At UMKC, the law school experience extends far beyond the classroom. We offer many ways for students to get involved through organizations matching a variety of interests within the law school and the larger university community. Students are encouraged to participate leading to a richly diverse education. For additional information contact Ashley Swanson-Hoye.
Student Bar Association +
Every student enrolled in the UMKC School of Law full-time or part-time is a member of SBA, which is governed by an elected student Board of Governors. SBA is the governing body of all law school organizations to the Student Government Association. The responsibilities of the board include appointing student representatives to various positions within SBA, as well as faculty and university committees. SBA sponsors a variety of educational and social activities throughout the year that are designed to inform students about recent developments in law and to relieve some of the pressures of law school. Some of these activities include: the law school health initiative, networking events, a softball tournament, $1.98 Comedy Review, Barrister’s Ball and Res Derelicta. We encourage all students to attend SBA meetings and serve on committees. Students are encouraged to participate actively in SBA in service or through your class representatives because SBA is the voice of the law students.
Contact: Betsy Miller
American Bar Association - Law Student Division +
The Law Student Division, open to all UMKC law students, is one of the more than 25 sections and divisions of the American Bar Association. The ABA-LSD plays an important role in circuit activities, including hosting the Fall Round table.
Contact: Alexandria Lueke
American Civil Liberties Union +
The ACLU Law Student Alliance is a non-partisan student organization devoted to the defense and promotion of the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The UMKC chapter strives to promote dialogue on civil liberties issues at UMKC.
Contact: Grant Geary
American Constitution Society +
The American Constitution Society (ACS) works for positive change by shaping debate on vitally important legal and constitutional issues through development and promotion of high-impact ideas to opinion leaders and the media. By bringing together powerful, relevant ideas and passionate, talented people, ACS makes a difference in the constitutional, legal, and public policy debates that shape our democracy.
Contact: Charles Merriweather
Animal Law Society +
The purpose of the Animal Law Society (ALS) shall be to take advantage of the unique opportunity afforded to us as law students, by providing educational information promoting the progression of animal welfare in the law. ALS actively believes that there is a pressing need for better laws protecting animals and advancing their interests through legislation and judge made law. Additionally, ALS embraces the advancement of the field of animal law and supports reforming the status of animals in our society. ALS is dedicated to spreading awareness of current issues concerning animal welfare and serving as advocates for the humane treatment of animals everywhere.
Contact: Desiree Walden
Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association +
The purposes of the APILSA are to promote the professional goals and meet the professional needs of Asian and Pacific-Islander law students by utilizing the collective resources of the law school and the legal community; to develop the relationship with Asian and Pacific-Islander practitioners; to instill in Asian and Pacific-Islander law students a greater awareness of the commitment to the needs of the Asian-American community; and to foster and encourage professional competence. All law students are welcome to join APILSA and participate in the activities.
Contact: Haley Risley
Association for Women Law Students +
The Association of Women Law Students was formed in 1989 to provide a forum for women law students, to promote the role of women in the legal profession and its bar associations, to encourage the acceptance of qualified women in the academic and legal communities, and to exert an influence in the law, the profession, the school and the community. All law students are welcome to join AWLS and participate in its activities.
Contact: Nicole Gudmens
Black Law Student Association +
The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is an organization formed and designed to promote the needs and interests of Black law students attending predominantly white universities. Its goals are to increase the number of black attorneys, judges and law professors, to encourage professional competence and to continue to improve the relationship of the black attorney with the American legal system. In addition, BLSA seeks to bring about change within the legal system in order to make it more responsive to the needs of the black community.
Contact: Flo O'Neal
Board of Barristers +
The Board of Barristers supports students interested in exploring trial work as an avenue to pursue as a legal career. The Board of Barristers supports all law students interested in trial skills, not only those participating in trial team and competition. The Board of Barristers seeks to maintain a trial advocacy institutional history, involve more students in trial advocacy, recognize student success in the areas of trial advocacy and connect students interested in trial advocacy with the Kansas City professional trial community. Also, for students interested in the competitive Trial Teams, the Board of Barristers provides programs and competitions to learn the skills necessary to compete on one of UMKC's national teams.
Contact: Jasmine Fields
Christian Legal Society +
Founded upon de Tocqueville’s notion that as a Judeo-Christian nation America will remain great only as long as America remains good, the CLS seeks to discern the parameters of the ethical vitality and moral essence of the law. Open to all students, the CLS offers opportunities for spiritual and temporal support as well as searching dialogue and well-earned rest and fellowship.
Contact: Nick Schmiemeier
Delta Theta Phi +
Delta Theta Phi sponsors and promotes a schedule of social events that provide a release and diversion from the torments normally associated with the study of law. Delta Theta Phi boasts student and alumni members from around the greater Kansas City area. Membership includes active attorneys, judges, members of the business community, and a broad section of law students. Delta Theta Phi and its members are also involved with bettering the law school and our community as a whole. Delta Theta Phi annually donates to the Tony Luppino Scholarship Foundation, as well as participates in a number of outreach events with the greater Kansas City area to help those less fortunate.
Contact: Joe Widner
The Emissaries are a select group of law students who serve as the official public relations team of the School of Law. Chosen through a competitive application process, the group works closely with the law school administration in assisting with recruitment, community activities and special events. They conduct tours and assist with class visits as well as other opportunities to meet or talk with current students or alumni.
Environmental Law Society +
The Environmental Law Society is a group for those who are interested in environmental issues, especially issues that arise in the Midwest and particularly in the Kansas City metropolitan area. ELS is available to assist and educate students who are interested in pursuing a career in Environmental Law.
Estates & Trusts Law Society +
The Estates and Trusts Society seeks to provide a means for students to gain social and networking opportunities with other students interested in the field of estates and trusts, as well as to learn and connect with professionals in the Kansas City legal community who practice in the estates and trusts field.
Contact: Kristen Armstrong
Family Law Society +
This society provides law students with information and experiences within the field of family law, allows students to become acquainted with professionals in the field, promote student interest in family law, and encourage family law education throughout the UMKC Law School student body. The family law society also supports the UMKC Family Services Clinic in its mission to provide legal services for parents, relatives, and custodians needing assistance to obtain custodial orders to achieve permanency for children.
Federalist Society +
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.
Contact: Caleb Reed
Health Law Society +
The purpose of the Health Law Society is to facilitate students in gaining knowledge of current issues within the world of health care and promote education of those issues.
Contacts: Cheryl Hom
Hispanic Law Students Association +
The Hispanic Law Student Association serves to protect and advance the rights of Hispanic students and other minorities in our law schools as well as local, regional, and national communities; to instill greater awareness of the cultural differences, similarities, and needs of the Hispanic population; to provide educational support and social opportunities for students interested in Spanish language and culture; and to encourage diversity and foster positive changes within the legal academic and professional communities.
Honor Court +
The Student Bar Association of the Law School has adopted an honor code that prohibits any conduct that would give an unfair advantage to any student in any academic matter or in any matter relating to academic credentials. The honor court hears all cases involving alleged violations of the honor code. It is composed of a chief justice and four associate justices appointed from the student body by the president of the Student Bar Association with the approval of its board of governors.
Contact: Chief Justice Erin Steward
Intellectual Property Law Society +
The Intellectual Property Law Society is an organization of law students interested in patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret law. The primary purpose of the IPLS is to promote opportunities for its members to learn more about intellectual property issues through course offerings, participation in moot court competitions, interactions with local practitioners and summer clerkships.
Contact: Hunter Horten
International Law Society +
The International Law Society offers students the opportunity to focus on the many facets of law from an international perspective: from the practicalities of a legal practitioner to the theoretical applications of multi-national dispute settlements. The current explosion of trade opportunities, worldwide environmental concerns, and new partnerships in political and economic arenas present exciting opportunities for tomorrow’s lawyers to shape the future of global cooperation.
Contact: Mason Ellis
J. Reuben Clark Law Society +
The JRCLS is composed of LDS and non-LDS attorneys from all parts of the country and many international areas who share in the long-standing traditions of the legal profession and have a common interest in the attitudes and values associated with the name of J. Reuben Clark.
Contact: Jeff Martin
Legal Technologists Society +
Legal Technologists Society is a professional legal organization advancing the ethical use of technology in the practice of law, advancing the legal community’s understanding of technological uses in the practice of law, and educating the legal community on the effects technology has on substantive law.
Midwest Innocence Project Student Organization +
The mission of the project is to support the efforts of the Midwest Innocence Project through support and fundraising efforts.
Contact: Sidney Ragsdale
Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (MATA) +
The UMKC MATA chapter was formed with the basic ideals of the statewide organization and the national organization, known as the American Association of Justice. These ideals and goals include seeking justice, protecting those who deserve redress from injury, promoting the public good through concerted efforts to secure safe products, and upholding the honor and dignity of the legal profession.
Contact: Elissa Holman
Moot Court Board +
Unlike other student organizations at UMKC School of Law, the Moot Court Board does not seek the first-year students' participation. Membership on the board is the product of rigorous competition in two appellate advocacy programs that the student board administers. During the fall of the second year of law school, students may enroll in Appellate Advocacy II in which students present oral arguments before a panel of judges consisting of three attorneys. The participants are numerically scored on their appellate performance and the top 16 students then qualify to enroll in Appellate Advocacy III, the Ellison Moot Court Competition. Appellate Advocacy III is offered in the winter semester and is similar to Appellate Advocacy II except the judges who evaluate the competitors are actual judges of Missouri and federal courts. The top achievers in this competition become the school’s National Moot Court Team and qualify to enroll in Appellate Advocacy IV in the fall of their third year. The students participating in Appellate Advocacy III comprise the Moot Court Board. The purpose of the board is to select by competitive means a National Moot Court Team to represent the school in national moot court competition.
Contact: Joy Fears
National Lawyers Guild +
The National Lawyers Guild is a nationwide organization of lawyers, legal workers, and law students with 96 chapters throughout the United States. The guild is dedicated to seeking social justice, social equality, and freedom to dissent to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.
Contact: Robert Chastain
Older Wiser Law Students +
Focuses on non-traditional law students, particularly those who are married, have children or pursued a career before entering law school. OWLS promotes spouse and child friendly social activities, along with career focused lectures (focusing on 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 non-traditional law students and address the concerns of this population.
Contact: Jennifer Fournier
This group was formed to provide support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered students and their supporters. It is designed to provide an outlet for social interaction and recreation for GLBT people and their friends, supporters and associates. Outlaws will also advocate for the education of the UMKC students, faculty and staff regarding GLBT issues.
Contact: Molly Moreland
Phi Alpha Delta +
The Thomas Hart Benton Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity was organized at the old Kansas City Law School in 1907 and later merged with Phi Delta Delta, the legal fraternity for women, and became the leader in the involvement of women in professional law fraternities. Membership not only offers social and professional commitment during law school, but also throughout an attorney’s professional career. Recognizing the importance of continuing legal education, the Thomas Hart Benton Chapter presents professional programs for members to prepare them for a successful career. Phi Alpha Delta seeks to advance integrity, compassion and courage through service to the student, the school, the profession and the community. Phi Alpha Delta is not only a national fraternity but an international fraternity leading to connections worldwide.
Contact: Dakota Huber
Phi Delta Phi +
Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society is represented at UMKC by Powell Inn. Phi Delta Phi is one of the nation's first professional legal organizations, and has initiated more than 100,000 men and women. The objectives of the honor society are: instilling a sense of the importance of adhering to high standards of professional ethics and integrity, encouraging legal scholarship, stimulating closer relations among jurists, practitioners, professors and students of law generating close friendships and developing the service and leadership qualities a law graduate should bring to the bar.
Contact: Pam Nagel Jorgensen
Public Interest Law Association +
The purpose of this group is to foster awareness by students, faculty, administrators and alumni to the rewards, challenges, and opportunities in public interest law through financial support, educational programs and community outreach. A student-driven, non-profit organization, it is dedicated to the principle that law students should be encouraged to work in the public interest and that no student or graduate who wants to work in public interest law should be unable to do so for economic reasons. The group is affiliated with the National Association for Public Interest Law, and administers two primary program areas: grants for summer internships and loan repayment assistance for graduates.
Contact: Dakota Huber
Sports and Entertainment Law Society +
The purpose of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society shall be to explore career options in the field of sports and entertainment law.
Contact: Joe Porrello
Transactional Lawyering Skills Board +
This group is designed to provide students with practical skills related to practice in the business law area. Through interscholastic competitions, members will gain familiarity with issues common to business transactions. Members will develop appreciation for the importance of listening and responding to client objectives and conflicting proposals from counsel for other parties to a transaction.