Phtograph: Carla D. Pratt.

Carla D. Pratt

Dean and Professor of Law
B.A., Texas A&M, Commerce, 1989
J.D., Howard University, 1992
Contact Information:
Room 202
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an institution that has the legacy of scholarship, public service, and social justice that Washburn Law enjoys. I look forward to continuing that tradition and engaging with current students, the faculty and staff, alumni, the University, and the community of Topeka."

Carla Pratt became dean at Washburn University School of Law in 2018.

Prior to joining Washburn Law, Dean Pratt served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law where she was the Nancy J. LaMont Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law. Dean Pratt has taught courses in Constitutional Law, Federal Indian Law, Education Law, and Race and American Law. While at Penn State Dickinson Law, Dean Pratt received the law school's Philip J. McConnaughay award for outstanding achievement in diversity related work.

From 2012 to 2018 Dean Pratt also served as an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Fort Yates, North Dakota. In this capacity she heard appeals involving tribal members and those doing business with tribal members in cases relating primarily to tribal criminal law, family law, business law, and constitutional law.

Dean Pratt engages in scholarship examining racial diversity in law school and the legal profession. She is co-author of the book, The End of the Pipeline: A Journey of Recognition for African Americans Entering the Legal Profession, which reports the findings of a qualitative study of African American attorneys and challenges the assumption that blacks entering the profession today have a post-racial colorblind journey. In her most recent research project Dean Pratt partnered with Professor Eboni Nelson and Dr. Ronald Pitner at the University of South Carolina. The resulting article in the Iowa Law Review, "Assessing the Viability of Race-Neutral Alternatives in Law School Admissions," explores the potential for race neutral law school admissions. The findings from the study aim to enhance law schools' understanding of race-neutral admissions factors that may or may not contribute to their ability to assemble a racially diverse student body, and gives law schools the tools to experiment with trying to yield a racially diverse class without asking applicants about their race.

Prior to joining the law faculty at Penn State Dickinson Law, Dean Pratt engaged in private practice as a commercial litigator with the law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP in Philadelphia and served as a Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey.

Dean Pratt's Justice Quote:

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor" – Desmond Tutu

Dean Pratt's Recommended Reading on Racial Justice:

Dean Pratt talks about the impact education has had on her life and how law has a role in shaping higher education.
Teaching Responsibilities
  • Race and the Law
Support Staff
Donna McMurry
Office 203