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Law School Profile

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law


By Teresa Cajot The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law is a public law school located in the center of Kansas City, Missouri. It was founded as a private institution by three lawyers, William Borland, Edward Ellison, and Elmer Powell, in 1895. The law school, which was initially called the Kansas City School of Law, merged with the University of Kansas City in 1938. It took on its current name in 1963 when it affiliated with the University of Missouri system. The law school relocated to the main campus the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1974.

UMKC School of Law is fully-accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Enrollment options with the law school consist of full and part-time JD options, dual degree programs, a general LLM degree program, and specialized LLM degree programs in tax and urban affairs. The law schools academic program aims to provide graduates with strong lawyering skills as well as practical experience. Through skills courses, simulations courses, externships, and clinics, students are encouraged to develop the skills necessary for the legal world. UMKC School of Laws E.E. Thompson Courtroom, which was renovated in 2006, is a prime location for litigation training and observation. The modern courtroom offers real-time transcripts and the ability to view both video evidence and electronic documents on screens at the judges bench, the witness stand, and the jury box. The school is also home to the newly-built Arthur H. Stoup Courtroom, which is named for a graduate who went on to lead the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association. Through the two-semester Legal Writing Program, first-year students are given individualized assistance in the form of written comments and personalized-assignment review conferences. Upper-level research and writing requirements further serve to fine-tune skills in this key area. Clinical offerings, which allow students to work with real clients, include the Child and Family Services Clinic, the Guardian ad Litem Clinic, the Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic, the Kansas City Tax Clinic, and The Midwestern Innocence Project. A range of externship opportunities are also available to interested students at federal, state, and local agencies,

including prosecutors offices, public defenders offices, judicial chambers, and government offices. Summer study abroad programs include the Ireland program, which is offered through UMKC School of Law and the Southern Illinois School of Law, and the summer law school in China program at the University of Peking. UMKC School of Law produces The Urban Lawyer, the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the student-run publication, The Law Review. As the worlds largest circulating urban law journal, The Urban Lawyer, serves as the official national journal of the American Bar Associations Section of Urban, State, and Local Government Law. The publication of The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers was taken on by UMKC Law School at the request of The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The journal is edited by faculty members, with assistance from students. Students also compose papers on assigned topics, summarize major articles of interest, and edit lead articles for the twiceyearly publication. The Career Services Office provides students and alumni with assistance in all areas of career development including job search strategies, individual counseling sessions, on-campus interviews, and more. UMKC School of Law also offers a solo and small firm practice program and a solo and small firm incubator program to assist those interested in pursuing small firm or solo practice. Networking and social opportunities abound through the law schools 30 plus student organizations. A sample of the offerings include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Animal Law Society, Emissaries, the Family Law Society, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, the Moot Court Board, Older Wiser Law Students, and the Public Interest Law Association.

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