We are #RooReady for fall semester classes. Learn more about the UMKC response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and get the latest updates and safety information from the CDC.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION

The University of Missouri-Kansas City continues to monitor COVID-19 and how it affects our community.

Please visit https://www.umkc.edu/news/coronavirus.html for more information.

 Recent News

  • UMKC Law has moved to online instruction through the spring and summer semesters.
  • Visiting students are welcomed to our summer semester courses. Learn more about summer semester.
  • UMKC Law Admissions are now offering virtual visits. Learn more
  • Employers are asked to conduct all interviews and job opportunities remotely.
  • UMKC Law has adopted a revised grading policy, announced April 2, 2020 for spring 2020 semester.
  • All CLE events are now offered as live webcasts only. View the CLE schedule.
  • UMKC Law School building is closed. No access will be allowed, even by UMKC ID (swipe card).

News and announcements from UMKC Law

Due to the UM System policy moving all students and non-essential personnel to remote learning and telework for the foreseeable future, as well as national recommendations to social distance whenever possible, we have been advised to alert all employers posting positions on our online job board to conduct interviews and job opportunities remotely until otherwise notified. We are happy to facilitate services such as Zoom for interviews, and to help advise on how to translate prior in-person internships to telework. Thank you so much for continuing to evaluate our students and/or graduates during this uncertain time.

Professional & Career Development Center

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law

500 E. 52nd Street| Kansas City, MO 64110

816-235-1668 | fax 816-235-6513 | umkclawcareer@umkc.edu

Dear students,

I appreciate everyone’s patience and input on the question of how courses should be graded this semester. My colleagues and I on the faculty received so many considered and professional communications about your perspectives on this question. Your views weighed very heavily in the decision. Thank you. We also had input from career services and the conversations they have had with employers in our region, along with the national information on how other law schools are addressing this issue.

Of course, the choice is not entirely up to us. Rather the law faculty propose to the UMKC faculty senate, which makes a recommendation to the Provost. However, I know that you are all anxious about this issue so I wanted to share with you as soon as I could our own law faculty’s recommendation.

At this afternoon’s meeting, the UMKC School of Law Faculty voted to recommend to the Provost and Faculty Senate that the grading policy for the School of Law be as follows:

All grading for the Spring 2020 semester will be credit/no credit (or incomplete), applied to all courses, even those courses in which grades have already been submitted for this semester. Exceptions can be made, upon approval of the Associate Dean for Students, for exceptional circumstances as needed. (For example, if a student needs a grade in order to qualify for military veteran benefits or for tuition reimbursement as a tax-free employee benefit, a student may be given a grade.) The credit/no credit grades will not affect anyone’s GPA or current class rank. Faculty will still do formative assessment and provide feedback to students, but there will be no designation of any honors (including CALI awards). There will be no “shadow” grades or comparative evaluations given. Anything better than the equivalent of an F is passing and will result in credit being given, and only work which would normally receive an F grade will result in “no credit.”

Any student who is on academic probation and does not receive “no credit” for any courses this semester will automatically be continued on probation and the time limit for raising the GPA to required levels is extended to the end of the Fall 2020 semester. If a student on probation receives a “no credit” in one or more of their courses this semester, their situation will be reviewed by the Student Affairs Committee to determine whether or not they will be permitted to continue their enrollment.

I expect that the Provost will be indicating by the close of business tomorrow whether this policy has been accepted.

The UMKC Faculty Senate and our own faculty have not yet not considered the question of whether this policy would apply to summer school, which the university has directed will also take place in an online format. If you have additional perspectives on that policy question, as always, we want to hear from you.

Peace,

Barbara Glesner Fines

Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law

Dear students,

This week we all return to our regular schedule of classes, but of course there is not much that is “regular” about this time.  Nonetheless, it is important to maintain as much normalcy as possible. Just as I have encouraged all of you as you began your law school career to have faith, live outside the law, take care of yourself and give and get help, all those tools apply even more so in this environment. 

To help you do that, remember that you have help.  I am so pleased that Ashley Swanson-Hoye and Peggy Lukken are back after some time off so your student services team is now fully staffed and ready to help. Remember that Professor Dan Weddle is available for study support and assistance and, for first-year students, structured study group will continue virtually. With thanks to Josh Pluta, who worked with our vendors, we now have free access to a range of online study resources to help you. 

Wolters Kluwer Online StudyAid Library:  

Law Students have free trial access to the Wolters Kluwer Online StudyAid Library (WKOSAL) from now through July 1, 2020.  WKOSAL provides instant access to all of Wolters Kluwer’s popular Examples & Explanations titles, as well as other study aids such as Emanual Law Outlines and Casenotes.

Off-campus login: https://login.ezproxy.law.umkc.edu/login?qurl=https://ebooks.aspenlaw.com/

Bluebook Online:

Law students and Faculty have access to a 60-day trial access keys to the Bluebook Online.  through the Law Library Online Chat during business hours or by emailing umkclawlibrary@umkc.edu

Visit www.legalbluebook.com to redeem your key. The subscription is active 60 days from the date you redeem this key on the website.

Additional resources are available in Roolaw (Covid-19 Special Access Resources)

I know that you all have many questions:  timing for campus closure; exams, grading, and ranking; graduation; summer and fall classes and registration; and internships/jobs.  I wish I could answer all of these right now but many of these decisions are controlled by people and organizations outside our immediate control (such as the federal and state government, MU System, UMKC administration, and UMKC Faculty Senate).  I can at least update you on who is deciding each and what the likely timeline for decision might be.  My best information tells me that we will have a good deal more clarity on nearly all of these issues by April 8.   

For today, I encourage you all to simply get back in the swing of your classes and coursework.  Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns, and suggestions. 

Thank you for staying home and distancing. 

Thank you for virtually connecting and supporting one another.  

Peace,

Barbara Glesner Fines

Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law

Over 125 years, the UMKC School of Law has faced extraordinary events and challenges: war, depression, natural disasters and more. Today, we are in the midst of yet another extraordinary challenge. In these times of crisis, we must hold firm to our mission and our values and that is exactly what the UMKC School of Law community has done. There has been no panic. There has been a great deal of patience. In one week’s time, the faculty and staff have pivoted to an online environment, but one in which we remain true to our mission of providing student-centered, community-engaged and justice-driven education. We have continued our clinics and externships as much as possible and engaged with students in virtual classrooms and through emails and phone calls. Our continuing legal education department has shifted from in-person events to developing and managing a host of webcasts. Students and faculty have taken the directive to slow the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and meticulous disinfection but we have also done so while upholding our core values of respect for people, for knowledge and ideas and for justice. After 125 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about community. Now is the time to put that education to good use. I am grateful to our entire community during these challenging times. If the School of Law can help you or your firm in any way to weather the storm of this public health emergency, please let me know.

Barbara Glesner Fines

Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law

Dear Law School Community,

Starting Friday, March 20 at 4:00 p.m., the Law Library will provide all library services online only. All physical facilities will be closed at least until April .  No access to the library will be allowed, even by UMKC ID (swipe card). 

Please know, however, that the library staff is here to help you virtually.  Online resources and services will be available during this very challenging situation.   

Reference and research assistance

Librarians and library staff will continue to provide reference, research, and other assistance to meet your teaching, learning, and research needs, simply not in person.

You have several options to meet with a librarian for assistance:

  • Assistance through chat or by phone  235-1650 is available from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Email umkclawlibrary@umkc.eduto receive assistance
  • Online meetings can be scheduled using Zoom

General physical collections

  • Patrons are asked to keep all checked out books and the library will suspend any billing and fines for overdue materials.  Any returned items will be held for 5 days prior to processing and reshelving them.
  • Interlibrary Loan is suspending borrowing physical materials from other libraries but will be providing online availability of materials when possible.
  • Scanning from the general library collections will not be available.
  • No physical materials are available for pickup.

Computer Assistance

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.  For more information about COVID-19 and the UMKC Campus, please visit the UMKC Coronaviruspage.

Barbara Glesner Fines

Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law

Dear students,

I hope you are all managing this shift to an online learning environment.  Thank you for your patience as we make this shift.  Thank you for your professionalism in continuing to take responsibility for your education.  Thank you for your engagement as you let me know your questions, suggestions, and concerns.   And thank you for your caring for others as you take seriously the need for social distancing and equally the need to stay supportive and connected with each other and our community.

Here are a few updates:

  1. Is the building closed? No, but there remains that possibility, so please plan now.  Take home essential files, houseplants, goldfish, etc.  Don’t leave your laptop at school. If the campus does close, it will really be closed – no swipe card access – and the chances are good that we won’t get a lot of notice.  So reduce your stress and make that shift now.
  2. What about student meetings and events? We are still maintaining our social distancing protocol – no in-person meetings please. I am looking forward to our virtual $1.98 show.
  3. I’ve heard about possible grading changes.  Is that going to happen?  The faculty are discussing this issue as we speak.  No decisions have been made.  Some courses have already concluded so there is no justification for any grading changes for those courses.  Obviously there will be some differences in some faculty’s exams this year, but that doesn’t mean there is a need to change grading.  I would be very interested in your input on this question.
  4. Is the structured study group program going to continue?  Yes absolutely!  Your study group leaders will be sending out information about virtual study group meetings using Zoom.  Professor Weddle is also available for assistance remotely.  Email him at WeddleD@umkc.edu
  5. I’m having a lot of problems with this virtual environment.  Where do I get help?  One of the best resources is the Coronovirus LibGuide prepared by our own Librarian Josh Pluta.  https://libguides.library.umkc.edu/coronavirus.  Click on the “Transition Strategies” section and you’ll find a nicely curated selection of resources.  Don’t  be reluctant to call IT support (they are available 8-8 for the next two weeks).  Help each other out too! 
  6. What about graduation? Again, this isn’t a decision that the law school gets to make.  This will be a campus-wide decision.  We are planning for alternatives just in case.  Again, I would be very happy to hear from you if you have suggestions or considerations that I can share with those who are making this call.
  7. What about summer school?  Thus far, the only summer school programs that are cancelled are study abroad and the Buffalo River course.  There may need to be online teaching through the summer (I’d bet so anyway) and field placement programs will depend largely on the response of those offices to the ongoing developments, so stay flexible.  Be prepared with a Plan B, but do plan.  Even in a chaotic environment, you can plan; you just need more than one plan.

I am so proud of our community!  We have stayed calm, professional, and connected.  There is a lot of uncertainty, no small amount of anxiety, and a good deal of disappointment to manage through this challenge.  At the same time, there is also the gratitude of knowing that we have intellectual and educational resources that will help us to not only weather this storm but to make a difference by leading the way in our families, neighborhoods and communities.  And that, after all, is why we are all here. Stay vigilant and take extra good care of yourself.  Never has healthy self care been more critical for us all.

Peace,

Barbara Glesner Fines

Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law

WE’RE VIRTUAL!

As you have heard, all classes are cancelled today and will resume on Monday in a distance format.  Expect to hear from faculty about the plan for this switch.  Many faculty will be using Zoom, Canvas, or TWEN as the educational needs of the course demand. 

How can you thrive in this new educational environment?

The keys are patience and the willingness to ask for help.  Start by making sure you understand the technology.  Most of you are already familiar with Canvas and TWEN from other classes. Zoom is a relatively easy tool to master, especially if you are simply participating.  If you have questions, ask your professor or use the many tools that are available online.  Resources can be found at http://keeplearning.umsystem.edu/support/solutions/11000004280

How long will this last?

The move to online instruction is open-ended at this point. A decision on returning to classroom instruction will be determined by how the public health situation evolves

What about exams?

 We are working on an overall policy and plan for exams should the social distancing policy be in effect that long. However, until then the question of how you will be assessed is one for your professor. It is likely that most faculty will have to change the examinationprocedures in order to accommodate online exams.  However, until a firm decision is made by the professor, my advice is to prepare as though your exams will be as initially announced.

What about summer?

It is too soon to tell how this situation will affect summer school.  Apart from the cancellation of our summer study abroad programs, you should presume that summer school classes will be offered as usual. 

How do I register for classes?

You can still come to campus, so if you haven’t dropped off your schedule request yet, feel free to do so.  If you are nervous about coming to the campus in person, feel free to scan or take a picture of your registration form and email it to Dean Rostron(rostrona@umkc.edu).