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Supporting Each Other

After the Wards met in law school, they have enjoyed flourishing careers

Dale and Lynn Ward

From Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2019

When Lynn Ward, ’90, attended Washburn University School of Law, she got much more than just a quality legal education. In some of her classes, another student caught her eye. Dale Ward, ’90, was not afraid to answer or ask questions, and Lynn said she could tell right away that he was “pretty smart.”

When Lynn had to miss class, she would borrow Dale’s notes, and the two aspiring lawyers quickly became close and started dating. During their third year at Washburn, Lynn and Dale were married, and this fall they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Over the years, the couple has appreciated the opportunity to support each other during successful and challenging times in their personal and professional lives.

“People tease us and say, ‘Probably nobody ever wins an argument,’” Lynn said. “But I think we’re both sympathetic to the other and can understand where each other is coming from. And I think with me working in the area of family law, both of us have been careful not to take our marriage for granted.”

In addition to their marriage, Lynn and Dale have both enjoyed flourishing legal careers. Lynn has owned her own firm, Ward Potter LLC, since 2005, where she focuses exclusively on family law. Lynn said she chose family law because the specialty compliments her personality.

“I’m compassionate, and I’m a good listener,” she said. “Going through a divorce is one of the hardest challenges people will face in their life, and I get to walk alongside them, offer support and encouragement, and help them to get to a point where their life is better and they have a brighter future.”

Meanwhile, Dale’s position as a partner at Hinkle Law Firm in Wichita, Kansas, has enjoyed the same longevity as his relationship with Lynn – in fact, he was hired while he was still a student at Washburn. During his career, he’s focused primarily on business and real estate transactions.

“I didn’t know coming out of law school exactly what I would be doing,” said Dale, who also served as editor of the Washburn Law Journal during his final year at the law school. “The law firm gave me exposure to various areas of the practice, and I found my niche and moved into transactions. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Recently Dale and Lynn decided to donate to the Washburn University School of Law’s building campaign – their second significant gift to the school. Dale, who serves on the law school’s Board of Governors, said he and Lynn are honored to be able to give back.

“With the careers we’ve been able to establish because of Washburn, we felt it was appropriate to give back and maybe help somebody else have the same kind of success we’ve had,” Dale said.

“For us, Washburn was not only a place where we met each other – our life partners – but it also launched our careers,” Lynn added. “We have both enjoyed very good careers in the law, and that’s all due to Washburn and its training. Washburn has a very special place in our hearts.”

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