At UMKC, you’ll find that your legal education extends beyond the walls of the classroom to encompass a range of real-life experiences directly related to your future career. Our program bridges the gap between theory and practice, giving students the opportunity to develop strong lawyering skills while learning the law and gaining exposure to the big picture issues that lawyers face in a complex society. We offer a broad range of skills and simulations courses, externships and clinics. Our emphasis areas and Solo and Small Firm Initiative allow for “specialization” in areas of interest, and we provide students with opportunities for networking and an introduction to professionalism.
Clinics & Externships
You have the unique opportunity to put your classroom skills to the test, serving your own clients under the supervision of seasoned faculty. Our students earn classroom credit for being out in the workforce, learning the practical skills that will make them successful advocates. UMKC School of Law offers several clinical opportunities, including
- Child and Family Services Clinic
- Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic
- Kansas City Tax Clinic
- Midwest Innocence Project
In addition, the School offers numerous externships at federal, state and local agencies such as prosecutor’s offices, public defenders offices, judicial chambers and government offices.
Lawyering Skills Program
First-year law students are given the opportunity to apply the knowledge from their traditional law school courses (Torts, Property, Contracts, Criminal Law, etc.) to practical analysis in our lawyering skills courses. The Lawyering Skills Program consists of a two-semester, first-year course, taught in small sections. A key component of the program is the extensive feedback and individual assistance provided to students, including written comments on writing assignments and individual conferences with their faculty to review each assignment. UMKC has offered advanced legal writing courses since 1991 and has expanded its offerings to five advanced writing courses open to second- and third-year law students.
Our students also hone their advocacy skills in practical competitions that test their ability to write, negotiate, counsel clients, and argue on both the trial and appellate levels. Competitions are a fun and exciting way for students to interact with other students, faculty, attorneys, and judges nationwide.
Solo and Small Firm Practice
Small or medium firms are the largest employers of law graduates, both regionally and nationally. The solo and small firm practice program provides opportunities to learn about how to operate the business aspects of a law practice. This unique program also extends to our Solo and Small Firm Incubator, which helps recent graduates by providing hands-on assistance in starting and running their own practice.
We offer many ways for students to get involved through student organizations matching a variety of interests within the law school and the larger university community. Students are encouraged to participate in one or more of these organizations to add to their overall legal education.