The curriculum of UMKC School of Law integrates high-level theory and practical skills in order to educate lawyers who develop judgment and strong problem-solving skills. As the ABA, our accrediting body, has recognized, all students should receive substantial instruction in the “professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession.” ABA Standard 302(a)(4). These skills include legal research, problem-solving, oral and written communication, advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, interviewing, counseling, negotiation, fact investigation, drafting and the organization and management of legal work.
The Law School provides opportunities for all students to hone these skills, starting with the first year Lawyering Skills courses and continuing with the integration of practical skills in doctrinal courses with practical skills “laboratories”, simulation courses, externships, clinics, and participation in our the Solo and Small Firm Initiative, and as well as our the Pro Bono/Public Service Program. By the time they graduate, almost every UMKC student has represented an actual client in a clinical course, internship or field experience, or pro bono activity.