The National Jurist preLaw Magazine published its “Best Schools for Practical Training” issue and recognized UMKC School of Law under the honor roll for A- schools. Prelaw recognized UMKC as a top Upper Midwest School and stated it is one of the, “most innovative law schools in the nation with its Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Course… and entrepreneurship concentration.” The law school was also recognized with an A- in Intellectual Property and B+ in Technology Law. UMKC School of Law was previously recognized as an A- “Best Value” law school and its Tax Law courses were given an A- ranking.
This year, preLaw featured 24 law schools in the Upper Midwest area. These schools offer more than a refined academic atmosphere, but also “a wide range of distinct living environments.” Some other schools on the list included Chicago-Kent College of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law, and University of Missouri School of Law.
In the list of “Best Schools for Practical Training,” UMKC School of Law received an A- ranking, up from a B+ in 2016. This is the third year in a row UMKC has made the Practical Training list. The rankings are based upon innovative learning opportunities which includes clinics, externships, simulation courses and inter-school competitions. The rankings are also based upon student involvement in moot court, pro bono work and other innovative programs. The list highlights schools that not only teach students to think like lawyers but also teach students to act like lawyers.
Prelaw concludes that practical training is not a “panacea for what ails law schools.” It can, however, energize students and faculty with opportunities to fight for the wrongfully-convicted, immigrants, veterans, children and families, and others who are underserved.
For years, UMKC Law laid its focus on fostering student development and creating innovative opportunities. Currently, UMKC Law’s ratio of clinic seats to students was 0.27, and the ratio of field placement positions filled to students was 0.25. The ratio of simulation course seats to students at UMKC Law was 1.87, the third highest number among the A- schools. UMKC Law also has on-campus clinics for a hands-on, applied learning experience: the Appellate Practice Clinic, the Child and Family Services Clinic, the Guardian ad Litem Clinic, the Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic, the Kansas City Tax Clinic, and the Innocence Project Clinic.
In the past few years, UMKC has developed courses and opportunities that expose students to the intersection of law and technology. UMKC offers technology courses that teach students important insights into the value of effective use of technology in improving law and law-related processes, access to law, the shaping of public policies and lawyering though hands-on “hacking” of problems/challenges. This year, UMKC Law received a B+ in their Technology Law Courses from preLaw.
UMKC Law also received an A- ranking in Intellectual Property Law. UMKC boasts a cadre of full-time professors specializing in the primary areas of intellectual property – patents, trademark, copyright, and trade secret – as well as associated disciplines such as cyber law, entrepreneurship, antitrust, entertainment, and sports law. These faculty are leaders in their field, publishing in respected journals and presenting their research to audiences around the nation. In addition, the law school offers an emphasis in Intellectual Property emphasis.
The National Jurist preLaw recognizes that UMKC School of Law is top Midwest school capable of enriching students with legal knowledge and practical skills – training the lawyers of tomorrow.