UMKC recognizes the key role pro bono and public service work plays in shaping the professional values of our students. Thus, we have created the Honors Program. By participating in the voluntary Honors Program, students will receive the benefits of hands-on legal training, the opportunity to develop relationships with lawyers and legal organizations in the community, exposure to various areas of the law and the satisfaction of making a difference in people’s lives. Students who complete the required number of hours for Honors Program completion will also be recognized at graduation. 

For more information on the specifics of the Honors Program, current students should review the Pro Bono Public Service Honors Program Handbook available on CONNECT

Oliver Fellowship Program

The purpose of the Oliver Fellowship Program is to encourage highly qualified UMKC law graduates to pursue post-graduate careers in public service despite the dual disincentives of low salaries and high student debt.  Thanks to the generosity of family and friends of Judge John W. Oliver, a leading jurist who served on the federal bench in Kansas City from 1962 until his death in 1990, the Oliver Fellowship Program provides loan repayment assistance (up to $5,000 over three years) to one graduating law student from each class. 

Work in any position in public service, whether civil or criminal, can qualify a graduate for the Oliver Fellowship Program. Prior recipients have obtained positions in death penalty defense, the public defender’s office, the prosecutor’s office, Legal Aid and the Family Court Division of the Jackson County Circuit Court. For more information, current students may review the Program Description and Application available on CONNECT.   

Contact the Career Center for pro bono oopportunities at 816-235-1668 or