The Black Inn is the home for students interested in legal issues related to intellectual property.
Professor Chris Holman
Professor Paul Callister
Lana Lehr Lehnardt
Professor Tim Lynch
Professor Jeff Thomas
The Black Inn was named in honor of Hon. Francis Marion Black (1836-1902). Like many young lawyers of his day, he did not go to law school but clerked with an established lawyer until he passed the bar. When he was 28, he moved to Kansas City and began a small practice. He soon became prominent and was a delegate to the Missouri Constitutional Convention of 1875 in Jefferson City to write a new state constitution. His main contributions were in the areas of property law and fiscal responsibility.
In 1880, he was elected circuit judge of the 24th Judicial Circuit, and five years later he became a member of the Missouri Supreme Court where he penned over 600 opinions–literally, with a quill pen. In 1893, he was unanimously re-nominated to the Supreme Bench by his party only to lose at the polls, as did many Democratic candidates that year.
Upon his return to private practice, he began meeting with the young lawyers Elmer Powell, William Borland and Edward Ellison to study law. Together they formalized their study group and in 1895 officially founded the Kansas City School of Law (now the UMKC School of Law). Judge Black was the first president of the school and lectured on equitable jurisprudence and personal property until his death. E.D. Ellison wrote in the 1909 Pandex, “[Judge Black] fairly hammered the law into his students and never let up until they thoroughly understood the subject under discussion.”