J.D. Urban, Land Use and Environmental Law Emphasis Area Requirements

UMKC students can engage in a course of study within the J.D. degree with an emphasis in Urban and Land Use Law, Environmental Law or both. 

Admission Requirements

Students in their second or third year may elect to specialize in the "Urban, Land Use and Environmental Law" curricular emphasis program. To do so, a student should apply no later than the end of the second year. Advice about compliance with the requirements is available from the Emphasis Faculty Advisors Professors Julie Cheslik, John Ragsdale, and Irma Russell.

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.
  • 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.

Program Requirements

Minimum Total Hours Required

Students must complete at least 15 semester hours of approved course work in the emphasis including at least two of three Group A Core Courses, at least two Group B Specialized Courses, and at least one Group C Elective and Interdisciplinary Courses. All courses used to satisfy the emphasis requirements must be taken for a grade (with the exception of those courses for which a grade option is not available) and a grade of B- or higher must be earned.

Advanced Research and Writing Requirement

Students must complete an academic research paper of publishable quality concerning a topic within the purview of the emphasis area. This requirement may be filled (1) in conjunction with any of the approved emphasis courses, (2) as part of the law school’s Research and Writing requirement, (3) as part of an Independent Study, (4) through one of the Law School's journal offerings, or (4) through a research project pursued through an internship, externship or other practical experience. Emphasis faculty advisors must approve of the topic and paper quality in order to satisfy this requirement.

Practical Skills Requirement

Students must satisfactorily complete a one-semester practical skills experience or its equivalent. The following coursework and clinics satisfy this requirement:

LAW 8773CEnvironmental Compliance Auditing and Permitting3
LAW 8773NNegotiating SuperFund Settlements1-2
LAW 8773REnvironmental Law Internship3-6
LAW 8921Selected Projects in Law, Technology and Public Policy1-6
LAW 8925Entrepreneurial Urban Development1-4
Abandoned Housing Clinic
EPA Law Clinic Region VII, EPA Law Clinic Agricultural Center, and placement with an approved governmental or other private or public agency including the City of Kansas City and other entities as approved by a Emphasis Faculty Advisor.

Course Requirements

Group A: Core Courses; must take a minimum of two:2-6
Administrative Law
Land Use Law
Environmental Law
Group B: Specialized Courses; must take a minimum of two:2-8
Water Law
Energy Law
Law And The American Indian
Federal Jurisdiction
Preservation of Land & Natural Resources
Federal Public Land & Resource Law
Preservation of Land & Natural Resources
State And Local Taxation
Real Estate Finance
Fair and Affordable Housing Seminar
Seminar in Educational Equality and the Law
Real Estate Transactions
Construction Law
Group C: Elective and Interdisciplinary Courses; may count one additional course from Group C1-6
Legislation
Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation
Mediation
Public Finance
Environmental Compliance Auditing and Permitting
Negotiating SuperFund Settlements
Environmental Law Internship
Buffalo National River: Issues in National Park Law & Management
Economics And The Law
Education Law: Government & Legal Aspects Of Education
Takings Law
State and Local Government Law in a Nutshell
Selected Projects in Law, Technology and Public Policy
Entrepreneurial Urban Development
Any graduate level course in PUB-ADM
Any graduate level course in RL-EST

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 Julie Cheslik, John Ragsdale, and Irma Russell.