The UMKC School of Law has been awarded a University of Missouri system grant to support sharing UMKC’s innovative courses with University of Missouri School of Law students. The grant will support a collaboration between UMKC School of Law and the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia for two different courses.
One shared course will be Wrongful Convictions, to be co-taught by UMKC Clinical Professor Lindsay Runnels and MU Professor Rod Uphoff. This course is the prerequisite for the Wrongful Convictions Clinic – a clinical course taught by UMKC’s Professor Runnels in cooperation with the Midwest Innocence Project and offered to University of Missouri School of Law students as well. The clinic students work to secure exonerations for individuals who are serving prison sentences for crimes they did not commit. This past spring, the clinic celebrated its participation in the exoneration of Lamonte McIntyre, who had been wrongly imprisoned for 23 years. The shared foundations course will help to better prepare law students from both campuses to participate in these cases.
The second shared course is part of a significant global partnership begun by UMKC School of Law. The International Criminal Law course was developed by UMKC Adjunct Professor William Worster, who is also a Senior Lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in The Hague. Collaborating with Professor Tim Lynch of UMKC and Professor Rod Uphoff of MU, Professor Worster will provide a combined distance education course that will give students at both law schools the fundamentals of the system of international criminal law. Students who complete this course are then eligible to enroll in the one-week, one-credit hour International Field Experience course offered by UMKC School of Law. In that course, students visit the Hague in the Netherlands and see the application of their coursework in a comparative perspective; this field experience will include tours of the United Nations International Criminal Court and visits with experts from the host country. This course is part of an innovative series developed by UMKC School of Law Associate Dean Jeff Thomas. The series offer students opportunities for short international field experiences that build upon prerequisite domestic classroom courses.
These shared courses extend to University of Missouri School of Law the connections between classroom and community that make UMKC School of Law’s program unique and valuable and will provide a template for future collaborations.