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Home » University of Missouri-Kansas City

500 East 52nd Street
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
p. 816-235-1644
f. 816-235-5276
w. <IT>law.umkc.edu<RO>

School of Law

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Academics

In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. in 3 emphasis areas: tax, general, and estate planning. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 10 credits may be applied.

Students must take 15 to 26 credits in their area of concentration, depending on the program. The School of Law offers concentrations in family law, litigation, tax law, business and entrepreneurial law, urban, land use and environmental law, and estates and trust planning. In-house clinics from 2 to 6 credit hours include Child and Family Services, Tax, and Entrepreneurial Law and Practice. Seminars for 2 or 3 credit hours include Civil Rights Litigation, Gender and Justice, and Famous Trials. Internships from 2 to 6 credit hours include legal aid, public defender trial, and prosecutor and death penalty. Research is conducted as part of the research and writing requirement for all students. Introduction to Law and Legal Processes, for 5 hours, requires all students to engage in research, case analysis, and synthesis, and Advanced Legal Writing, a 3-credit-hour course for upper-level students, focuses on drafting seminars in corporate law and litigation. Credit may be given for independent study/research projects conducted under faculty supervision, and that may include empirical studies/data gathering. Cohen, Gage, and Smith Lecture Series bring national speakers to the law school. Study abroad is possible in China and Ireland. Structured study groups are offered in 1 substantive course in each first-year section. Trained upper-level study leaders model effective learning strategies and assist in writing/synthesis skills. An academic enrichment program, focusing on analytical, organization, and exam-writing skills, also is offered. The Black Law Students Association and the National Hispanic Bar Association work closely with the law school in offering educational and cultural programs that enhance cultural diversity and sensitivity. The law school has more than 20 student groups in all interest areas that sponsor programs on a regular basis. The most widely taken electives are Family Law, Trial and Appellate Advocacy, Estates and Trusts, and Constitutional Law II.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 91 total credits, of which 52 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I, Constitutional Law, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Introduction to Law I and II, Property I and II, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of an advanced Torts course requirement, Business Organizations, Civil Procedure II, Criminal Procedure I, Evidence, Federal Taxation, Jurisprudence course requirement, Professional Responsibility, Research and Writing requirement, and U.C.C. course requirement. All students must take clinical courses. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 2-day program that introduces students to all aspects of law school, legal study, and registration and rules and includes discussion groups and lunch with members of the local judiciary and bar.

To graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement, the jurisprudential requirement, the advanced torts requirement, and the professional skills requirement.

Admissions

In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1004 applied, 505 were accepted, and 174 enrolled. Six transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 61; the median GPA was 3.35 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 15; the highest was 97.

Applicants must take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, academic achievement, and factors that bring diversity to a class. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.

Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 2 letters of recommendation, and a $200 seat deposit. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is June. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 89% of current law students receive some form of aid. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include special admissions scholarships and out-of-state tuition waivers for minority students. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.

Students

About 41% of the student body are women; 10%, minorities; 2%, African American; 2%, Asian American; 1%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from the Midwest (92%). The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 19 to 47. About 6% of students have a graduate degree. About 5% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 95% remain to receive a law degree.

Students edit the UMKC Law Review, Urban Lawyer, and the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Annual moot court competitions include the National Moot Court, Jessup International Law, and the National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Other competitions include the National Trial, Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court, Environmental Law, Frederick Douglass Moot Court, American Association for Justice Mock Trial, Client Counseling, and ABA Negotiation. Law student organizations include Public Interest Law Association, Business and Tax Society, and Environmental Law Society. Local chapters of national associations include Phi Alpha Delta, Theta Phi, Phi Delta Phi, and the Federalist Society.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full- and part-time students are offered both day and evening, with most courses being offered during the day, and must be completed within 5 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.

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