The study of law is extremely rigorous, but also rewarding. The skill sets that make students successful in their undergraduate career may not directly translate to law school without some effort. Most UMKC Law courses are taught in the Socratic Method. Professors and students interact in a question and answer format to expose the take-away rule of law from a given case. This encourages students to be active participants in class, rather than passive observers as in a lecture style class.

Law school exams are also very different from undergraduate exams. In law school, often, your class grade is solely determined by your performance on the final. Most exams are comprised of given fact patterns with essay responses, though some also include multiple choice sections. 

The Law School offers a number of programs designed to teach valuable skills and strategies for success throughout law school and beyond.

    • Orientation Week: The Law School provides a mandatory one-week intensive orientation program before the start of a student’s 1L year.  Each day focuses on a “stage” of law school learning: orientation, preparing for class, class time, after-class review, preparing for exams, and taking exams. The skills of reading, writing, and thinking in the context of law are addressed through simulated classes, direct teaching of study skills, written and oral exercises, and individual meetings with faculty. At the conclusion of the five-day program, students take a exam, which is reviewed by the Program faculty. Students then have an opportunity to meet individually with the faculty members to review their exam, discuss their progress, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and
      develop personal learning plans.
    • Study Groups: There are two formal study group programs available for first-year students. In the Structured Study Group program, a second or third-year student attends one of the first-year courses and then leads several study groups of about 12 students each week. These are not tutoring sessions; rather, the experienced student models and facilitates effective approaches to studying course materials. In Comprehensive Study Groups, second- and third-year students focus on academic skills, helping first-year students master note-taking, outlining, using study guides and preparing for exams.
    • Law School Strategies Workshops: a faculty member provides direct instruction of academic skills such as how to approach the study of law or effective essay writing. These workshops are open to all students, but are especially helpful for first-year students.
    • Individual Academic Assistance: Director of Academic Support Professor Dan Weddle is available for individualized assistance with academic concerns throughout law school.
    • Individual Personal Assistance: Director of Student Services Ashley Swanson-Hoye is available to assist students with personal troubles while in law school.