Learning Outcomes for Graduates

UMKC School of Law is committed to its students' success. Graduates of the UMKC School of Law will have achieved a range of learning outcomes relevant to law practice.

Demonstrate mastery of core doctrinal knowledge

No matter what practice our graduates pursue, certain core doctrinal knowledge will be foundational. We expect graduates to be able to analyze and apply these core legal doctrines that provide the foundation for preparing for and passing the bar examination and for identifying legal problems in practice.

Core legal doctrines are those taught in our required curriculum — Business Associations, Agency and Partnership, Corporations and Limited Liability Companies, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Federal Civil Procedure, Property and Torts.

Emphasis area graduates will additionally be able to analyze and apply core legal doctrines from their emphasis area.

Demonstrate mastery of the skills necessary for objective legal analysis

Analytical tools are the foundation for problem-solving, advocacy and leadership. We expect graduates to be use these tools effectively. The skills expected include the ability to recognize the relative role of public and private law in regulating conduct; to parse various sources of law — constitutions, cases, statutes and court rules; to extract or build rules from these sources; and to apply deductive, analogical and other reasoning methods to apply those rules to a set of facts.

Graduates will be able to characterize facts in multiple ways and provide alternative interpretations of an ambiguous rule. They will recognize that not all legal problems have a clear or well-developed rule to answer the problem and be able to identify the impact of factual, historical, political and other contexts on the interpretation and application of rules.

Emphasis area graduates will be able to demonstrate these skills while engaged in their area of emphasis.

Demonstrate mastery of the skills necessary for effective legal research

We expected graduates to conduct effective research. Accordingly, graduates are expected to be able to identify the appropriate research method, tools and vocabulary for efficient and effective research; evaluate the results of research for completeness, currency, relevance and bias; and conclude their research with confidence.

Emphasis area graduates will additionally be able to conduct effective legal and other research in their area of emphasis.

Demonstrate mastery of legal writing across formats

Recognizing the importance of written communication to the practice of law, we expect graduates to be able to consistently apply a writing process that produces written products such as formal letters, memoranda, briefs and other less formal items that are grammatically correct and organized effectively and are clear, concise and without inadvertent ambiguity. Graduates will be able to identify and employ appropriate format, organization, style and tone for communicating both objective analysis and advocacy to legal readers and for communicating legal concepts to lay persons.

Emphasis area graduates will additionally be able to competently prepare legal documents most common to their area of emphasis.

Demonstrate mastery of the duties of attorneys as members of the legal profession

We expect our students to pursue their legal education with integrity and with respect for people, knowledge and ideas, and justice. Graduates will be able to articulate the core values of the legal profession and the relationships between their own personal ethical standards and to the standards of the profession. Graduates will develop the professional identity skills necessary to bring such ideals to fruition — a commitment to access to justice, cultural competence, leadership, self-directedness, reflectiveness and the habits of well-being. They will be able to demonstrate mastery of standards regulating attorneys and apply those regulations to resolve common questions of professional duty.

Emphasis area graduates will additionally be able to demonstrate mastery of unique standards regulating attorneys in their area of emphasis.

 Demonstrate ability to work with people in a professional environment

We expect graduates to have the skills to form effective professional relationships with clients, staff, attorneys and other professionals. Those skills include the ability to understand how values, culture and biases impact their own decisions and actions and those of others. Graduates will be able to demonstrate the ability to actively listen, to communicate respectfully across differences and to work cooperatively as part of a team or network. They will recognize and access the value of ideological and cultural diversity in generating knowledge and solving problems.

Emphasis area graduates will additionally be able to recognize and manage the unique challenges of working with the clients and other professionals common in their area of practice.

Demonstrate competency in professional work habits

Attorneys are more often subject to discipline and liability for deficits in personal and professional management than for deficits in other skills or knowledge. Therefore, we expect graduates to demonstrate professional work habits and management practices, including the ability manage time and documents, to recognize personal limits and ask for help, to invite and use critical feedback and to manage stress and conflict.

Emphasis area graduates will be able to demonstrate these skills while engaged in their area of emphasis.

Demonstrate entry-level proficiency in lawyering skills

The daily skills of lawyering — interviewing, counseling, negotiation, problem-solving and advocacy — are primarily learned after graduation. However, we seek to lay an adequate foundation for students to build on these skills by providing students learning activities for these outcomes.

Emphasis area graduates will be able to demonstrate a developing skill in those practice skills most commonly employed in their area of emphasis.