The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Admissions Viewbook

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EXPERIENCE UMKC A career in law — whether as an advocate, advisor, leader, educator or innovator — can give you a lifetime of challenge, service and growth. One of the most important decisions you will make as you begin that career is the choice of law school. Deciding which law school is best for you is a very individualized process and depends very much on who you are and what you want for your career. What are your hopes for a legal career? How will a particular school assist and challenge you to discover and develop your strengths and talents? How well do your preferences for a learning environment match the learning environment of a school? How readily will you be able to access opportunities in the legal community? Once you have considered these factors, and other things such as location and cost, I am confident you will find that UMKC is at the top of your list.

Barbara Glesner Fines Dean, UMKC School of Law

Kansas City is a great place to practice law, with a variety of opportunities and a very collegial Bar. UMKC is as collaborative and connected as a law school can be. This viewbook will help you get to know us, and I hope it encourages you to visit so we can get to know you.

YOUR GUIDE Tools and skills

Real-world opportunities

to experience professional success

in a vibrant city

Emphasis Areas


Exceptional Legal Community


Practical Skills Training


Kansas City Life


Leaders in Service


Advancing the Public Interest


We prepare practice-ready lawyers.

We are Kansas City's law school.


Personal and accessible

and community

law school experience

Supportive Environment Faculty

We are invested in your success.

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How We Work for You


Financial Aid and Scholarships


Admissions Timeline


We are student-centered.


Tools and skills to experience professional success TYPICAL 1L CURRICULUM


Fall Start

The academic program at UMKC is designed to prepare students for lawyering now and into the future. Our approach, relying on faculty with years of legal experience who integrate theory and practice throughout the curriculum, accelerates students’ development as “practice-ready” lawyers.



Contracts I Property I Lawyering Skills I Torts Criminal Law

Contracts II Property II Lawyering Skills II Civil Procedure I Constitutional Law

Spring and Summer Start The above courses represent the required 1L curriculum. For students starting in the spring and summer terms, the sequence will vary. Students beginning in these alternative terms also have the ability to take select upperlevel courses in conjunction with the required 1L courses. 2

EARN MORE THAN ONE DEGREE Students have access to a number of combined degree programs, including J.D./M.A. (Political Science), J.D./MBA, J.D./M.P.A. and J.D./LL.M. (Tax). Once admitted to both programs, students complete two degrees simultaneously in a compressed time frame.

ENHANCE YOUR RESEARCH AND WRITING UMKC offers two journal opportunities — UMKC Law Review and the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Emphasis Areas BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURIAL LAW Provides multidisciplinary training for those who want to pursue careers as advisors to entrepreneurs as well as for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, whether in private practice or in-house legal departments.

Practice-ready graduates More than 90% of 3Ls reported that their legal education provided them with work-related knowledge and skills

CHILD AND FAMILY LAW Prepares graduates to pursue and succeed in careers serving the special needs of children, families and elders, whether in private or government practice or in other leadership roles.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW Provides the training necessary to educate lawyers to help artists, inventors and entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property rights through patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Employment rates 93.3% Class of 2017 90.7% Class of 2016 90.8% Class of 2015

INTERNATIONAL LAW Prepares graduates to practice in a culturally competent manner in our increasingly global society by providing a comprehensive background in the law regulating states and international organizations, as well as the law of international business and trade. Features the option for summer study abroad.


Bar pass rate 85.3% of first-time takers passed the Missouri Bar in 2017

Provides graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the ever-changing world of 21st-century litigation — one of UMKC School of Law’s longest and most distinguished educational traditions.

URBAN, LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Provides interdisciplinary education that prepares graduates to enter the job market with specialized knowledge of issues and law relevant to land use; real estate development; state, regional and local government; and the environment.

Bar prep results Active participants in the UMKC Bar Prep program had a 96% pass rate in 2017


Tools and skills to experience professional success

Kate Garman ('16) Seattle, Wa. Technology Policy Advisor for Mayor Jenny Durkan "I went to law school after several years of working so that I could have a career in which I could better my community. That is exactly why I went to UMKC: With engaged professors and active organizations, law students can learn not only the letter of the law, but also how to make an impact. UMKC has several interdisciplinary courses and real world practicums, giving a vibrant exposure to career opportunities and practical experience. It's been several years since graduation, and I still have an active relationship with the school, my mentors and my community."

UMKC ALUMNI PRACTICE EVERYWHERE The UMKC School of Law’s intensive and practical curriculum prepares graduates to thrive in practice, no matter where they go. Although many UMKC graduates choose to practice in Missouri, there is no geographical limit to the opportunities our alumni enjoy.


Practical Skills Training SIMULATION COURSES Students enhance their skills development through courses that include opportunities to practice advocacy, business planning, negotiation of mergers and acquisitions, investigation, mediation and drafting in a simulated context.

Top advocacy program UMKC School of Law named the #21 Trial Advocacy program by U.S. News & World Report

COMPETITIONS UMKC offers many opportunities for participation in highly successful inter- and intra-school competitions, including Client Counseling, Negotiating, Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy and Transactional and Intellectual Property Lawyering meets.

LAB CLASSES Students learn skills in labs associated with doctrinal courses. Examples include the Transactional Lawyering Skills Lab and the Consumer Protection Lab.

Experiential learning More than 300 spaces available annually in clinics and field placements (internships)



Students can further develop their skills in specialized clinics where they represent children seeking permanency, the wrongfully convicted, entrepreneurs, low-income taxpayers and the Kansas City Land Bank. In field placements, students work under supervision of faculty and a field supervisor in settings such as state and federal prosecutor’s and defender’s offices, courts, government agencies, Legal Aid and local sports teams.

First in the Transactional Law Practice Competition Second in the International Patent Drafting Competition Third in Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition

SOLO AND SMALL FIRM PRACTICE Our graduates are prepared for any kind of practice in solo and small firms. Our program, which offers innovative coursework and an incubator for new lawyers, is at the forefront of educating entrepreneurial lawyers.

LAW AND TECHNOLOGY Students work on projects in interdiscplinary courses, using technology to solve issues at the intersection of law, technology and public policy. Students learn law practice technologies including how to streamline the document assembly process.

Service to the community Each year, UMKC School of Law students complete approximately 24,000 hours of pro bono legal services


Dana Tippin Cutler Partner, James W. Tippin & Associates

Jean Peters Baker Prosecutor, Jackson County, MO

Real-world opportunities in a vibrant city

Evan Absher Senior program officer in entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Exceptional Legal Community Is it any wonder that Kansas City was the springboard for success stories like Walt Disney and Harry S. Truman? Kansas City is a place where career opportunities abound. Located on a state line, with a number of major law firms, courthouses and large U.S. corporations headquartered here, the city offers our students limitless avenues to achieve their career goals — and UMKC partnerships with local companies and firms allow students to begin building career networks from the moment they step through our doors. Although many of our graduates choose to practice in the Kansas City metro, those who choose to practice elsewhere will discover that our alumni network stretches from coast to coast, offering support anywhere in the nation. The city also provides plenty of opportunity for innovation, with resources designed to nurture entrepreneurial ventures through incubators, mentorship programs and networking opportunities — and UMKC is at the center of it all, helping you build your success story. 6

LAW FIRMS >> T en firms with offices in Kansas City are branches of national firms, each with more than 200 lawyers. >> F ive firms with principal offices in Kansas City have more than 300 lawyers overall. >> M ore than 30 firms in Kansas City have between 15 and 30 lawyers. >> Hundreds of solo practitioners and small firms are part of a tight-knit solo and small firm community. >> O pportunities exist for all types of specialties in a collegial practice environment.

Kenneth Garrett Judge, 16th Judicial Circuit

COURTS ALL WITHIN 20 MILES OF UMKC >> U .S. Court for the Western District of Missouri

Gina Chiala Executive director and staff attorney, Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom

Kea S. Bird-Riley Commissioner, 16th Judicial Circuit


>> U .S. Court for the District of Kansas

American Century Investments

>> Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District

Black & Veatch

>> 1 6th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri

Cerner Corporation

Burns & McDonnell

Garmin International Hallmark Cards, Inc. HCA Midwest Health

>> Kansas City, MO Municipal Court


>> W yandotte County, Missouri District Court >> J ohnson County, Kansas District Court

Over 70 percent of circuit judges in Jackson County, Missouri, are alumni of the UMKC School of Law. The current chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri is also an alumnus of the law school.

UMB Financial

Commerce Bank

>> Kansas City, KS Municipal Court


H&R Block

>> K ansas City Youth Court (housed at UMKC) >> Kansas City, KS Juvenile Court

James A. Polsinelli Shareholder, Polsinelli

U.S. Department of Labor Homeland Security and Protective Services Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Internal Revenue Service

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI UMKC School of Law alumni are regularly selected for the Missouri and Kansas "Super Lawyers" list as well as named "Best of the Bar" by the Kansas City Business Journal.


Real-world opportunities in a vibrant city

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

18th and Vine District

Rankings >> America's Favorite Places Ranked 16th for America's Friendliest Cities and 9th for America's Most Underrated Cities by Travel + Leisure >> America’s Best Employers Six KC-area businesses land on the Forbes list >> 30 Most Exciting Food Cities Ranked as top food city in America by Zagat >> Best Places for Work-Life Balance KC ranked 5th out of 13 cities where people have the best work-life balance, according to Business Insider >> Best 30 Cities in the U.S. KC named by National Geographic >> Best Sports Cities Ranked on WalletHub list, earning the top spot for soccer 8

First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District

Kansas City Life Kansas City offers the perfect blend of big-city opportunity and small-town charm. Kansas City is a diverse and innovative city with eclectic boutiques, state-of-the-art sports venues, world-class restaurants and fantastic internet connection, thanks to Google Fiber. For technology-free time, Kansas City has more than 600 parks, 24 public lakes and an active community of enthusiasts for just about every kind of outdoor recreation. With its rich jazz and blues heritage, a fascinating baseball legacy, the best barbecue in the nation and one of the most spectacular concert halls in the world, Kansas City encompasses an unsurpassed wealth of history and culture to explore. Above all, though, Kansas City is a city with heart; our friendly, welcoming community makes it a place you’ll love to call home.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Country Club Plaza

RideKC Streetcar

I can't say enough about how cool Kansas City is. It's a great mix between a big city aesthetic and a small town feel. There's always something to do, like going to a Royals or Chiefs game; going out to Westport or Power & Light; or walking around and shopping in the River Market and Crossroads districts. Kansas City really does have anything a person could want, plus the cost of living here compared to other cities is unbelievable.

Below-average cost of living

- Matthew Luton (2L)

Three national sports stadiums

13 museums

200 fountains

Kauffman Stadium 9

Real-world opportunities in a vibrant city

UMKC School of Law alumni U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Larsen (’73) and Clerk Rebecca Suroff (’04) in the courtroom.

“In addition to great classroom instruction, the law school’s close proximity to trial and appellate courts on both the state and federal level provides unique learning experiences. These experiences help illustrate textbook concepts and make them more real.” — Rebecca Suroff (’04) 10

Leaders in Service Lawyers play a unique role in our society, providing a vital link to access to justice for those in need of legal services. Here at UMKC, we believe it is important to instill in students a sense of civic responsibility and inspire them to use their special knowledge and skills to assist individuals of limited means. We are proud that so many of our faculty and students engage in significant pro bono/public service activities, donating thousands of hours of legal services annually to the community. As a law school, UMKC is committed to serving the profession, serving Kansas City and ultimately serving the public good.

Advancing the Public Interest CLINICS AND FIELD PLACEMENTS Clinics and field placements not only provide opportunities for hands-on practice of legal skills, but also allow students to serve the community. Each year, up to 150 students spend a semester working alongside mentor attorneys and judges in judicial chambers or law offices. Students have direct contact with clients, witnesses and opposing counsel. Students appear in court on behalf of clients, independently, with their mentor nearby. Placements are also diverse: students help enforce fair labor laws, consider visa petitions and prosecute pollution violations. They also work with public interest groups that protect civil rights, protect victims of domestic abuse and sex trafficking, and exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

Where Greatness Begins UMKC has educated notable figures in history. It is one of only seven law schools in the U.S. that have been attended by both a U.S. president and a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Tiera Farrow was the first female judge for the Kansas City Municipal Court and one of the founders of the Women's Bar Association of Kansas City.

PRO BONO/PUBLIC SERVICE HONORS PROGRAM This program provides special recognition to students who engage in significant service during their law school careers. Students who meet the requirement for highest honors receive special recognition and wear gold honor cords at Commencement.

Harry S. Truman 33rd U.S. President

Charles Evans Whittaker Tiera Farrow First female judge, U.S. Supreme Court Kansas City Municipal Justice Court

JUDGE JOHN W. OLIVER PUBLIC SERVICE FELLOWSHIP This prestigious fellowship provides loan repayment assistance to one graduating law student from each class who works in a position of public service. Previous recipients have obtained positions in death penalty defense, the public defender’s office, the prosecutor’s office and Legal Aid.

SERVING THE JUDICIARY THROUGH CLERKING Students at UMKC can work as interns for judges of the many state and federal courts in both Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri, allowing them to see the judicial process from the inside while making important networking contacts. In addition, our judicial clerkship initiative helps students obtain paid clerkships with state and federal trial and appellate judges after graduation. Kansas City’s Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. Courthouse 11

"There is such strong collegiality between faculty and students. I’ve been to other law schools where faculty offices are sequestered, with signs reading, ‘No Students Beyond This Point.’ Faculty members here are genuinely interested in student life.”

Edward Cantu

Collaboration and community

– Professor

Supportive Environment At its foundation, UMKC School of Law strives to provide access and opportunity to students dedicated to serving their community as legal advocates. In order to best serve the diverse population in our local community as well as our country, we continually seek to create and sustain a supportive and inclusive environment within our walls. Powered by the experiences and passions of our students and faculty, we endeavor to collaborate, innovate and build our collective skills and knowledge in the pursuit of learning.


The Faculty WHO WE ARE UMKC School of Law faculty are exceptional teachers, active scholars and — simply put — great people. Whether they are fulltime faculty or practicing attorneys sharing their expertise as adjunct faculty, they come to UMKC after years of law practice because of a deep desire to teach and work with students in our collaborative, collegial environment.

ACCESSIBLE TO STUDENTS Our faculty are engaged with students from the moment they step on campus. One of the biggest reasons students choose UMKC is for our talented, dedicated, accessible faculty, who serve as mentors and advisors to students. To further add to the accessibility of our faculty, their offices are located in suites shared by student offices and study carrels, which helps increase opportunities for collaboration and cooperation. The close-knit community leads to faculty being deeply invested in students’ future successes, staying connected well after law school.

RIGOROUS BUT SUPPORTIVE PROFESSORS UMKC School of Law faculty set high standards but make themselves available to assist students in meeting those standards. Faculty often provide multiple methods of formative assessment (rather than a single test at semester end). Many faculty use technology to enhance learning, ranging from interactive document drafting to flipped classrooms. Others use problem-solving, innovative visuals, or role-play and team-based learning to bring the material alive for students in ways that address multiple learning styles.

TEAMWORK Our faculty also coach our many competition teams, assisting in preparing students to counsel clients, negotiate deals, try cases, argue appeals and engage in other lawyering activities through interschool competitions. As coaches, faculty travel with students to cheer on or console as needed.

I am from New Mexico originally and applied to law schools in many different states hoping to find one that was a good fit for me. I wanted a sense of community and I found that at UMKC. All of my professors have had open door policies and are always willing to help you outside of class. - Caroline Allen (2L)

Collaborative environment You won't find our law professors behind closed doors. Students work closely with faculty through research, competition and various projects that enhance their education at UMKC.

2 steps

Small classes

Student offices are as few as two steps from faculty offices

80% of upperdivision classroom course sections have enrollment under 25

Close Relationships Students benefit from a 9:1 studentto-faculty ratio


Personal and accessible law school experience

I’ve made some seriously impactful relationships while at UMKC School of Law. My favorite relationships are with other students because we are all having similar experiences. There is nothing quite like knowing everyone around you is going through the same thing and feeling similarly. I will cherish these relationships because they are an important part of my legal career. I never could have imagined just how close you can become with your professors. As a law student, you are so vulnerable because you care so much about developing critical legal skills, and you have no clue what you are doing at times! Professors and staff become friends and trusted voices you learn to count on. - Lischen Gibson ( ’18)


How We Work For You From the moment you apply to UMKC to the moment you walk across the stage at graduation, we are committed to providing you with a personalized law school experience that will help you reach your goals. Beyond the classroom, you will find dedicated staff and administrators who offer career guidance, one-on-one advising and support in navigating the daily experiences that come with the rigors of law study. We understand that every path to and through law school is different; that is why we take such care in helping you develop and succeed as an individual.

ENROLLMENT OPTIONS While the majority of incoming students begin in the Fall term, UMKC offers programs to begin in the spring or summer terms as well. The Spring and Summer Start Programs provide students with a flexible scheduling option that results in either a shorter time to graduation or a more relaxed pace, depending on how students schedule the remainder of their education. While completing their required 1L courses, these students will also begin taking elective courses. UMKC also offers a part-time program during the day for students who cannot attend full-time due to the desire to continue working, childcare needs, or other personal circumstances. Application requirements for part-time students are the same as for full-time students. Part-time students may switch to full-time status with the dean’s permission.

THE PROFESSIONAL AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER The Professional and Career Development Center provides services to empower, prepare and assist our law students as they pursue their career goals. The Career Center works with a variety of employers who recruit UMKC School of Law alumni and students and help students develop and pursue a career strategy to meet their aspirations.

Lischen GIbson ('18) and Fatuma Kelleh ('18) at Commencement

BEYOND GRADUATION UMKC continues to assist students as they face the last hurdle to practicing law: the bar examination. Our students can supplement their bar preparation from commercial vendors with the UMKC Bar Prep Program. This unique program concentrates on the strategies and tactics graduates need to focus their studies and pass the bar exam. Active participants in the UMKC Bar Prep Program have routinely scored a higher pass rate compared to the Missouri bar pass rate. After graduation, the Law Alumni Association seeks to deepen the connections our alumni and friends have to the School of Law. The Young Alumni Group, a group for graduates in their first five years of practice, hosts social and networking events, coordinates volunteer activities and helps fundraise in support of current law students. Additionally, UMKC offers alumni networking and mentorship opportunities along with fun events like our annual themed soirĂŠe, The Big Event.

Starting in their first year, students are introduced to staff and career resources, such as CONNECT, an online portal for job and on-campus interview postings, career-related events and resources. The Career Center also hosts networking events, panels, and workshops throughout the school year, bringing together practicing lawyers and business executives with law students. These opportunities allow students to explore practice area options, cultivate professionalism, learn about job opportunities and expand networks. Alumni frequently connect with students through these events, as well as through mock interviews or one-on-one meetings in and outside of Kansas City. The Career Center is a resource that extends well beyond graduation. The office serves both current students and graduates as they continue to develop as professionals. Connecting with UMKC School of Law alumni and Career Center staff will set students on the path toward meaningful employment in their first jobs and in the years to follow.


Financial Aid and Scholarships Financial aid at UMKC School of Law comes in the form of student loans and/or scholarships. Loans are handled through the UMKC Financial Aid Office, and scholarships are typically handled by the law school's Admissions Office. For specific information about either, go to


Personalized law school experience

To be eligible for loans, students must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the UMKC Financial Aid Office. Students may receive federal direct unsubsidized loans and may also qualify for federal graduate PLUS loans. Qualification for student loans is independent of a student’s academic credentials or law school application.

SCHOLARSHIPS Most scholarships at UMKC are merit-based, and they are awarded either at the dean’s discretion or by a scholarship committee. Some may require a separate application, which may be found at, but ALL admitted students will be considered for scholarships at the time of admission. Second Century Scholarships are awarded shortly after admission. The criteria for these awards include LSAT, undergraduate GPA, professional/life experience and potential impact on the UMKC law community. The Julian Klein Davidson and Jack and Helyn Miller Scholarships are full scholarships established to recognize students who, because of outstanding academic achievement and strong leadership potential, will be major contributors to the life of the law school, the legal profession and the community.

- Stephen Ahal (2L) 16

Other scholarship opportunities are available to currently enrolled students. These scholarships are often based on academic interest area, involvement in competition teams and/or writing competitions. For more information, go to

LAW 18052975

UMKC was an affordable option for me, and I would be lying if I said I did not consider that in my law school search. I was told by a mentor of mine, "Going to law school is like buying a car: don't buy something you can't afford, but make sure it is of lasting quality." For me, UMKC hit the perfect mix of low tuition but a great education that was impossible for me to pass up.

Non-Resident Tuition Scholarships are available to entering students who do not meet the requirements for Missouri residency. These scholarships may be continued after the first year, depending on individual circumstances. Students intending to establish Missouri residency should read and follow the requirements at

Admissions Timeline Admission to UMKC School of Law is on a rolling basis, meaning that applicants may apply throughout the year and the Admissions Committee will review applications as they are received. It typically takes about one month from the time a student’s application is complete to the time an admissions decision or interview request is received.

IN THE YEAR BEFORE YOU PLAN TO ENTER LAW SCHOOL … September 1 >> J.D. program application available November 1 >> Application deadline for Spring Start Program January >> Spring Start Program begins February 1 >> Priority filing date for financial aid (FAFSA) submission March 1 >> Application deadline for international J.D. students >> Application deadline for Summer Start Program >> Priority deadline for Fall admission and full scholarship consideration March >> Admitted Students’ Day April 1 >> Regular application deadline for Fall admission consideration* May >> Summer Start Program begins August >> Fall Start Program begins *Applications will continue to be reviewed until the class is full.

Contact us UMKC SCHOOL OF LAW Office of Admissions 500 E. 52nd St. Kansas City, MO 64110 Phone: 816-235-1644 Fax: 816-235-5276 Relay Missouri: 800-735-2966 (TTY) UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.