At UMKC, the law school experience extends far beyond the classroom. We offer many ways for students to get involved through organizations matching a variety of interests within the law school and the larger university community. Students are encouraged to participate leading to a richly diverse education.
For additional information contact Adela
Student Bar Association
Every student enrolled in the UMKC School of law full-time is a member of SBA, which is governed by an elected student Board of Governors. The responsibilities of the board include appointing student representatives to various SBA, faculty and university committees. SBA sponsors a variety of educational and social activities throughout the year that are designed to inform students about recent developments in law and to relieve some of the pressures of law school. Some of these activities include: a used book sale, open house, happy hours, a softball tournament, Chief’s tailgate party, Barrister’s Ball and Res Derelicta. We encourage all students to attend SBA meetings and serve on committees. Students are encouraged to become paying members of SBA because of the special benefits and opportunities this offers.
Contact: Tyson Bramley
American Bar Association - Law Student Division
The Law Student Division, open to all UMKC law students, is one of the more than 25 sections and divisions of the American Bar Association. The ABA-LSD plays an important role in circuit activities, including hosting the Fall Round table.
Contact: Caleb Aponte
American Civil Liberties Union
The purpose of the ACLU is to maintain and advance civil liberties. The UMKC chapter of the ACLU of Western Missouri strives to promote dialogue on civil liberties issues at UMKC.
Contact: Elizabeth Walburn
American Constitution Society
The American Constitution Society (ACS) works for positive change by shaping debate on vitally important legal and constitutional issues through development and promotion of high-impact ideas to opinion leaders and the media. By bringing together powerful, relevant ideas and passionate,
talented people, ACS makes a difference in the constitutional, legal and public policy debates that shape our democracy.
Contact: James Ryan
Animal Law Society
The purpose of the Animal Law Society (ALS) shall be to take advantage of the
unique opportunity afforded to us as law students, by providing educational
information promoting the progression of animal welfare in the law. ALS actively
believes that there is a pressing need for better laws protecting animals and
advancing their interests through legislation and judge made law. Additionally,
ALS embraces the advancement of the field of animal law and supports reforming
the status of animals in our society. ALS is dedicated to spreading awareness of
current issues concerning animal welfare and serving as advocates for the humane
treatment of animals everywhere.
Contact: Kristen Thurmond
Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association
The purposes of the APILSA are to promote the professional goals and meet the professional needs of Asian and Pacific-Islander law students by utilizing the collective resources of the law school and the legal community; to develop the relationship with Asian and Pacific-Islander practitioners; to instill in Asian and Pacific-Islander law students a greater awareness of the commitment to the needs of the
Asian-American community; and to foster and encourage professional competence. All law students are welcome to join APILSA and participate in the activities.
Contact: Leah Miyamoto
Association for Women Law Students
The Association of Women Law Students was formed in 1989 to provide a forum for women law students, to promote the role
of women in the legal profession and its bar associations, to encourage the acceptance of qualified women in the academic and legal
communities, and to exert an influence in the law, the profession, the school and the community.
All law students are welcome to join AWLS and participate in its activities.
Contact: JoEllen Flanagan
Black Law Student Association
The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is an organization formed and designed to promote the needs and interests of
Black law students attending predominantly white universities. Its goals are to increase the number of black attorneys, judges
and law professors, to encourage professional competence and to continue to improve the relationship of the black attorney with
the American legal system. In addition, BLSA seeks to bring about change within the legal
system in order to make it more responsive to the needs of the black community.
Contact: Alexandra Alpough
Board of Barristers
Contact: Sara Christensen
Christian Legal Society
Founded upon de Tocqueville’s notion that as a Judeo-Christian nation America will remain great only as long as America remains good, the CLS seeks to discern the parameters of the ethical vitality and moral essence of the law. Open to all students, the CLS offers opportunities for spiritual and temporal
support as well as searching dialogue and well-earned rest and fellowship.
Contact: Andrew Alexander
Delta Theta Phi
Delta Theta Phi sponsors and promotes a schedule of social events that provide a release and diversion from the torments normally associated with the study of law. Delta Theta Phi boasts student and alumni members from around the greater Kansas City area. Membership includes active attorneys, judges,
members of the business community, and a broad section of law students.
Contact: Robert Givens
The Emissaries are a select group of law students who serve as the official public relations team of the School of Law. Chosen through a competitive
application process, the group works closely with the law school administration in assisting with recruitment, community activities and special events. They can arrange tours, class visits
and opportunities to meet or talk with current students or alumni.
Contact: Ashley Grace
Environmental Law Society
The Environmental Law Society is a group for those who are interested in environmental issues, especially issues that arise in the Midwest and
particularly in the Kansas City metropolitan area. ELS is available
to assist and educate students who are interested in pursuing a career in Environmental Law.
Contact: David Adams
Estates & Trusts Law Society
The Estates and Trusts Society seeks to provide a means for students to gain social and networking opportunities with other students
interested in the field of estates and trusts, as well as to learn and
connect with professionals in the Kansas City legal community who practice in the estates and trusts field.
Contact: Rochelle Falk
Family Law Society
This society provides law students with information and experiences within the field of family law, allows students to become acquainted with professionals in the field,
promote student interest in family law, and encourage family law education throughout the UMKC Law School student body.
Contacts: Lyndsay Mathews and John Manford
The Federalist Society membership consists of students who are interested in legal and political topics with an emphasis on separation of powers and traditional values and views
about the law. The UMKC chapter presents speakers and sponsors forums on a variety of issues.
Contact: Joseph Esry
Health Law Society
The purpose of the Health Law Society is to facilitate students in gaining
knowledge of current issues within the world of health care and promote
education of those issues.
Contact: Jill Turner
Hispanic Law Students Association
The Hispanic Law Student Association serves to protect and advance the rights of Hispanic students and other minorities in our law schools as well as
local, regional, and national communities; to instill greater awareness of the cultural differences, similarities, and needs of the Hispanic population; to
provide educational support and social opportunities for students interested in Spanish language and culture; and to encourage
diversity and foster positive changes within the legal academic and professional communities.
Contact: Elizabeth Duff, Mario Moore and Crispin Rea
The Student Bar Association of the Law School has adopted an honor code that prohibits any conduct that would give an unfair advantage to any student in any academic matter or in any matter relating to academic credentials. The honor court hears all cases involving alleged violations of the honor code. It is composed of a chief justice and four associate justices appointed from the
student body by the president of the Student Bar Association with the approval of its board of governors.
Contact: Chief Justice John McPherson
Intellectual Property Law Society
The Intellectual Property Law Society is an organization of law students interested in patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret law. The primary purpose of the IPLS is to promote opportunities for its members to learn more about intellectual property issues through course offerings, participation in moot court competitions,
interactions with local practitioners and summer clerkships.
Contact: Heath Martin
International Law Society
The International Law Society offers students the opportunity to focus on the many facets of law from an international perspective: from the practicalities of a legal practitioner to the theoretical applications of multi-national dispute settlements. The current explosion of trade opportunities, worldwide environmental concerns, and new partnerships in political and economic arenas
present exciting opportunities for tomorrow’s lawyers to shape the future of global cooperation.
Contact: Caitlin Brock
J. Reuben Clark Law Society
The JRCLS is composed of LDS and non-LDS attorneys from all parts of the country and many international areas who share in the long-standing traditions of the legal profession and have a
common interest in the attitudes and values associated with the name of J. Reuben Clark.
Contact: Amy Hill
Jewish Law Students Association
The purpose of the organization shall be to meet the needs of Jewish law students at UMKC School of Law and to promote
awareness and understanding of the Jewish people, their religion, traditions, and of the State of Israel.
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA)
Contact: Robert Kinsman
Law 2.0 is a professional legal organization advancing the ethical use of technology in the practice of law, advancing the legal community’s
understanding of technological uses in the practice of law, and educating the legal community on the effects technology has on substantive law.
Contact: Andrew Hall and Mitch Biebighauser
Legal Interpretation Society
Our mission is to build links with the Kansas City Legal Community while gaining proficiency in Spanish.
Midwest Innocence Project Student Organization
The mission of the project is to support the efforts of the Midwest Innocence Project through support and fundraising efforts.
Contact: Matthew Peters
Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (MATA)
The UMKC MATA chapter was formed with the basic ideals of the statewide organization and the national organization, known as the American
Association of Justice. These ideals and goals include seeking justice, protecting those who deserve redress from injury,
promoting the public good through concerted efforts to secure safe products, and upholding the honor and dignity of the legal profession.
Contact: Jedd Schneider and Matthew Peters
Missouri Republican Law Student Association
The Missouri Republican Law Student Association (MRLSA) serves as a social
and political organization whose goal is to promote the agenda of the Republican
Party, to promote conservatism and further the legal, academic and social
interests of its members, and to promote positive and open discourse.
Contact: Zachary Berkstresser
Moot Court Board
Unlike other student organizations at UMKC School of Law, the Moot Court Board does not seek the first-year students'
participation. Membership on the board is the product of rigorous competition in two appellate advocacy programs that the student board administers.
During the fall of the second year of law school, students may enroll in Appellate Advocacy II in which students present oral arguments before a panel
of judges consisting of three attorneys. The participants are numerically scored on their appellate performance and the top 16 students then qualify to
enroll in Appellate Advocacy III, the Ellison Moot Court Competition. Appellate Advocacy III is offered in the winter semester and is similar to Appellate
Advocacy II except the judges who evaluate the competitors are actual judges of Missouri and federal courts. The top achievers in this competition become
the school’s National Moot Court Team and qualify to enroll in Appellate Advocacy IV in the fall of their third year. The students participating in Appellate
Advocacy III comprise the Moot Court Board. The purpose of the board is to select by competitive
means a National Moot Court Team to represent the school in national moot court competition.
Contact: Tiffany Johnson
National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyers Guild is a nationwide organization of lawyers, legal workers, and law students with 96 chapters
throughout the United States. The guild is dedicated to seeking social justice, social equality, and freedom to dissent to the end that human
rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.
Contact: Sanam Sadeghi
Older Wiser Law Students
Focuses on non-traditional law students, particularly those who are married, have children or pursued a career before entering law school. OWLS promotes spouse and child friendly social activities, along with career focused lectures (focusing on law as a second career, and how to successfully make the transition into a law career). They provide peer advice in preparing for exams, as well as balancing the demands of law school and family, and supply a place for students to network with
other non-traditional law students and address the concerns of this population.
Contact: Nicholas Blount
This group was formed to provide support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered students and their supporters. It is designed to provide an outlet for social interaction and recreation for GLBT people and their friends, supporters and associates. Outlaws will also advocate for the education of the UMKC students,
faculty and staff regarding GLBT issues.
Contact: Eric Zercher
Phi Alpha Delta
The Thomas Hart Benton Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity was organized at the old Kansas City Law School in 1907 and later merged with Phi Delta Delta, the legal fraternity for women, and became the leader in the involvement of women in professional law fraternities. Membership not only offers social and professional commitment during law school, but also throughout an attorney’s professional career. Recognizing the importance of continuing legal education, the Thomas Hart Benton Chapter presents professional programs for
members, alumni and members of the bar. They focus on issues confronting the practicing attorney.
Contact: Sara Christensen
Phi Delta Phi
Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity is represented at UMKC by Powell Inn. Phi Delta Phi is one of the nation's first professional fraternities,
and has initiated more than 100,000 men and women. The objectives of the fraternity are: instilling a sense of the importance of adhering to high standards
of professional ethics and integrity encouraging legal scholarship stimulating closer relations among jurists, practitioners, professors and students of law
generating close friendships, both professional
and personal and developing the service and leadership qualities a law graduate should bring to the bar.
Contact: Anna Connelly
Public Interest Law Association
The purpose of this group is to foster awareness by students, faculty, administrators and alumni to the rewards, challenges, and opportunities in public interest law through financial support, educational programs and community outreach. A student-driven, non-profit organization, it is dedicated to the principle that law students should be encouraged to work in the public interest and that no student or graduate who wants to work in public interest law should be unable to do so for economic reasons. The group is affiliated with the National Association for Public Interest Law, and
administers two primary program areas: grants for summer internships and loan repayment assistance for graduates.
Contact: Erick Zercher
Sports and Entertainment Law Society
The purpose of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society shall be to explore career options in the field of sports and entertainment law.
Contact: Seth Slayden