UMKC School of Law

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The litigation emphasis program is designed to help outstanding students focus on courses that will give them the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the ever-changing world of 21st century litigation. In addition to taking a rigorous variety of both required and elective courses, each student pursuing the Emphasis in Litigation works closely with an assigned faculty adviser and is provided with additional training in legal writing, litigation ethics, and legal research.

Admission requirements

Students should apply no later than their fifth semester of law school. The number of admitted students is limited by advising availability.


The program requires completion of the following:

  • A total of at least 26 hours in approved courses
  • An academic research paper concerning a litigation topic
  • At least two courses containing a substantial practical skills component
  • At least one non-credit workshop on research materials
  • At least one non-credit workshop on litigation ethics
Approved courses

Required (all required)

  • Civil Procedure I
  • Civil Procedure II
  • Criminal Procedure I
  • Evidence

Core Course Requirement (take two)

  • Conflict of Laws
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • Remedies
  • Criminal Procedure II

Advanced Course Requirement (take one)

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Applied Evidence
  • Applied Federal Criminal Procedure and Evidence
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Criminal Trial Techniques
  • Mediation
  • Missouri Civil Procedure
  • Professional Malpractice Litigation

Skills Requirement (take two)

  • Advanced Legal Writing: Litigation Drafting
  • Appellate Advocacy II
  • Appellate Advocacy III
  • Appellate Advocacy IV
  • Trial Advocacy I
  • Trial Advocacy II
  • Trial Advocacy III

(use to satisfy total hours)

Clinics and externships

  • Bankruptcy Court Clerkship
  • Child and Family Services Clinic
  • Death Penalty Clinic
  • Department of Labor Clinic
  • Family Law Clerkship
  • Federal Court Internship
  • Federal Public Defender Externship Clinic
  • Innocence Project Clinic
  • Jackson County Prosecutor Clinic
  • Jackson County Prosecutor Clinic - Family
  • Legal Aid Clinic
  • Missouri Attorney General Clinic
  • National Labor Relations Board Clinic
  • Public Defender Trial Clinic
  • United States Attorney’s Office Law Clinic

Other electives

  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Legal Research - Litigation
  • Advanced Lawyering Processes (second semester only)
  • Criminal Trial Techniques
  • Criminal Sentencing Law Practice and Procedure
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Family Law Practice
  • Famous Trials
  • Global Legal Systems
  • Independent Study
  • Introduction to the Resolution of International Commercial Disputes
  • Jury Selection
  • The Jury: Practice and Perspectives
  • Law Review (if approved by student’s litigation adviser on the basis that the student’s note or comment relates directly to litigation)
  • Legal Research (if approved by student’s litigation adviser on the basis that the student’s writing relates directly to litigation)
  • Missouri Supreme Court and Constitution
  • Post Conviction Remedies
  • Seminar in the Ethics of Criminal Advocacy
  • Trans-National Litigation
  • Wrongful Convictions
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UMKC School of Law | 500 East 52nd St. | Kansas City, MO 64110-2458
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