A rendering of our new building, opening January 2023

Washburn University School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs

You will thrive at Washburn Law. Washburn University School of Law, recognized for its collegial atmosphere and student-centered approach to teaching and learning, offers a curriculum that blends classroom instruction with real-world skills and experience. Our graduates are practice-ready. If you are seeking an environment providing a well-rounded legal education, an internationally recognized faculty, and a student body reporting high satisfaction with the school, Washburn Law is an excellent choice for you. Washburn University School of Law was founded in 1903, became a member of the AALS in 1905, and appeared on the initial list of ABA-approved schools in 1923. For more than a century, Washburn University School of Law has demonstrated its commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and diversity. Our state’s participation in the Uniform Bar Exam provides national mobility for our graduates. Our Third Year Anywhere program allows participants to spend their last year of law school in the geographic location where they want to begin their career. Visit us to experience the law school. We look forward to being a part of your success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.

Learn more about Washburn Law

The JD Program

Washburn Law students gain essential practical skills through conventional externships, clinical work, and internships, but it’s our supplemental hands-on experiences, made possible by dedicated faculty and committed alumni, that set us apart. Students also gain real-world experience by working with faculty on collaborative research opportunities and assisting with faculty scholarship activities. We have formal and informal programs in the following practice areas:

  • Advocacy
  • Agricultural Law
  • Business and Transactional Law
  • Civil and Criminal Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Government
  • Intellectual Property
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Oil and Gas Law
  • Tax Law
  • Tribal and Indian Law

Six Centers for Excellence complement Washburn’s high quality education. The Center for Excellence in Advocacy, Business and Transactional Law Center, Children and Family Law Center, International and Comparative Law Center, Center for Law and Government, and Oil and Gas Law Center form an extensive “learning network,” connecting law students to experienced professionals and classroom study to real-world practice. Within their respective areas, the centers develop a variety of programs and activities that allow students to collaborate with faculty members, experienced alumni, and other professionals eager to share their scholarship and wisdom. In essence, the centers provide knowledge, skills, and professional contacts that many lawyers do not gain until well after graduation.

Center for Excellence in Advocacy

Students hone their advocacy skills in Washburn’s live client law clinic and in a variety of advocacy skills courses. The center coordinates student participation in trial advocacy, negotiation, and client counseling; sponsors national and regional advocacy conferences; and hosts a practitioner-in-residence each year.

Business and Transactional Law Center

The center provides students with educational opportunities in business law while developing the essential skills of transactional lawyers. The hands-on involvement of alumni actively engaged in business and transactional law also allows the center to accomplish a major subsidiary goal: making the law school experience more realistic and relevant by providing additional opportunities to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Children and Family Law Center

Washburn houses the American Bar Association’s Family Law Quarterly. Students working in the center have the opportunity to participate in the Washburn Law Clinic, representing clients in divorce, child in need of care, and other family law cases.

International and Comparative Law Center

Students gain an understanding of international law and a familiarity with foreign legal systems, which are important aspects to virtually any practice of law—be it international trade, human rights, transnational transactions, transborder elements of family law, ensuring client compliance with foreign anticorruption laws, or US regulations on international economic sanctions and arms embargoes.

Center for Law and Government

As its primary focus, the center provides superior legal education to prepare highly qualified public servants for a broad range of careers associated with local, state, and federal government. Its ideal location in the capital city offers law students unique and varied opportunities to learn about lawmaking, judicial decision making, administrative law, and the regulatory process.

Oil and Gas Law Center

Because of our program’s solid history, national prominence, and location, we have one of the most extensive oil and gas programs in the nation with distinctive course offerings each semester to prepare students for the contemporary practice of oil and gas law.

Certificates of Concentration

Distinguish yourself in the job market with one of nine specialized fields of study within the traditional law school curriculum:

  • Advocacy
  • Business and Transactional Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Law and Government
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Oil and Gas Law
  • Tax Law
  • Workplace Law

Spring and Fall Enrollment

Our Spring Start Program provides an alternative to the traditional fall start. Washburn Law enrolls approximately 90 students in the fall and 12 to 15 students for the spring semester. A spring start allows for even greater interaction with professors and fellow students. Spring cohorts often form great bonds with each other because of the shared experience. They have access to scholarships and the same courses as those who start in the fall, but with the added benefit of greater flexibility.

Outstanding Legal Education in a Collegial Environment

Washburn Law’s first-year program provides a meaningful start to your legal education. Our low student-to-faculty ratio allows for personalized advising, particularly in your first year of study. Washburn Law has developed a nationally recognized first-year program to help you maximize your potential for success in law school, on the bar exam, and in law practice.

A high quality legal education is one in which our students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to serve their clients, the profession, and society at large. You will acquire the practice-ready skills needed to launch your career with the confidence that your law school education rivals other top law programs.

Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Program

Consistently named a top program, our Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Program helps first-year students develop their writing and editing skills in a small class environment. Professors, who have chosen legal writing as their profession, critically evaluate students’ written products.

Personal Attention from Respected and Accessible Faculty

The Washburn Law educational experience is robust with collaboration on all levels—students, faculty, and staff—resulting in a diverse learning environment.

Because of our unique approach to teaching, professors get to know you personally. Faculty offices are readily accessible and professors encourage students to stop by and ask questions. At Washburn Law, we believe that when you do well, we all do well.

Strong Alumni Network Committed to Student Success

Our alumni model the true reputation of Washburn Law in what they do in their communities every day and how they serve the legal profession. Washburn Law alumni are extraordinarily generous with their time and resources by connecting with the law school, current and prospective students, and fellow alumni. We have alumni in all 50 states and abroad.

Law School in the Capital City—Topeka, Kansas

Our proximity to large corporations, the Kansas State Capitol, Kansas Supreme Court, federal courthouse, and numerous state agencies provides an ideal setting that offers unique and varied internships and externships in which to learn about lawmaking, judicial decision making, administrative and business law, and the regulatory process.

Topeka has received national recognition for our affordability. Our overall cost of living index is more than 10 percent below the national urban area average, particularly in the housing market.

Study law where law is made, in one of the nation’s most historic capital cities!

Learn more about the JD program at Washburn Law

Washburn Law Clinic and Externship Program

Since 1970, the Washburn Law Clinic has made it possible for students to practice law before graduation and provide a valuable public service. The Law Clinic teaches students how to argue a complex legal issue before a judge, make a closing argument to a jury, depose an expert witness, and cross-examine a hostile witness during trial. Under the close supervision of faculty, interns work with clients on issues in seven practice areas: Children and Family Law, Immigration Law, Tribal Court Practice, Criminal Defense, Civil Litigation, Criminal Appellate Advocacy, and Small Business and Nonprofit Transactional Law.

Externships allow second- and third-year law students to earn course credit and enhance their legal education through off-campus placements where they work on assignments and issues that impact real people. Externships are a great opportunity for students to gain real-world work experience while developing skills, contacts, and references that help them secure permanent employment after law school.

Dual-Degree Programs

Because real-world problems often require solutions from other disciplines, Washburn University offers four dual degrees: a JD/MBA, a JD/Masters of Social Work, a JD/Masters of Criminal Justice, and a JD/Masters of Accountancy.

Study Abroad Programs

Washburn Law sponsors three exciting study abroad programs - a winter program in Barbados, a summer program in Osaka, Japan, and a semester-long exchange in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Washburn Law Summer Law Program - University of the West Indies, Barbados

Washburn's affordable Summer Law Program in Barbados provides students an opportunity to understand their legal systems more fully through comparative study of the Caribbean system. In this faculty-led program, students study with faculty and peers from the United States and across the Caribbean, all while living in a stimulating West Indian university environment. The program takes place during the first summer session so that students can continue their studies at Washburn or intern at home during second session. Financial aid applies and scholarships are available. The program is open to law students from other universities, as well.

Washburn Law Summer Law Program - Osaka, Japan

Washburn's affordable summer program in Osaka, Japan gives students the opportunity to study Comparative Constitutional Law with Professor Craig Martin and students from Japan and other parts of the world. Japan is one of the United States' most important allies and trade partners. Its constitutional history is deeply linked to American constitutional design but also completely unique in many ways. The two countries also have long-standing fascination with each other's cultures. Live and study in a large and thriving but safe Asian city.

Semester Abroad Exchange Program - Maastricht University Faculty of Law

Washburn's Semester Abroad Exchange Program in Maastricht allows Washburn Law students who have completed at least one year of course work to study international law and comparative law with the faculty of law at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Maastricht University has a highly regarded law program and is centrally located for an ideal European travel experience. Under the terms of our exchange agreement, up to four Washburn Law students may study at Maastricht in a given academic year. Washburn also receives up to four exchange students from Maastricht University per year, typically hailing from The Netherlands and other parts of Europe. The program is open only to Washburn Law J.D. students, and requires at least a 2.6 cumulative GPA.

External Programs: Procedures and Support

Students who wish to participate in an ABA-accredited study abroad program other than those listed above are encouraged to pursue their interests. In order to qualify for internal study abroad scholarships and for credit transfer, students must follow approval and application procedures at Washburn Law in addition to any application process required by the host law school. 

Student Life

Student Organizations

Washburn Law has a breadth of student organizations available each year, ranging from student government, academic-based organizations, diversity-related organizations, political-based organizations, service-based organizations, and social organizations.

Law School in the Capital City

Our proximity to large corporations, the Kansas State Capitol, Kansas Supreme Court, federal courthouse, and numerous state agencies provides an ideal setting that offers unique and varied internships and externships in which to learn about lawmaking, judicial decision making, administrative and business law, and the regulatory process.

Topeka has received national recognition for our affordability. Our overall cost of living index is more than 10 percent below the national urban area average, particularly in the housing market. Cultural, art, music festivals, and other entertainment opportunities happen throughout the year. Topeka has a rich diversity of dining options, from well established restaurants, locally-owned diners, to food trucks. We are home to over 1,200 minority-owned businesses.

Study law where law is made, in one of the nation’s most historic capital cities!

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Washburn Law maintains a robust Office of Professional Development, helping students through all aspects of the career search process. You can gain personalized attention on mock interviewing, application preparation, wardrobe consultation, resume creation, and job search strategies. Our Office maintains an online job board with opportunities posted throughout the year. We also host forums, such as our annual Government Legal Careers Forum, and bring in employers for on-campus interviewing in both the fall and spring.  We are successful in helping students secure their desired employment year after year.

Our Bar Passage program is comprehensive to cover whichever bar exam you're considering. Kansas is a member of the Uniform Bar Exam, but we have experience helping students with bar study for each state in the union.  Students can enroll in our Multistate Legal Analysis course for credit toward graduation, take advantage of bar study workshops throughout the calendar year, and get one-on-one attention from our Academic Enrichment team.

Learn more about career placement at Washburn Law

Tuition and Aid

Washburn Law is a public, municipal law school. As such, we have in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. The latest information on our tuition rates can be found on our website, as they are subject to change year to year.  Students from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Nebraska qualify for in-state tuition from day one. Students from other states can apply for residency after just six months of attendance. If you are an international student and cannot apply for residency, please contact the school directly after submitting your application. Generous merit-based scholarships are available to applicants who qualify. The top 10% of our fall admitted students by February 15th each year are invited to apply for our Distinguished Scholarships, which provide full tuition and fees plus a living stipend. Applicants can also pursue federal student loan options to help fund their education. Our students graduate with debt 20-30% below the national average each year. Washburn Law participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and accepts GI Bill benefits. 

Learn more about tuition & aid at Washburn Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

Once a student has submitted a completed application for admission, that application is referred to our faculty admissions committee who reviews the file and renders an admissions decision. At Washburn Law, we prioritize the admissions process, so you will not have to wait long periods of time for an admissions decision.  We have a rolling admissions process and review applications throughout the year. Each year, our fall application goes "live" on September 1st and our spring application goes live on "April 1" in the year prior to when you would start classes.

Learn more about admission at Washburn Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Washburn:

3.25 to 3.83

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Washburn:

150 to 157

25-75% UGPA Range at Washburn:

3.25 to 3.83

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Washburn:

150 to 157

25-75% UGPA Range at Washburn:

3.25 to 3.83

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Washburn:

150 to 157

Contact Information

1700 SW College Avenue,
Topeka, KS 66621,
United States