peterson.
Caleb Hitz, Carissa Occhipinto, Hannah Peterson

Photograph: Noelle Relph. Photograph: Meg Sparrow. Photograph: Mayda Stallbaumer. Photograph: Elisabeth Wilder.
Noelle Relph, Meg Sparrow, Mayda Stallbaumer, Elisabeth Wilder


Photograph: Christian Bertz. Photograph: Miaeda Hutchinson. Photograph: Nichole Smith.
Alex Bertz, Miaeda Hutchinson, Nichole Smith

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 (130 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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