Washburn University School of Law and Baker University Announce Launch of New Law Early Admission Program (LEAP)

Photograph: LEAP signing ceremonyBaker University and Washburn University School of Law signed a new partnership into effect on September 7, 2016, during a joint press conference on Baker’s campus in Baldwin City, Kan. The signed memorandum of understanding solidifies the launch of the new Law Early Admission Program (LEAP), which will allow academically talented and highly motivated undergraduate students at Baker to matriculate to Washburn Law after three years.

LEAP is a 3+3 model that was developed to reduce the students’ total legal education costs. The program will also allow these students to enter the job market earlier and develop relationships with Washburn Law professors while they are still enrolled in Baker’s undergraduate programs. The reduced time to completion will help expand opportunities for students looking to study abroad or participate in summer or semester-long internships and other clinical practicums.

Washburn Law Dean Thomas J. Romig and Washburn University’s Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Juliann Mazachek, represented Washburn at Wednesday’s event. Baker University was represented by its president, Lynne Murray, and its provost, Tes Mehring. Bill Bunten, who received his undergraduate degree from Baker University in 1953 and earned his J.D. from Washburn Law in 1956, also attended the signing with his wife Chuck.

“Washburn Law has always had outstanding Baker students over time,” Romig told the crowd. “This program will be great for both Baker University and Washburn University School of Law, but the real winners in this program will be the outstanding Baker University students who will have the opportunity to accelerate their undergraduate studies in order to begin legal studies with the goal of becoming a successful lawyer and having a career in law.”

Murray echoed Romig’s excitement about LEAP’s potential.

“Baker University is thrilled to enter this partnership with Washburn University School of Law,” Murray said. “Baker has a longstanding tradition of producing law school-ready graduates – and in particular, brilliant legal minds who launched their careers at Washburn University.”

Listen to Dean Romig's comments during the signing ceremony.

Photograph: Mehring, Murray, Romig, Mazachek
Provost Tes Mehring, President Lynne Murray, Dean Thomas J. Romig and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Julianne Mazachek
Photograph: The Buntens with Dean Romig and President Murray
Chuck Bunten (wife of Bill Bunten); Baker University President Lynne Murray; Bill Bunten, Baker University Class of 1953 and Washburn Law Class of 1956; and Washburn Law Dean Tom Romig