The School of Law has a comprehensive program of advocacy training that involves both intra-school competition and participation in external programs. The school has established a strong tradition of excellence in inter-school competition both at the regional and national levels. The program receives strong support from the School, alumni and friends, both financially and through assistance from leading members of the bar.
National Mock Trial Competitions
Students compete in intra-school competition to demonstrate their abilities in trial skills. Those achieving the best scores represent the school in regional and national mock trial competitions, including the National Trial Competition (coordinated by the American Bar Association's Section on Litigation and the Texas Young Lawyers Association) and the American Association for Justice Mock Trial Competition. Our trial team was the Regional winner for 2008 and advanced to Nationals in Texas.
National Moot Court Competitions
All students may participate in intra-school moot court competition. Additionally, students showing outstanding appellate advocacy abilities represent the school in annual regional and national moot court competitions, including the National Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. UMKC teams have been very successful in advancing into the elimination rounds at regional tournaments.
Outstanding student advocates also participate in a variety of other competitions, including the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition, the Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Moot Court Competition (Bankruptcy Law), the Family Welfare and Adoption Law Competition and the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Teams compete locally, nationally and internationally in these competitions.
Client Counseling and Negotiation Competitions
Each year the School selects teams to compete in the ABA Negotiation Competition and the National Client Counseling Competition. Selection is based on intra-school competitions open to all students. Our Negotiating Team has an outstanding record, having advanced to Nationals almost every year and finishing in the “final four” nationally four times in the past twenty years.
The Scott Welch Memorial Advocacy Fund
This fund was endowed by alumnus Lantz Welch in memory of his son, and by memorial contributions of friends of the family. The fund provides travel expenses and recognition for students representing the School of Law in national appellate advocacy and mock trial competitions.
The UMKC Law Foundation also provides significant support for internal competitions and travel to regional and national competitions.
Viewing Actual Court Proceedings
The E.E. "Tom" Thompson Courtroom, attached to the law building, is one of the premier teaching courtrooms in the country. It contains computer-controlled audiovisual equipment, together with a 70-seat sound-proof observation balcony, providing a full opportunity for teaching and team practice with the aid of audiovisual critique. A complement of ancillary rooms enables the courtroom to be used by state and federal trial and appellate courts, providing special learning experiences for students.