Photograph: Washburn Law Clinic.

Washburn Law Clinic

The Law Clinic is accepting clients by appointment only until further notice.

The Pathway To Practice

Students in the Washburn Law Clinic gain real-world practice experience under the supportive supervision of clinic faculty. Clinic students also make a difference in their community by helping those who would otherwise be unable to afford an attorney.

Other law school classes provide an important educational foundation for students preparing to enter the legal profession. Clinical experience provides the opportunity to apply this classroom knowledge in a professional and practical learning environment by representing real clients in real cases.

Students enrolled in the Washburn Law Clinic are not merely law clerks performing support work; but rather, the Washburn Law clinical program is structured so that interns have primary responsibility for their clients' cases. The Kansas Supreme Court grants special permission to clinic interns to practice law and represent clients in court. This valuable opportunity gives clinic interns an advantage in the marketplace because by the time they graduate, they have already acquired real world experience. While clinic interns are becoming effective lawyers, they are also providing free legal services to members of the community who cannot afford to hire private attorneys.

Law Clinic interns:

  • Interview and counsel clients
  • Investigate case-related facts
  • Draft pleadings and argue motions
  • Negotiate with opposing counsel
  • Draft charter and governing documents and business agreements
  • Apply for tax-exempt status for nonprofit organizations
  • Conduct hearings and trials before the Shawnee County District Court, Topeka Municipal Court, U.S. District Court, and various administrative tribunals.

Interns have also presented appeals to the Kansas Court of Appeals, Kansas Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and testified before the Kansas state legislature.

Clinic faculty members supervise each intern to ensure that every case activity is thoroughly planned, executed and then evaluated. The faculty also teach a clinical skills class, using simulation, discussion and lecture to augment the clinic learning experience. Topics include interviewing and counseling, applicable substantive law and procedures, case planning and strategic decision making, professional ethics and values, and negotiation skills.

The Washburn Law Clinic functions as an in-house general practice law firm, providing representation in practice areas such as:

Regardless of the subject matter of the Clinic cases, the skills that interns acquire through their clinical experience are transferable to future practice.

Other practice opportunities include the Criminal Appellate Advocacy Clinic where students work on actual felony criminal appeals assigned to the Kansas Appellate Defender Office.

Experiential education at Washburn is supplemented by a rich Externship Program which offers a wide array of practical learning opportunities. The clinic experience is further enhanced by the school's Centers for Excellence: the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, the Children and Family Law Center, the Business and Transactional Law Center, the Center for Law and Government, the International and Comparative Law Center, and the Oil and Gas Law Center. The Clinic plays a vital role in these programs.

Mission Statement:

To contribute to the education and development of law students into thoughtful, skilled, ethical attorneys by providing them with the opportunity to practice law and represent clients while under the personalized supervision of an experienced faculty attorney.

Washburn University School of Law
Law Clinic
1700 SW College
Topeka, KS 66621

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Clinic Director
Photograph: Michelle Y. Ewert.

Michelle Y. Ewert
Director of the Law Clinic
Professor of Law

Law Clinic Administration
Photograph: Debi Schrock.

Debi Schrock
Law Clinic Administration, Managing Director

Fall 2024 Clinic Application

Application information and orientation information can be found at the link below.

Orientation for all students enrolled in Law Clinic for the Fall 2024 semester will be August 21, 2024, from 1:00-5:00 p.m.. Please mark your calendar if you plan to take Clinic in the fall.

Photograph: Sussana Ampem

"I joined the Small Business and Nonprofit Transactional Law Clinic (SB&NTL) because I wanted to get a more hands on experience doing transactional work. At the SB&NTL, we have had the opportunity to help clients create nonprofits and limited liability companies. The most exciting part of all this, for me, is when I see the immediate and substantial impact our work has on the important role these nonprofits and small businesses play in our communities."

Sussana Ampem, Class of 2019

Why Should I Consider Taking Clinic?

Students who practice law in one of Washburn's clinic practice areas have a legal skill-set that sets them apart from their law school peers.  Employers know that Washburn Law Clinic students can "hit the ground running" because they have already learned to interact with clients; draft correspondence, pleadings and motions; negotiate with opposing counsel; and appear in court.  Employers can count on clinic students to understand the importance of keeping accurate time records, managing multiple responsibilities, and meeting deadlines.  In addition to these "hard" skills, clinic students learn "soft" skills such as interacting with supervising attorneys, office staff, and managing time.  In short, clinic students can confidently tell employers they have practiced law before they even graduated from law school.

Clinic Grading Policy

Students enrolled in clinic may elect to take clinic for either a grade or credit/no credit. Students have until the end of the day on Monday of the second week of the semester to change this election. Students must NOT inform the Law Clinic faculty or staff of their choice.

715 Permit

A 715 permit issued by the Kansas Supreme Court is required for Law Clinic. The staff will assist with the application process, but it is the student's responsibility to complete and submit the necessary documents by the date of the Law Clinic Training Session. Failure to submit the necessary documentation by the deadline may result in being disenrolled from clinic.

Other Practice Areas
Photograph: Brandon Fortman

"Clinic interns are provided the opportunity to develop and enhance a range of important and transferrable lawyering skills. This includes everything from becoming a more capable and confident interviewer to providing professional legal advice and work product. Most importantly, the services clinic interns provide extend beyond academia and into the communities the law clinic is designed to serve."

Brandon Fortman, Class of 2019

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