Sep 29, 2006    #147
Contact: Nick Barron

Law school dean receives distinguished honor

Ellen Suni, dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law, has been awarded a 2006 Spurgeon Smithson Award from the Missouri Bar.

The annual award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the legal profession, celebrates the contributions Suni has made in 31 years of teaching law, 26 of which have been spent at UMKC. During that time, Suni has not only been an accomplished teacher, but also served as an adviser to the Moot Court Program and as director of the School’s Academic Enrichment Program.

“The Missouri Bar annually grants the Spurgeon Smithson Award to three members of the Bar who have advanced the cause of justice,” UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey said. “Dean Ellen Suni’s level of prominence in her field has caught the attention of her peers, and the Bar has chosen her as one of this year’s notables. UMKC is proud of her accomplishments.”

As part of her commitment to legal outreach within the community, Suni is a co-founder and past president of the Midwestern Innocence Project and a board member of the Public Interest Litigation Clinic. She was a co-founder of the Kansas City Youth Court and served as its legal director for six years.

Suni has served as a consultant for the Missouri Supreme Court Advisory Committee, the Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and has been a member of the MoBar Special Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct. She is the author of a chapter in the MoBar Criminal Practice deskbook and recently had an article published in the American Bar Association’s GP/Solo Magazine. She is a frequent speaker at national and local Continuing Legal Education programs in her areas of expertise, criminal law and procedure, professional responsibility and appellate advocacy.

Suni was selected as one of the inaugural class of Legal Leaders of Kansas City in 2004 by The Daily Record. In 1996 she was selected as the Outstanding Lawyer of the Year by the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City and received the Pierson Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2002 and 1988. She was selected by the School’s Classes of 1999 and 2002 as the Outstanding Professor of the Year.

The UMKC School of Law is Kansas City’s only law school. The school offers emphasis in the areas of entrepreneurial/business law, the law of families and children, litigation and urban law. With its unique mentoring program, shared learning space for faculty and students and numerous clinics staffed by students, the school is a community of learners that bridges the gap between theory and practical application of the law.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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