Emphasis in Business & Entrepreneurial Law

The Emphasis in Business and Entrepreneurial Law program is designed to provide within the J.D. degree a well-rounded course of study for students interested in an emphasis in business law and transactional practice. 


To be admitted to the Emphasis in Business & Entrepreneurial Law program, an applicant must have a cumulative law school grade point average of at least 2.5, and must have a grade point average of at least 2.8 in all program courses or prerequisites which the student has completed prior to application for admission to the program. For this purpose, the two prerequisite Business and Entrepreneurial   (Business Organizations and Federal Income Taxation) will be counted, along with all other J.D. program courses completed by the applicant prior to the date of application.

The deadline for application to the program shall be no later than the beginning of the second week of classes of the student's sixth semester of law school. Any student who applies after the beginning of his or her fourth semester must demonstrate that the program can be completed by the end of the sixth semester of law school. Appropriate adjustments will be made to deal with part-time students not on the regular semester schedule. Exceptions to the deadlines may be made with approval of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors, by majority vote.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Students will demonstrate mastery of core doctrinal knowledge within emphasis area
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of skills necessary for objective legal analysis.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of the skills necessary for effective legal research in the emphasis area.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of legal writing with particular emphasis on transactional drafting.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of the duties of attorneys as members of the legal profession.
  • Students will demonstrate ability to work with people in a professional environment
  • Students will demonstrate competency in professional work habits
  • Students will demonstrate entry-level proficiency in lawyering skills especially relevant to the emphasis area.

Important Note: Because the School is committed to keeping up with changes in the practice of law, the requirements for emphasis areas may change during the course of a student's enrollment at the School. The requirements at the time a student is granted admission into the emphasis area are the requirements that govern completion of the student's emphasis requirements. For possible revised requirements that will take effect with the next academic year, see http://law.umkc.edu/academics/emphasis-areas/business-entrepreneurship/


Minimum Total Hours Required

The program will require satisfaction of the required courses (Group A) and a minimum of 9 credit hours of courses  from the approved elective courses (Group B) listed below .  Any course in Group A or B may be counted toward the required total hours even if it is also used to satisfy the student's Emphasis Research and Writing Requirement.

Writing Requirement

Students must complete an academic research paper of high professional quality, sufficient to meet the Research and Writing Requirement standards of publishable quality, concerning a business or entrepreneurial law topic. The research paper must be certified as acceptable by one of the Emphasis Faculty Advisors. Students may fulfill this requirement, with a research paper on a business or entrepreneurial law topic, in conjunction with any of the Group A or B courses, or independently as part of the general J.D. Research and Writing Requirement, as part of an Independent Study option, or through one of the Law Schools' journal offerings. There is no separate requirement that the research paper be graded.

Practical Skills Component

Students must complete at least one course containing a substantial practical skills component. The following courses satisfy this requirement:

LAW 8757Business Planning2-3
LAW 8837Negotiating Mergers And Acquisitions2-3
LAW 8875Real Estate Transactions2-3
LAW 8757REntrepreneurial Law & Practice Clinic2-3
LAW 8638REntrepreneurial Lawyering: Solo And Small Firm Practice3
LAW 8601LTransactional Lawyering Skills Lab1-2
Also, an Advanced Research course on business, tax or securities law, or on another area of law approved by the Emphasis Faculty Advisors

In lieu of one of those courses, the Practical Skills Requirement may be met by such other internships, externships, simulation courses, drafting courses, or other courses designed to provide exposure to the type of work commonly performed by lawyers in the business and entrepreneurial law field, as the Emphasis Faculty Advisors  find acceptable.

Ethics Component

Each candidate for the Emphasis  must attend at least four clock hours of these ethics offerings prior to graduation, provided through  lectures, seminars, workshops, or other instruction dealing with ethical issues that frequently arise in the business and entrepreneurial law field, as approved by the Emphasis Faculty Advisors.

Research Requirement

All students in the program must satisfy an advanced research requirement which provides familiarity with materials and sources frequently consulted by lawyers practicing in the business and entrepreneurial law field. Subject to approval by the Emphasis Faculty Advisors this may entail a separate course, a component of an existing course, a separate lecture, seminar or workshop offering, or demonstrably satisfactory training on advanced research in connection with the Emphasis Writing Requirement.

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisites or Co-requisites

  • Business Organizations
  • Federal Taxation

Required Courses(Group A) (All must be taken on a graded basis)

  • Securities Regulation
  • Legal Accounting (or other approved prior accounting education)
  • Either Taxation of Business Organizations; or Corporate Tax I and Partnership Tax
  • Either Secured Transactions or Real Estate Finance

Grouped Required Courses (Group B) (Must take at least 9 credit hours, all taken on a graded basis, from among these courses)

  • Business Planning
  • Administrative Law
  • Real Estate Finance (If not taken to satisfy a Group A course), Real Estate Finance or Legal Context of Real Estate Decision Making (only one of those three may be counted)
  • Negotiating Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Secured Transactions (If not taken to satisfy the  Group A Required Courses requirement)
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Sales & Leasing
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Bankruptcy or Debtor/Creditor (only one of those two may be counted))
  • Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic or  Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation, (only one of those two  courses may be counted)
  • Entrepreneurial Lawyering: Solo & Small Firm Practice or Special Topics in Entrepreneurial Lawyer (only one of those two may be counted)
  • Social Entrepreneurship Ventures or Social Venture Creation (only one of those two may be counted)
  • Dispute Resolution & Lawyers, Arbitration, and Mediation (only one of those three may be counted.)
  • International Business Transactions or Law of International Trade & Finance (only one of those two  may be counted)
  • Labor Law, Employment Discrimination Law, Employment Law (only one of those three may be counted)
  • Intellectual Property Law,  Copyright Law, Patent Law (only one of those three  may be counted.)
  • Antitrust and Fair Competition Law
  • Tax Exempt Organizations

If a Group B course is properly counted toward the 9 credit hour Group B requirement and also listed above as a course satisfying the Practical Skills Requirement, it may be applied to satisfaction of both the those requirements. A course listed above as a course satisfying the Practical Skills Requirement but not listed as a Group B course may not be applied to satisfaction of the Group B requirement.  )


For a student to be recognized as having graduated with an Emphasis in Business & Entrepreneurial law, the student must have achieved a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in the minimum number of Emphasis course requirements listed as Required (Group A) or Grouped Required (Group B); provided that a student may, at the student’s option, omit a grade received in either Corporate Tax or Partnership Tax, while still counting the course to reach the required number of academic credit hours for the Emphasis; and that a student may also omit any grade received in any Grouped Required (Group B) course, so long as the student has grades from at least 9 credit hours of  other Group B courses properly  included and counted in the grade point average necessary for the Emphasis.