Emphasis in Advocacy
Selection of Students for Admission to the Emphasis in Advocacy
- Deadline for admission to the Emphasis in Advocacy program: Students should apply not later than their fifth semester of law school. Decisions as to whether a student will be admitted to the Emphasis in Advocacy will be made in the semester in which the student applies.
- Procedure and Criteria for Selection:
- The maximum number of students who will be permitted to enter the emphasis each year will be set by the director of advocacy taking into account the ability to provide adequate supervision and advising.
- The director of advocacy will select the students to be admitted to the program. Criteria to be considered may include previous general academic performance in law school, previous academic performance in courses seen as particularly relevant to advocacy, level of interest, and ability to identify an advisor willing to advise and supervise the student.
- No student shall be admitted to the Advocacy program unless he or she has a grade-point average of 2.7 or above in all law school classes previously taken.
- Part-time Students and Other Students with Unusual Schedules: The director of advocacy is authorized to make appropriate adjustments in the deadlines for part-time students or other students whose schedules do not substantially conform to the six semester paradigm.
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 persuasive writing.
- 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 essential to advocacy.
Minimum Total Hours Required
- A student must take a total of at least 26 hours in approved courses. Approved courses are those listed as "Required Courses," "Grouped Required Courses" and "Elective Courses".
- No more than three hours of required upper-level courses, (including those used by the student to satisfy the Jurisprudence requirement) may count toward the required 26 hours.
- A course (including Law 8746) used to satisfy the student's writing requirement (see below) may be counted toward the total hours requirement even if it is also used to satisfy the student's Research and Writing Requirement.
- Each student in the program must complete a written project, approved by an emphasis area supervisor, on a topic dealing directly with litigation.
- The written project must be of a scope and quality that would satisfy the law school's research and writing requirement for a J.D. degree.
- The written project may satisfy both the program's requirement and the J.D. requirement.
Practical Skills Component
All students in the program must take either Introduction to Appellate Advocacy or Trial Advocacy I and at least one of the following courses:
- Advanced Legal Writing: Litigation Drafting
- Appellate Advocacy - Ellison Moot Court
- Appellate Advocacy - National Moot Court
- Trial Advocacy II
- Trial Advocacy III
- Mastery of Clinical Advocacy
- Lawyering Skills Competition: App. Ad. Team
- Lawyering Skills Competition: Client Counseling Team
- Lawyering Skills Competition: Int'l Comm. Arbitration
- Lawyering Skills Competition: Negotiation Team
- Each student in the program must participate in at least one, substantial, non-credit workshop on ethical issues for litigators.
- Workshops will be organized by the advisors and conducted by faculty, practicing lawyers, or judges.
- Each student in the program must participate in at least one, half-day, non-credit workshop on research materials and sources frequently consulted by litigators on issues directly related to the litigation process.
- Workshops will be organized by the program advisers and the librarians. They will be conducted by faculty, librarians, practicing lawyers or judges.
Supervising and Advising Component
- Each student in the program shall be assigned an advisor.
- Each student in the program shall meet with his or her advisor not less than twice a semester.
Distribution of Courses
1. Required Courses: All students in the program must take each of the following courses:
|LAW 8521||Civil Procedure – Pleadings, Motions, and Related Matters||3|
|LAW 8522||Civil Procedure - Jurisdiction||2|
|LAW 8532||Lawyering Skills II||2-3|
|LAW 8635||Criminal Procedure I||3|
2. Grouped Required Courses:
All students in the program must also satisfy the Core Course Requirement, the Advanced Course Requirement, and the Skills Requirement set forth below:
a. Core Course Requirement: All students in the program must take at least two of the following core courses:
|LAW 8636||Criminal Procedure II||3|
|LAW 8702||Conflict of Laws||1-3|
|LAW 8706||Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation||2-3|
|LAW 8764||Administrative Law||1-3|
|LAW 8765||Federal Jurisdiction||2-3|
|LAW 8822||Post Conviction Remedies||2-3|
b. Advanced Course Requirement: All students in the program must take at least one of the following advanced courses:
|LAW 8636A||Federal Trial Practice||2-3|
|LAW 8732||Lawyers and Dispute Resolution||2-3|
|LAW 8740M||Missouri Civil Procedure||2-3|
|LAW 8791||Civil Rights||2-3|
|LAW 8820||Criminal Trial Techniques||2|
|LAW 8850||Applied Evidence||1-3|
|LAW 8905||Intellectual Property Litigation||2|
c. Skills Requirement: All students in the program must take either Law 8747 Introduction to Appellate Advocacy or Law 8700 Trial Advocacy I and at least one of the following courses:s:
|LAW 8700||Trial Advocacy I||2|
|LAW 8703||Trial Advocacy II||2-3|
|LAW 8704A||Lawyering Skills Competition-Appellate||1-2|
|LAW 8704C||Lawyering Skills Competition-Client Counseling Team||1-2|
|LAW 8704N||Lawyer Skills Competition-Negotiation Team||1-2|
|LAW 8705||Trial Advocacy III||2|
|LAW 8707C||Advanced Legal Writing: Litigation Drafting||2-3|
|LAW 8747||Introduction to Appellate Advocacy||1|
|LAW 8775||Appellate Advocacy National Moot Court Competition||1-2|
|LAW 8903||Fundamentals of Legal Investigations||2|
3. Electives: The following electives may also help satisfy the minimum total hours requirement:
a. Clinics and Externships
|LAW 8637R||U.S. Attorney's Office Law Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8656||Public Defender Trials Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8656A||Missouri Attorney General's Office Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8656C||Jackson County Prosecutor Internship-Family Law Prosecution||1-3|
|LAW 8656F||Federal Public Defender Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8656P||Jackson County Prosecutor Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8662||Federal Court Internship||2-6|
|LAW 8662F||Family Court Internship||2-6|
|LAW 8713||Death Penalty Clinic||1-2|
|LAW 8713P||Wrongful Convictions Clinic||1-6|
|LAW 8746C||Court Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8750C||Municipal Internship||1-6|
|LAW 8752S||Child & Family Services Clinic||1-6|
|LAW 8768R||Department of Labor Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8773R||Environmental Law Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8790||Legal Aid Internship||3-6|
|LAW 8814E||Unemployment Compensation Clinic - Appellate Practice||2|
|LAW 8877||Bankruptcy Court Internship||2-6|
b. Other Coursework
|LAW 8609||Ethical Issues In Family Law Representation||1-2|
|LAW 8743||Global Legal Systems||1-3|
|LAW 8746R||Independent Study||1-3|
|LAW 8764||Administrative Law||1-3|
|LAW 8813||Employment Discrimination Law||2|
|LAW 8858L||Consumer Protection Lab||1|
|(if approved by student's emphasis area adviser on the basis that the course of study or legal research relates directly to litigation)|
|LAW 8635S||Wrongful Convictions||2-3|
|LAW 8635T||Wrongful Convictions II||2-3|
|LAW 8712||Problems And Issues In The Death Penalty||1-2|
|LAW 8732R||Intro to the Resolution of International Commercial Disputes||1|
|LAW 8735||Seminar In Famous Trials||2-3|
|LAW 8745S||UMKC All Journal Staff||1-4|
|LAW 8746W||Introduction to Workers' Compenstation Law and Practice||1-2|
|LAW 8881||Seminar on the Supreme Court||2-3|
|LAW 8911||Winning Voir Dire||1|
|LAW 8913||Mental Health Investigation 1||1-2|
Any other course if, before beginning the course, the student obtains written approval from both the emphasis area adviser in consultation with the associate dean. Such approval shall not be granted unless the adviser can find that, in light of the student's other courses and the student's litigation-related goals, the course will advance the student's study of litigation to an extent equivalent to other litigation electives.
Courses may be added or deleted from the lists contained in sections 1 through 3 above with approval of the advocacy emphasis committee and the faculty.
All emphasis students will be required to develop an electronic portfolio of self-selected documents and videos, and which will include a final skills assessment. Students will present their portfolio before a panel of two or three people including faculty and members of the bar.
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, ask the emphasis area advisor for the most recent iteration of requirements. A course not listed above can meet emphasis area requirements if approved by the emphasis area advisors, Professors Sean O’Brien, Mikah Thompson, Michaelle Tobin, Ryan Copus, and Steve Leben.
For a student to be recognized as having graduated with an Emphasis in Litigation, the student must have fulfilled the following requirements:
- The student must have satisfied all general and curriculum requirements set forth above.
- The student must have achieved a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in the field. This grade-point average shall be computed considering all Required Courses, Grouped Required Courses, and Elective Courses in the emphasis taken by the student, including any that exceed the minimum hour requirements for the Emphasis in Litigation.