UMKC Catalog


Academic and Professional Training at UMKC

UMKC School of Law provides academic and professional training to students seeking careers in law. Our faculty are outstanding scholars who have extensive practice experience. Faculty at UMKC are actively engaged with students both inside and outside the classroom. Our classes are relatively small (by law school standards) and many of our substantive courses incorporate simulations and service learning opportunities. Our faculty and students are collegial and the school provides many opportunities for interaction and development of close personal relationships that will last throughout one's career. We like to think of ourselves as the urban, public law school with the small, liberal arts feel.

We are a law school that teaches students to become lawyers in the best tradition of the profession and introduces them to the opportunities and obligations of the legal profession and its role in the greater community. We appreciate the work of lawyers and their many contributions, which include educating people and institutions about their rights, helping to design prosperous business and community ventures, and working towards the effective and efficient resolution of disputes. We maintain a faculty devoted both to professional service and to advancing knowledge through the production of excellent academic scholarship.

UMKC School of Law is a community of scholars, with faculty and students working together to address the legal issues and problems confronting society today on the local, state, federal and international levels. Because we train many of the region's practitioners, business people, judges and politicians, we have a special responsibility to see that they are competent members of the bench and bar, advisers and administrators; technically proficient, professionally responsible, and knowledgeable about the range of social, political, and economic ideas that influence our society. In doing so, we are aware that our graduates must be comfortable in a variety of professional settings with people from a variety of experiences, from land-use planning meetings with the local town council to trade negotiations in Mexico City, from an opening statement in the county courthouse to an appellate argument before the United States Supreme Court. While the details of such settings change over time, we can prepare students for such varied work by concentrating always on the foundations of good lawyering: respect for people, respect for knowledge and ideas, and respect for justice.

As a Law School, we build on a strong tradition of advocacy, civic engagement and academic excellence - a program that has not only produced some of the region's best lawyers and judges, but one that has also trained a U.S. Supreme Court Justice (Charles Whittaker) and an American President (Harry Truman). We embrace and foster a collegial, collaborative model of professional education and maintain an intellectual and cultural environment that fosters broad thinking, local and global awareness and creative problem-solving.