• Why UMKC
  • Law School History
  • UMKC School of Law
  • Kansas City


We take pride in being an urban public law school with a small liberal arts feel. We are dedicated to educating students to become outstanding lawyers who will serve their communities and the nation in the highest traditions of the legal profession, concentrating always on the foundations of good lawyering: respect for people, respect for ideas and respect for justice. We are the premier law school of Kansas City, providing our students with a comprehensive, affordable legal education, as well as the tools and skills needed to experience professional success. We are UMKC School of Law.


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, field placements 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. Read more>>


Law school is about more than just attending class, and UMKC sets itself apart from other law schools by creating a collaborative community between students, faculty, and staff. We strongly believe that law school should prepare students to be not only great legal scholars and professionals, but also influential leaders, informed advocates, and engaged citizens. It is for this reason that the very concept of ‘community’ is central to the School and the ways in which we build and sustain relationships with our students. Read more>>


We realize that attending law school requires not only time and energy but also money. At UMKC we are committed to providing students a quality legal education at an affordable price. As a National Jurist “Best Value” Law School, we are ranked not only on our affordable cost of tuition, but also on Kansas City’s affordable cost of living, our bar pass rate, and employment data. We are also committed to helping you develop a plan that works for you, using a variety of financial resources so your focus can remain on your law school education. There are both merit- and need-based scholarships available through the School of Law, as well as resources from the UMKC Office of Financial Aid. Read more>>


The School of Law prides itself on being a leader in innovation and was recently recognized as one of the 15 most innovative law schools by National Jurist magazine and one of the 25 most innovative law schools by preLaw magazine. We realize that legal education is changing, and we are committed to providing a comprehensive program that meets the needs of our diverse student body. We offer unique course and practical skills options as well as a range of enrollment options to help engage our students to become practice-ready attorneys. This commitment also extends to the technology you’ll see around the Law School, including our recently remodeled technology classroom and state-of-the-art Stoup Courtroom. Read more>>


With a 90.4% employment rate and 89.1% Missouri Bar pass rate verified by the American Bar Association, our graduates consistently leave law school with the skills necessary to succeed in the legal market. Our students are supported by a strong alumni network, and our alumni achievements reflect the strength and reputation of the School. UMKC is one of only six law schools to have educated both a President of the United States and a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Nationwide, 144 judges are UMKC graduates; 96 of them in Kansas or Missouri. Alumni are counsel to major national corporations, leaders of large and small law firms, successful business people, and leaders in public service. Read more>>


The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law is a public law school founded in 1895 as the Kansas City School of Law, a private, independent law school located in downtown Kansas City. Three young lawyers – William Borland, Edward Ellison and Elmer Powell – founded the law school with assistance from members of the bench and bar.

Borland, the school’s first dean, was elected to Congress in 1910 and was succeeded by Ellison, who served as dean until the School of Law merged with the University of Kansas City in 1938. After affiliating with the University of Missouri system in 1963, the school assumed its current name. The law school moved to UMKC’s main campus in 1974.

The E.E. Thompson Courtroom, named in honor of a prominent local trial attorney and 1925 graduate, was built in 1979 and renovated and rededicated in 2006. It is an ideal location for litigation training and observation. Real-time transcripts can be produced, creating an immediate record for lawyers and judges. Video evidence and electronic documents can be displayed on screens at the judge’s bench, witness stand and jury box.

In 2010, the Arthur H. Stoup Courtroom was dedicated in honor of Art Stoup, a lifelong attorney and 1950 graduate who led the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association. The courtroom includes a jury box, judge’s bench, lawyers’ tables and a spectators’ area. The courtroom is intentionally modeled after ones used by Jackson County, MO.

The School of Law is one of only six American law schools to have produced both a President of the United States – Harry Truman – and a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – Charles Whittaker. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.


To prepare students to practice law with the competencies needed to integrate academic theory and practical skills to become expert problem-solvers and trusted advisors who serve their clients and their communities in the interests of justice, to provide expertise to benefit our many constituencies through scholarship and engagement, and to increase access to justice through research and service to our community.

Our School

UMKC School of Law is the urban law school of the University of Missouri System and provides its students with a comprehensive, affordable legal education comprised of a personalized admissions process, collaboration with supportive faculty, real-world opportunities in a vibrant city, and tools and skills to experience professional success.

The law school is located at the edge of the Volker Campus in the heart of Kansas City. The facilities include two modern, state-of-the-art courtrooms (one with an innovative viewing theater) and faculty suites with student offices and carrels to encourage faculty-student interaction. Our extensive library collection meets the research and information needs of students and the greater legal community.

Just steps away from the law school, the newly constructed UMKC Student Union is home to a movie theater, a variety of dining options and student organization offices. Our location just off the Country Club Plaza — a dining and shopping hub — allows us to collaborate regularly with lawyers and judges in our community and provides many opportunities for internships, externships and clinical experiences. Our location within a research university allows for exciting interdisciplinary learning opportunities.


We’re in the middle of it all! Kansas City has been a jumping-off point for travelers to the west and a central hub for railroads, giving it a history as a diverse and active place to be. There’s a lot the city has to offer, from sports and entertainment, to arts and culture, to shopping and dining—we have something for everyone.

Like music? The historic 18th and Vine district is renowned for its jazz and blues clubs; the Power & Light district and Westport have venues supporting acts for everything from rock to pop to country; and the KC Symphony puts on concerts several times a year for classical music buffs.

Into sports? With the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC, and Kansas Speedway (in addition to minor league baseball and hockey teams) the Kansas City area loves showing off its die-hard, one-of-a-kind fan base. And don’t miss out on the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame to learn about America’s sporting past.

Is shopping more your thing? Kansas City has several shopping districts to provide a range of options for visitors, including two—the Country Club Plaza and Brookside—within walking distance of the UMKC campus.

Arts enthusiast? The Crossroads arts district sports an assortment of galleries and venues close to Kansas City’s historic downtown, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art provides a unique (and free) experience for art lovers of all ages. While you’re there, don’t forget to take your picture with the giant shuttlecocks in the large sculpture garden.

Kansas City has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife or a great place to raise a family. Grab some of our world-famous barbecue and spend some time exploring all the treasures our city has to offer.

Our UMKC Law Student Emissaries have created this guide to Kansas City with information about the local area and recommendations for students looking for housing.

Kansas City Guide 2020
Kansas City Guide 2020
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For further information about Kansas City, we recommend Visit KC.