Part-Time Enrollment

Part-time and nontraditional students

At UMKC Law, we embrace diversity in all forms. This includes a vibrant community of students who are attending law school as a second or third career. These students, known as nontraditional students, enrich the law school community with their life experiences.

To accommodate the needs of students with established careers or family commitments, students have the ability to take a part-time course load. With the part-time option, you have up to five years to complete your J.D.

Student group

Older wiser law students (OWLS) focuses on nontraditional law students, particularly those who are married, have children or pursued a career before entering law school. OWLS hosts spouse- and child-friendly social activities, along with career-focused lectures such as law as a second career and how to successfully make the transition into a law career. They provide peer advice in preparing for exams, as well as balancing the demands of law school and family, and supply a place for students to network with other nontraditional law students and address the concerns of this population.

For more information, visit Student Organizations.

Financial aid

Part-time students are eligible for financial aid and scholarships. The criteria for receiving merit-based scholarships are the same for both part-time and full-time students. The monetary awards may be structured for three years, even if it takes more than three years to graduate. Scholarships are also structured to be applied for Fall and Spring semesters; not for Summer.

Students taking at least 5 credit hours are eligible for financial aid. Students taking 10 credit hours are considered full-time for financial aid purposes. While the amount allowed toward tuition, fees and books varies depending upon whether a student is classified as part-time (5-9 credit hours) or full-time (10+ credit hours), students get the same living expenses allowance regardless. 

Students can also easily switch between part-time status and full-time status, with permission of a dean or advisor.

 

For more information about funding your legal education, visit our Financial Aid pages.

Frequently asked questions

Your questions about part-time and nontraditional student enrollment answered.

Yes, part-time students are permitted to work.

The average age for the last three incoming 1L classes has been 26. While the majority of our students are recent college graduates, we also have a vibrant community of students returning to law school as a second (or third) career.

Yes. The Suzanne Gilmore Memorial Scholarship is awarded to one law student who is a single custodial parent over 30, and the Alan Brooks Memorial Scholarship is awarded with a preference toward nontraditional students, students of color and students with a military background. To learn more about these scholarships as well as our other scholarships, please visit Scholarships.

Part-time students are eligible for financial aid and scholarships. The criteria for receiving merit-based scholarships are the same for both part-time and full-time students. The monetary awards may be structured for three years, even if it takes more than three years to graduate. Scholarships are also structured to be applied for Fall and Spring semesters; not for Summer.

Students taking at least 5 credit hours are eligible for financial aid. Students taking 10 credit hours are considered full-time for financial aid purposes. While the amount allowed toward tuition, fees and books varies depending upon whether a student is classified as part-time (5-9 credit hours) or full-time (10+ credit hours), students get the same living expenses allowance regardless.

Students can also easily switch between part-time status and full-time status as they choose, with permission by a dean or advisor.

We do not offer weekend or online courses. We do have a very limited number of evening classes, but the J.D. degree cannot be completed exclusively in the evenings. Part-time students must have a flexible work schedule.

In the part-time program, you will take the same courses as full-time J.D. students but on an extended schedule. You have up to 5 years to complete the program. You can take mini-term or summer courses to complete the degree faster, and you may opt to take additional courses some semesters as well.

The admissions standards for the part-time program are the same as the full-time program.