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Encouraging excellence

UMKC School of Law supports healthy habits

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Kate Paulman decided to embark on something often characterized as stressful, isolated and cutthroat -- law school.

But after enrolling at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in the fall of 2006, Paulman was pleasantly surprised. She found encouraging professors who knew students by name. She found helpful classmates who held study groups and provided honest advice. And she found a school that emphasized work-life balance.

"The UMKC School of Law is such a positive environment, and that's really rare for a law school," Paulman said. "I never thought I would love law school."

Paulman helped organize the School's "Healthy Habits: Learning Healthy Practices to Improve Your Life" program, which provides law students with a foundation for healthy habits. Last spring, the program featured a healthy lunch, guided relaxation workshop, photography contest, creative writing workshop, yoga class and chair massages.

"The more we, as lawyers, can take care of our own well-being, the more we'll be able to serve our clients and community," Paulman said. "The UMKC School of Law cares immensely about its students. The faculty wants to make sure that we're not just good lawyers when we graduate, but that we’re good people, too."

In addition to providing Paulman with moral support, the School of Law has provided her with the financial support necessary to pursue her dream of becoming a public service lawyer. Paulman received a UMKC Public Interest Law Association Scholarship, Robert Downs Merit Scholarship and UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund Scholarship.

The School's urban location helped Paulman gain experience in the legal field. It helped her secure a federal clerkship internship with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri and a post as case note editor for "The Urban Lawyer: The National Quarterly on State and Local Government Law," which is headquartered at UMKC.

Paulman also served as vice president of the Student Bar Association, staff member for the UMKC Law Review and representative for the Association of Women Law Students. In addition, she studied abroad in Ireland and served as an English lecturer at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China.

As a 2009 School of Law cum laude graduate, Paulman works as a research attorney for the Kansas Court of Appeals in Topeka, Kan. The job involves reviewing case files, researching legal issues and writing case analyses for judges.

"I love this job -- everything about it is just great," Paulman said. "And there hasn't been a challenge at work that my UMKC Law education hasn't prepared me for, in one way or another. I am so grateful for the experience I had at UMKC Law. Everything -- from the first-year classes and Structured Study, to the continued support from faculty during my second and third years, to the after-graduation bar prep -- was truly fantastic."

Posted: November 17, 2009

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"The UMKC School of Law is such a positive environment, and that's really rare for a law school."

Kate Paulman
School of Law alumna