J.D. Degree

At UMKC School of Law, our Juris Doctor (J.D.) program is designed to prepare well-rounded lawyers who appreciate the relationships among legal, social and political aspects of the human experience.

Our curriculum and teaching methods are designed to prepare you for a lifetime of both practicing and learning law. We live by our motto of being powered by experience, and we ensure that not only will you learn about the law from faculty with a wealth of professional experience, but you also will have hands-on experiences.

We offer many opportunities to put your knowledge into practice through classes such as lawyering skills, mediation or law practice management, as well as our specialty clinics, competition teams, and solo and small firm incubator. You also may focus your education through one of our emphasis areas.


This page is designed to give a general overview of the J.D. requirements. For an authoritative description, visit the official UMKC School of Law Catalog.

  1. Completion of 91 credit hours, 75 of which must be credits in regularly scheduled law school classes or clinics.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0
  3. Completion of all required courses
  4. Completion of research and writing (R&W) requirement
  5. Regular and punctual class attendance
  6. Successful completion of all coursework within five years from the day students began their course of studies leading toward the degree. 

Fall Semester Credit hours
Contracts I 3
Criminal Law 3
Lawyering Skills I 3
Property I 3
Torts 3
Total 15

Winter Semester Credit hours
Contracts II 3
Constitutional Law 4
Lawyering Skills II 2
Property II 3
Civil Procedure I 3
Total 15

Flex students must take three of the required courses, including Lawyering Skills, in their first year. The remaining courses must be completed in the second year of study.

Experiential course requirement

A student must take six credit hours in a course or combination of courses that meet the school’s experiential course requirement. These courses are primarily clinical, internship or skills simulation courses. Courses fulfilling the requirement will be designated by the faculty.

American Bar Association (ABA) 303(c) Course Requirement

A student must take 1 credit hour in a course that meets the school's ABA 303(c) course requirement. These courses provide education to students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism. Courses fulfilling the requirement will be designated by the faculty.

Courses required during the summer preceding or second year

Course Credit hours
Business Organizations 3
Civil Procedure II 2
Federal Taxation 3
Evidence 3

Courses required during second or third year

Course Credit hours
Criminal Procedure I 3
Professional Responsibility 2
A course or combination of courses that fulfills the school’s experiential requirement 6

Because of the importance of writing skills to law practice, the law school provides a comprehensive writing curriculum. All students must not only take two semesters of the first-year Lawyering Skills coursework but must also complete a rigorous research and writing project (R&W) during the second or third year. The R&W must demonstrate strong legal analysis and result in a paper of professional quality.

Read about our Lawyering Skills program (PDF)

Students may satisfy the R&W requirement in a number of ways, including taking a seminar that requires a paper meeting the standards for an R&W; pursuing an independent study project with a professor; writing a UMKC Law Review comment or American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Journal project; or preparing a brief for a moot court competition. Details on this requirement are available for current students on Roolaw.

Enrollment options

UMKC Law offers a variety of enrollment options — You may begin your legal education in the Fall and Summer semesters and may pursue your studies on a full-time or part-time basis. You can review all of these on our J.D. academics page.

Explore enrollment options

Ready to apply?

Read the entire application process and apply for our J.D. program.

Apply to the J.D. program