711 E. 51st Street
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
UMKC Pre-Law Program
The UMKC Pre-law Program is designed to help you make wise decisions about becoming a lawyer. It provides advice and information concerning the best possible path for each individual student, from the first semester of undergraduate courses to admission into law school.
The first thing to note about joining the Program is that it is not a major. There is no one major that prepares you for law school. In fact, there are over 30 majors at UMKC that a student may choose from and be on track for entrance into law school.
To garner the skills necessary for success, the pre-law student should select a curriculum that hones and develops superior writing skills, along with excellent oral communication, logical reasoning, and critical reading skills.
It is not enough, however, to be prepared for the academic rigors of law school. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you really want to become a lawyer?
- What law schools should you apply to?
- What does it mean to be a lawyer?
- What area of the law do you want to practice in?
- What are the alternative careers available to someone with a law degree?
When you have made the decision to pursue acceptance into law school, you’ll need details on how to go about successfully presenting yourself to the admissions committee in your application. The Program provides answers to the following questions:
- What do you need to do to apply to law school?
- What do you need to do to succeed in law school?
- How can you afford law school?
UMKC's School of Law and The College of Arts and Sciences offer the motivated student a faster track to a legal education. While an undergraduate degree is usually a requirement for admission into law school, UMKC offers students the opportunity to start law school after completing as little as 90 undergraduate credit hours. Students then complete their undergraduate degree with law school credits. By overlapping credits, students can shorten the length of time necessary for completing their education by as much as one year.
A student's first 30 hours at UMKC's School of Law may fulfill as many as 30 credit hours of non-Arts and Sciences electives towards an undergraduate degree. Therefore, if a student completes all of the general education, major, and upper-level requirements, leaving only elective credits to receive an undergraduate degree, the student may apply to the law school at UMKC.
If accepted, the student can start law school without having actually received an undergraduate bachelor's degree. The student will receive the undergraduate degree after earning the requisite amount of law school credits necessary to fulfill the remaining amount of undergraduate elective credits (up to 30 hours).
Any student who is pursuing a degree in The College of Arts and Sciences may participate. The 90+ program does not guarantee admission into UMKC's School of Law. Participants must apply and otherwise qualify for law school admission by having a competitive undergraduate GPA and LSAT score.
Road to Admission
Any interested student should meet early and often with the pre-law advisor. Given the number of requirements that must be satisfied in such a short period of time, potential 90+ students must monitor their progress with great care.
There are a number of necessary tasks to be completed by the student in order to qualify for the 90+ Program:
- The final 30 hours prior to enrolling in UMKC’s School of Law must be from courses in UMKC's College of Arts and Sciences.
- Requirements to be completed prior to enrollment at UMKC’s School of Law:
- All general education requirements
- All major requirements (and those for a minor if student chooses to complete a minor)
- 36 hours of junior/senior (300/400-level) coursework
- Application for Graduation: After earning approximately 60-75 credit hours, the interested student should apply for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Services Office (Scofield Room 9). A student will review their degree audit(s) with the pre-law advisor as well as faculty advisors in major/minor programs to confirm status towards degree completion. This should be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to starting law school.
- Letter of Interest: After applying for graduation and completing the audit review, students must contact the pre-law advisor to arrange to have a letter sent to UMKC’s School of Law stating that there is a plan in place that will allow the student to complete all requirements prior to enrolling in the law school the following fall. This process should be done during the student’s last year of undergraduate study.
Six-Year Law Scholars
The Six-Year Law Scholars Program allows high-achieving high school students to prepare for their application to UMKC School of Law through a selective cohort as part of the 90+ Program described above while earning their undergraduate degrees.
- First-time college freshmen who have a minimum comprehensive ACT score of 26 or an equivalent SAT score, and a minimum high school core GPA of 3.5 may apply for admission to this program by completing the general application for admission to UMKC.
- Six-Year Law Scholars will meet regularly with an advisor to ensure that they can complete their undergraduate requirements prior to application to early entry into UMKC School of Law.
Admission Expectations for the UMKC School of Law under the Six-Year Law Scholars Program
- Students who have completed at least 90 degree-acceptable undergraduate hours of credit may be admitted to the UMKC School of Law as long as they have completed all non-elective course work towards their bachelor’s degree.
- Competitive applicants to the Law School will have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher at the point at which the student applies to the Law School and an LSAT score that is equal to or greater than UMKC Law School’s 50th percentile of the most recent entering class (in 2017, 152).
- All candidates for this program must, during the Law School application process, complete a satisfactory interview with the UMKC School of Law Admissions Committee. Candidates must also demonstrate potential to be a successful law student and an absence of disqualifying character or fitness issues.
- Applicants must otherwise complete all the normal requirements of the law school application process, including but not limited to application through LSAC, personal statement, transcript, letters of recommendation, etc.
- Students admitted under this program must be able to document completion of an undergraduate degree prior to starting their second year of study at the UMKC School of Law.