Law school to initiate ‘Third Year Anywhere’ externship this fall

Leading the Way: Dean of the Washburn School of Law, Carla Pratt, stands in front of her bookshelf in her office. Pratt joined Washburn in the fall of 2018.


Washburn University School of Law is launching a new “Third Year Anywhere” enrollment option for future law students. The new program will take effect in the fall of 2019.

In August of 2018, The American Bar Association Council on Legal Education voted to change the amount of distance education [online courses] a student could enroll in law schools across the country. The number of credit hours allowed went from 15 to 30, and for Washburn’s School of Law, it now meant that a full year could be dedicated to online education.

Law students who start in the fall of 2019 will be able to start the process of the program. Students must express interest within their first year. From there they will be assigned an adviser to help them find externship opportunities in the locations they’re interested in.

Law students who participate in this program can go anywhere they want in the state, country or around the world as long as it’s where the student plans to live and work following graduation.

“This new option will definitely influence students who are looking at different law schools for their future,” said senior Jackson Haltom.

Dean of the Washburn University School of Law, Carla Pratt, says that she is excited for the potential of this new option.   

“I think this option is going to enhance Washburn’s already strong reputation for creating practice ready lawyers,” Pratt said. “I’m hoping that this option will bring students great experiences and that supervisors will speak even more highly of our students.”

Pratt was also hopeful that this opportunity would make it possible for the students to make connections with alumni all over the world.

“We have a very broad alumni base who are very enthusiastic about this opportunity and are excited to take a Washburn law student under their wing,” Pratt said.

Academic advisers will work with law students even if there isn’t an alumnus in the student’s preferred location.

Pratt also praised the faculty for their decision to make this an option for current and future students, as many institutions are hesitant to do so.

“We have great student-centered faculty that really was open to reimagining the curriculum, and you don’t have that at every law school,” Pratt said. “In most cases, faculties at other institutions are very much entrenched in doing things the traditional way.”

A few law professors have started to integrate their material for new online courses for current and future law students who have shown interest in the externship.