University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law

The University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law is a public law school located on the main campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri, near the Country Club Plaza.

University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law
UMKC Nima 29.jpg
MottoPowered by Experience
School typePublic
DeanDean Barbara Glesner Fines
LocationKansas City, Missouri, U.S.
39°01′57″N 94°34′55″W / 39.03258°N 94.58188°W / 39.03258; -94.58188Coordinates: 39°01′57″N 94°34′55″W / 39.03258°N 94.58188°W / 39.03258; -94.58188
Enrollment425 (J.D., LL.M, Full & Part-Time Students)
USNWR ranking133 (2021)[1]
Bar pass rate72.80% (for first time bar exam takers in 2018)[2]
ABA profile[2]
The lobby outside of the E.E. Thompson Courtroom, located inside the law school

It was founded in 1895 as the Kansas City School of Law, a private, independent law school located in Downtown Kansas City, and was purchased by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1938. The law school moved to UMKC's main campus soon after, where it is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.


The school is ranked #119 best law school in the U.S., placing it in the third tier according to the four tier system of law schools based on the U.S. News & World Report Annual Rankings (2019 data).[1] In 2017, the U.S. News & World Report ranked the Trial Advocacy Program as number 21 in the nation, tied with Stanford University, University of Georgia, University of Houston, and Campbell University (North Carolina).[3] UMKC School of Law has repeatedly been ranked as a "Best Value Law School" by The National Jurist. In the Fall 2017 of preLaw Magazine, UMKC was given an A- designation on the list of "Best Value Law Schools."[4] In the Winter 2018 issue of preLaw Magazine, a National Jurist publication, UMKC School of Law was ranked A- on the list of Best Schools for Trial Advocacy.[5] In Spring 2018, UMKC School of Law was recognized as a top Upper Midwest School for its Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation course and entrepreneurship concentration. In the same issue, it was given an A- on the list of "Best Schools of Practical Training." The law school was also given an A- in Intellectual Property and Tax Law and B+ in Technology Law.[6] In April 2018 a student team from UMKC was recognized as National Champion and also won the Best Draft Award at the Transactional LawMeet, the leading transactional moot court competition for law school students.[7][8] UMKC School of Law Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program was ranked the #1 traditional CLE program provider in the state of Kansas by the Kansas CLE Commission (Missouri does not have these rankings for CLE).[9]


It is one of four law schools in Missouri (St. Louis University School of Law, University of Missouri Columbia School of Law, Washington University School of Law). It is one of seven American law schools to have had both a President of the United States (Harry S. Truman) and a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Charles Evans Whittaker) attend. Truman attended but did not graduate from the law school and never practiced law. However, Truman served as the presiding judge at the historic Truman Courthouse in Independence, MO.[10] The other schools that have had President-Supreme Court graduates who practiced law are Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and the Albany Law School.[11] In February 2017, UMKC received forty linear feet of private papers for Justice Charles Evan Whittaker from the U.S. Supreme Court Archive. The archivist is curating these documents at the Miller Nichols LaBudde Special Collections Library.[12]

A stained glass window inside the UMKC School of Law which depicts various classes and locations of the law school throughout its history. The window was taken from the previous home of the law school when the current facility was built.


Eight clinical programs permit students, acting under faculty supervision, to develop legal skills and learn professional values in actual practice settings:

  • Abandoned Housing Clinic
  • Advocacy Master Class
  • Appellate Practice (Unemployment) Clinic
  • Child & Family Services Clinic
  • Death Penalty Clinic
  • Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic
  • Guardian Ad Litem Workshop
  • Intellectual Property Clinic
  • Kansas City Tax Clinic
  • UMKC Innocence Project/Wrongful Convictions Clinic


  • The UMKC Law Review
  • Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers


According to UMKC School of Law's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 74.07% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage required ten months after graduation.[14] The same 2017 ABA-required disclosures reports that 89.62% of the Class of 2017 obtained bar passage required or J.D. advantage positions.[14] UMKC School of Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 23%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2016 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job ten months after graduation.[15]


Tuition and fees for 2017-2018, full-time, first year law students who are Missouri residents: $19,038/year. Non-resident fees are an additional $16,318, but many students qualify for non-resident fee scholarships that allow them to pay the in-state rate while they establish Missouri residency. The approximate cost of attendance (including the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at UMKC School of Law for the nine-month academic year for a typical first-year, Missouri resident, law student living off campus is $34,488.[16]

Notable alumniEdit



Business and practiceEdit


Notable faculty and former facultyEdit


  1. ^ a b "University of Missouri-Kansas City".
  2. ^ "ABA Bar Passage Outcomes University of Missouri Kansas City - 2018" (PDF). Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  3. ^ "US News and World Report Ranks UMKC Law Advocacy Program #21 in the Nation". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  4. ^ "preLaw magazine Fall 2017".
  5. ^ "The National Jurist, Winter 2018". The National Jurist. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ "page":42,"issue_id":482098} "Best Schools for Practical Training". The National Jurist preLaw Magazine. The National Jurist.
  7. ^ "National Champions in the 2018 Transactional LawMeet® Competition are Named" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  8. ^ "UMKC School of Law #1 in National Transactional LawMeet Competition". Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  9. ^ "UMKC Ranks As #1 CLE Provider In Kansas". UMKC School of Law Website. UMKC School of Law. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Historic Truman Courthouse". JCHS.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "UMKC Receives Private Papers of Alumnus Justice Charles Evan Whittaker". UMKC School of Law.
  13. ^ "UMKC School of Law Clinical Programs".
  14. ^ a b "2017 ABA Employment Data" (PDF). UMKC School of Law.
  15. ^ "University of Missouri - Kansas City".
  16. ^ "Costs & Budget | UMKC School of Law".

External linksEdit