LL.M. Students: Preparation for Fall 2023 and Orientation Schedule of Activities (tentative)

Updated: August 8, 2023.

Arrival on Campus: No later than Monday, August 14, 2023

LL.M. Students should plan to arrive on campus NO LATER THAN Monday, August 14, 2023.

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 Orientation, you should not attend, and you should notify Professor Lori McMillan (lori.mcmillan@washburn.edu) 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.

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 https://washburnlaw.edu/honorcode. You may ask a professor for permission to record a lecture or class, but it is up to each professor to decide whether to grant this privilege for their classes, and there is no appeal from their decisions on this matter.

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 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., 7:30 p.m. CT = 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time = 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time = 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Please Do These Things Before August 16

  1. Complete the D2L Pre-Arrival Orientation required by the Washburn University Office of International Programs, including uploading a photo for your Washburn student ID (iCard)
  2. Complete and Submit the Profile Information Form
    • Completing the Profile Information Form will expedite Orientation 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
  4. Compete the required readings and other assignments described below.

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: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-portable-chargers-and-power-banks.
  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 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: thomas.sneed@washburn.edu.

Assignments: Readings to Be Completed Before August 16, 2023

Background Readings on Professionalism (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).

LL.M. Students Fall 2023 Orientation Schedule of Activities

Following is the schedule of classes and activities for incoming LL.M. students during their initial two weeks at Washburn Law. In the interest of planning, you should prepare yourself for full days. While modifications may occur to this schedule, attendance is required for all events unless otherwise noted.

Week 1 Schedule

Monday, August 14

Please arrive in Topeka on or prior to this date. You are responsible for ensuring you complete any required quarantine period prior to the beginning of LL.M. Orientation. It will take some time for you to set up your household, source and buy food and get other necessities you could not bring with you. You will want to set up your accommodations, find out where the nearest grocery store is, and figure out transportation to and from campus. Please have these things settled before you start Orientation so you are not scrambling for time.

Tuesday, August 15

10:00 a.m. – Check-in with the Washburn University Office of International Programs – International House – 1824 SW Jewell Ave, Topeka, KS 66621

  • Provide copies of signed Form I-20 and F-1 visa
  • Required tuberculosis/TB testing (will be scheduled for you by Office of International Programs). This is required before you can attend classes.
  • Get your WU student ID (iCard)

Your afternoon will be free.

Wednesday, August 16

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Law School Building, Room 151

BRING A GOVERNMENT-ISSUED PICTURE ID (PASSPORT) TODAY. Bring your laptop to each day of orientation.

Breakfast and Introductions, with:

Technology Connection

  • Technology staff will assist you with connecting to the Washburn University wireless network and verify that your email address is active. Be sure to have your computer and phone with you!

Directory Photos

  • Ryan Purcell will take your photo for the School of Law directory. There will also be an LL.M. class photo taken at this time.

Bar Admission Introductory Information

  • Professor Chelsea Baldwin, Professor McMillan, and Dean Grant will share some information for those of you considering taking a U.S. bar exam.

Campus Tour

  • LL.M. Ambassadors will take you around campus and show you where to find the bookstore, cafeteria, Health Services, and gym. Students who have not submitted a photo for their Washburn ID (see above) will be taken to have their Washburn ID issued, which requires government-issued identification (usually passport).

Course Selection

  • You will finalize your course selections (based on the questionnaire you filled out previously) with Professor McMillan and Dean Grant, with special attention paid to whether, and where, you intend to sit for the bar.

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Lunch (provided)

1:30-2:00 p.m. – Landlord/Tenant Rights in Kansas – Room 151

  • Professor Michelle Ewert
    • security deposits (max amounts allowed, return at end of tenancy)
    • how to report problems to the landlord
    • landlord duties and right of entry
    • terminating a tenancy

2:00-2:30 p.m. – Break

2:30-3:30 p.m. – Washburn Law Honor Code – Room 151

  • Dean Grant will give an essential presentation to LL.M. students about how to stay out of trouble with the Honor Code. Such codes are taken very seriously in U.S. legal culture, and failure to understand and comply with the Honor Code can result in serious repercussions, including failing classes, inability to take a bar exam in any state in the U.S., and even dismissal from law school. You need to know these rules, so you can avoid trouble and help ensure your success in earning your degree.
  • Please read the Honor Code and Procedure for Law Students at https://washburnlaw.edu/honorcode prior to this session.

Thursday, August 17

9:00-12:00 p.m. – Law School Building, Room 151 – Succeeding in U.S. Legal Education

12:00-1:00 p.m. – Lunch (provided)

Afternoon (1:00-3:30 p.m.) – Sessions with Office of International Programs – (location to be announced)

  • Business Office session (payment options, setting up a payment plan, etc.)
  • Introduction to the Topeka Metro Bus system
  • Student and Faculty Panel Q&A
  • On-campus Employment: How to find and apply for an on-campus job
  • Health and Safety on Campus/in Topeka
  • Washburn University Health Insurance Policy

7:00-8:00 p.m. (optional 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, 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 admissions@washburnlaw.edu. 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 danielle.dempsey-swopes@washburn.edu.

Friday, August 18

All Friday, August 18, sessions will be in the Law School Building, Room 151.

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Introduction to Research, Resources, and Techniques (library staff)

  • Bring your laptop.
  • Students will get their Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis database account information, and have an introductory training session on how to use these databases, Zoom, and D2L (the Learning Management System used by Washburn).

No programming is scheduled for Friday afternoon, but Professor Baldwin may have assignments for you or individual meetings, so keep your afternoon open.

Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20

  • Unscheduled days.

Week 2 Schedule

The second week of LL.M. Orientation will be with the incoming J.D. students.
All events unless otherwise noted will be in Room 151 in 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. ***

Monday, August 21

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 in the law school. This will be your only event in the law school today.

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

3:00 p.m. – LL.M. students:
Please drive with your Mentors or the Dean of Students to the Brown Park 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, 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 Building 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 and go 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: danielle.dempsey-swopes@washburn.edu.

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 J.D./LL.M class photo! (t-shirt distributed at check-in)

10:15-10:45 a.m. – Class photo

  • Director Karli Davis, Director of Marketing
  • Director 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 (optional for LL.M students who are not planning to work in the U.S.)

  • 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) (required for LL.M students despite having a previous session with Dean Grant)

  • Dean Emily Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

3:00-4:00 p.m. – Character and Fitness Qualifications for the Bar Exam (required for LL.M students who are contemplating taking a bar exam in the U.S.)

  • 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 (rodewaldr@kscourts.org), and Amanda Kohlman, Attorney Admission Administrator (admissions@kscourts.org).
    • If you have individual questions for the Disciplinary Office after today, you may call Ms. Selzler at (785) 435-8218 or email her at lippertk@kscourts.org.
    • 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 the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

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

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. This will be your only event in the law school during these days.)

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 https://washburnlaw.edu/organizations.

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 14: Arrive in Topeka No Later Than This Date
  • August 16: LL.M. Student Orientation Begins
  • 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 28: Regular Classes Begin
  • September 8: Tuition Payment Deadline; Last day to receive 100% tuition refund
  • September TBD: Student Organizations Opportunity Fair
  • September TBD: Non-Student Organizations Opportunity Fair
  • 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: 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.

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.