Officials from Baker University and Washburn University School of Law signed a new partnership into effect Wednesday during a joint press conference on Baker’s campus. 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’s law school after three years.
The 3+3 model was developed to reduce the students’ total legal education costs. The LEAP 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.
Thomas J. Romig, the dean of the law school, and Juliann Mazacheck, the interim vice president for academic affairs, represented Washburn University at Wednesday’s event. Baker University was represented by its president, Lynne Murray, and its provost, Tes Mehring. Bill Bunten, a 1953 Baker University alumnus who earned his juris doctor from Washburn in 1956 also attended the signing.
“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 the LEAP program’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.”