UMKC Law Ranks Among Best in Trial Advocacy and Legal Writing

U.S. News and World Report releases program rankings
UMKC School of Law students

The School of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is one of the best in the nation at preparing students for Trial Advocacy and Legal Writing, according to new rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

According to U.S. News, UMKC Law is ranked 27th in the country in Trial Advocacy, tied with the University of Virginia, the University of Texas-Austin and Syracuse, among others. UMKC was ranked ahead of Harvard (34th), Duke (35th), Columbia (60th), Stanford and Yale (both 76th).

“Trial Advocacy is more than just public speaking in the courtroom – it is a skill that requires understanding and translating a client’s story into a persuasive narrative that must fit the constraints of the formal rules of evidence and procedure,” said Barbara Glesner Fines, dean of the UMKC School of Law.

In Legal Writing, UMKC Law was ranked 20th in the nation, ahead of Boston College (29th), Ohio State (37th), Duke (42nd) and Washington University of St. Louis (52nd).

“Legal Research and Writing is a foundational skill for all attorneys,” Glesner Fines said. “Attorneys communicate in writing to their clients, public, courts, companies – it’s all writing, all the time and the formats vary significantly across the audiences.  UMKC is proud of its record of educating our students to be excellent professional writers in all these settings.”

“This ranking is largely a consequence of the national leadership in this field provided by our legal writing professors: Norm Plate, Judy Popper and Wanda Temm,” Glesner Fines added.  “Wanda Temm in particular deserves kudos, as she has been a national leader in both legal writing and bar preparation programs.  Their leadership on behalf of legal writing professors nationwide, presentations at national conferences, and engagement with the national legal writing listserve have raised our visibility and reputation for excellence.”

The overall ranking for the UMKC School of Law was 108th in the country, up from 119th last year and 123rd in 2017. In reputational ranking, which is based on surveys of attorneys and judges, UMKC School of Law ranks in the top 100 in the country.

According to U.S. News & World Report, graduates from the top law schools have consistently high bar passage and employment rates, among other factors.


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Published: Mar 12, 2019

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