The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law is a public law school founded in 1895 as the Kansas City School of Law, a private, independent law school located in downtown Kansas City. Three young lawyers – William Borland, Edward Ellison and Elmer Powell – founded the law school with assistance from members of the bench and bar.
Borland, the school’s first dean, was elected to Congress in 1910 and was succeeded by Ellison, who served as dean until the School of Law merged with the University of Kansas City in 1938. After affiliating with the University of Missouri system in 1963, the school assumed its current name. The law school moved to UMKC’s main campus in 1974.
The E.E. Thompson Courtroom, named in honor of a prominent local trial attorney and 1925 graduate, was built in 1979 and renovated and rededicated in 2006. It is an ideal location for litigation training and observation. Real-time transcripts can be produced, creating an immediate record for lawyers and judges. Video evidence and electronic documents can be displayed on screens at the judge’s bench, witness stand and jury box.
In 2010, the Arthur H. Stoup Courtroom was dedicated in honor of Art Stoup, a lifelong attorney and 1950 graduate who led the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association. The courtroom includes a jury box, judge’s bench, lawyers’ tables and a spectators’ area. The courtroom is intentionally modeled after ones used by Jackson County, Mo.
The School of Law is one of only six American law schools to have produced both a President of the United States – Harry Truman – and a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – Charles Whittaker. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.