Telephone: (816) 235-1644



ABA Approved Since 1936

Nestled among giant oak trees yet only ten minutes from revitalized downtown Kansas City, UMKC School of Law is part of an urban university in a dynamic and diverse metropolitan area. The School was founded in 1895 by three young lawyers with the assistance of leading members of the Bench and Bar. It merged with the University of Kansas City in 1938 and became part of the University of Missouri in 1963. UMKC is the only law school located in Kansas City and takes advantage of its urban setting through active involvement with the legal, civic and social community surrounding it.


The School of Law has programs leading to both the J.D. and LL.M. degrees and offers both a traditional three year full-time program and flexible part-time J.D. day program (Flex Program). Our faculty are outstanding scholars who have extensive practice experience. They are actively engaged with students both inside and outside the classroom. Our classes are relatively small (by law school standards) and many of our substantive courses incorporate simulations and service learning opportunities. Our faculty and students are collegial and the school provides many opportunities for interaction and development of close personal relationships that will last throughout one’s career. We like to think of ourselves as the urban, public law school with the small, liberal arts feel. Such interaction is facilitated in our modern law building by a physical structure that is unique to legal education. Student offices and carrels, located in suites adjoining the faculty offices, are available to second and third year students. This 9 intellectual migration 9 was designed to foster the exchange of ideas and more generally to promote collegiality between faculty and students. The law library contains an Electronic Resource Center, which provides a teaching resource for instruction in the use of digital/optical databases; the Internet and World Wide Web; and multiple software applications of use to law students and lawyers. The Center also provides additional computers exclusively reserved for use by law students, including a scanner and a dedicated workstation for the visually impaired. Each law student can also access multiple databases and websites from home. Additionally, wireless access throughout the building provides access to these electronic resources and other internet materials from all areas of the school.


Through a cooperative arrangement with the Bloch School of Business Administration, students may simultaneously pursue the J.D. and M.B.A. or M.P.A. degrees. Students interested in taxation or estate planning may earn both the J.D. and the LL.M. in those areas on an accelerated basis, generally requiring only one additional semester (or two summer sessions) beyond that required for the J.D. degree. The School’s interdisciplinary urban legal affairs program leading to a Master of Laws in Urban Affairs prepares lawyers for specializing in practice, public service and corporate and financial institutions dealing with metropolitan area problems.


The curriculum is rich and diverse, with opportunities to select an emphasis in Business and Entrepreneurial Law; Child and Family Law; Litigation; and Urban, Land Use and Environmental Law. The School also has an innovative program for students interested in solo or small firm practice. Teaching methods are varied and many faculty use real problems and 9 hands on 9 activities in required as well as elective classes. Our research and writing program is particularly strong, with an intensive full-year program for first year students, a research and writing requirement necessary for graduation, and upper-level writing and drafting electives. Students desiring an interdisciplinary focus are able to take courses toward the law degree in other graduate divisions of the university or cross-listed courses, including an exciting interdisciplinary course on entrepreneurship and new venture creation with The Bloch School of Business and Public Administration.


Scholarship is an important part of the School. Faculty are actively involved in scholarly activity, producing law review articles and books for the academic community as well as materials of interest to practicing lawyers and judges. The three journals published at the school, The UMKC Law Review, The Urban Lawyer (the official publication of the American Bar Association Section of Urban, State and Local Government), and the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, provide students with opportunities for active roles in shaping the course and pace of legal change.


Service is an expected part of the esperit de corp of an urban-oriented law school. Accordingly, faculty, students and staff are active in the Kansas City community. Our in-house clinics include the Child and Family Services Clinic, the Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic, The Innocence Project/Wrongful Convictions Clinic and the Tax Clinic, in which students under faculty supervision provide legal services to persons without the financial resources to hire private lawyers. In addition, our externship program allows students to provide service to the Public Defender’s Office, Legal Aid, and various state and federal courts and agencies while developing and honing their lawyering skills. Law school graduates are well represented in the Kansas City community as well. More than half the active judges of the state and federal courts in the Western District of Missouri are UMKCalums. Although most of our graduates practice in Missouri, we have alumni around the country. Graduates enter all varieties of public and private practice and increasingly use their legal training to make contributions to the business world, government and politics.


The Law School has a highly motivated, academically talented student body of approximately 500 J.D. and LL.M. students. While most of the students come from western Missouri and eastern Kansas, the School also draws excellent students from throughout the United States. The students consistently distinguish themselves in competition with other schools, often placing first or second in the region and achieving substantial success at the national level. The Law School is housed in a modern, comfortable building well suited to professional training, including the E.E. (Tom) Thompson Courtroom equipped with audiovisual equipment used to augment the School’s advocacy training program and containing a unique viewing theatre above the courtroom, allowing for real-time commentary on live trials and meetings. A spacious student commons area is located near classrooms, an outdoor courtyard with picnic tables and fountain. Offices for many student organizations are located near the student commons area as well. The law library contains a complete collection of basic research materials and a growing collection of material in alternative formats. It makes extensive use of technology to enhance users’ access to research sources. It houses a Computer Media Center that contains LEXIS and WESTLAW training centers and a computer lab making word processing, computer-assisted learning exercises, interactive video, CD-ROM and other on-line research products and Internet access available for student use. The library staff is accessible and helpful. As we enter our second century, the Law School remains committed, as a public, urban institution, to providing a high quality legal education for our students, a supportive environment for faculty teaching and research, and a valuable resource for the community.


Dean: Ellen Suni (816) 235-1007

Associate Dean: Jeffrey Berman (816) 235-1644

Associate Dean: Barbara Glesner Fines (816) 235-1644

Associate Dean for International Programs: Jeffrey Thomas (816) 235-1644

Assistant Dean for Admission and Multicultural Affairs:

Debbie Brooks (816) 235-1672

Library Director: Paul Callister (816) 235-2437

Director of Career Services: Lynda Moore (816) 235-1669

Director of Development: (816) 235-2441

Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations: Jyll Kafer (816) 235-5361

Business Manager: Tom Green (816) 235-1646

Director, Continuing Legal Education: Daniel McCarroll (816) 235-1649

Director of Student Services: Adela Fleming (816) 235-1654




ELLEN YANKIVER SUNI, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, April 27, 1950; admitted to bar, 1974, Massachusetts; 1987, Missouri. Education: City College of New York (B.A., 1970); Boston University School of Law (J.D., 1974). COURSES: Professional Responsibility, Appellate Advocacy, Law Practice Management. Email:sunie @


JASMINE ABDEL-KHALIK, (Law Professor), born Durham, North Carolina, February 29, 1976; admitted to bar, 2000, Illinois. Education: Cornell University (B.A., 1997); University of Michigan (J.D., 2000). COURSES:Contracts, Commercial-Transactions, Intellectual Property, Appellate Advocacy. Email:abdelkhalikj @


DAVID J. ACHTENBERG, (Law Professor), born Kansas City, Missouri, October 10, 1948; admitted to bar, 1973, Missouri. Education: Harvard University (B.A., 1970); University of Chicago (J.D., 1973). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Evidence, Civil Rights, Supreme Court. Email:achtenbd @


MARK BERGER, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, January 23, 1946; admitted to bar, 1969, Connecticut; 1974, Missouri. Education: Columbia University (A.B., 1966); Yale University (J.D., 1969). COURSES:Labor, Employment, Criminal Law and Procedure, Arbitration. Email:bergerm @


JEFFREY B. BERMAN, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, March 20, 1942; admitted to bar, 1966, New York; 1972, Colorado; 1973, Missouri. Education: City University of New York (B.S., 1963); Brooklyn Law School (J.D., 1966); University of Denver (M.S.L.S., 1973). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Evidence, Trial Advocacy. Email:bermanj @


WILLIAM K. BLACK, (Law Professor), born Detroit, Michigan, September 6, 1951; admitted to bar, 1976, Michigan; 1977, District of Columbia. Education: University of Michigan (A.B., 1973; J.D., 1976); University of California at Irvine (Ph.D., 1998). COURSES:Banking, Public Finance, Law and Economics, White Collar Crime. Email:blackw @


PAUL D. CALLISTER, (Law Professor), born Boston, Massachusetts, September 23, 1964; admitted to bar, 1991, California. Education: Brigham Young University (B.A., 1984); Cornell University (J.D., 1991); University of Illinois (MSLIS, 2000). COURSES: Advanced Legal Research and Writing, Cyberlaw and the Infosphere. Email:callistp @


JUNE ROSE CARBONE, (Law Professor), born Rochester, New York, June 14, 1953; admitted to bar, 1978, District of Columbia. Education: Princeton (A.B., 1975); Yale (J.D., 1978). COURSES:Property, Family Law, Biotechnology and Social Justice, Assisted Reproduction. Email:carbonej @


JULIE M. CHESLIK, (Law Professor), born St. Paul, Minnesota, May 10, 1960; admitted to bar, 1985, Missouri. Education: University of Iowa (B.A., 1982; J.D., 1985). COURSES: Property Damage, Estates & Trusts, Land Use Planning. Email:cheslikj @


ROBERT C. DOWNS, (Law Professor), born Aurora, Missouri, May 27, 1941; admitted to bar, 1966, Nebraska; 1986, Missouri. Education: Kansas State University (B.A., 1964); University of Nebraska (J.D., 1966); University of Missouri, Kansas City (LL.M., 1976). COURSES:Business Organizations, Contracts, Negotiating, Securities Regulation, Jurisprudence. Email:downsr @


WILLIAM G. ECKHARDT, (Law Professor), born Ames, Iowa, January 7, 1941; admitted to bar, 1966, Virginia. Education: University of Mississippi (B.A., 1963); University of Virginia (LL.B., 1966); The Judge Advocate General’s School (LL.M., Equivalent, 1970). COURSES:Clinical Law, Administrative Law, Evidence, National Security Law. Email:eckhardw @


BARBARA GLESNER FINES, (Law Professor), born Texas, March 20, 1957; admitted to bar, 1983, Wisconsin. Education: Thomas Jefferson College (B.Ph., 1980); University of Wisconsin-Madison (J.D., 1983); Yale University Law School (LL.M., 1986). COURSES:Professional Ethics, Remedies, Civil Procedure, Family Law, Family Violence. Email:glesnerb @


SUSAN GARDNER, (Law Professor), born Algona, Iowa, March 9, 1955; admitted to bar, 1983, Missouri. Education: University of Missouri at Columbia (B.A., Linguistics, 1977); University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (J.D., 1983). COURSES: Business and Entrepreneurship Law. Email:gardnersm @


FRANCIS M. HANNA, (Law Professor), born Tulsa, Oklahoma, August 10, 1935; admitted to bar, 1962, Missouri. Education: Chicago State University (B.Ed., 1959); Northwestern University (J.D., 1962). COURSES:Estates and Trusts, Administration of Estates and Trusts, Estate Planning, Professional Malpractice Litigation. Email:hannaf @


CHRISTOPHER M. HOLMAN, (Law Professor), born Oakland, California, June 17, 1962; admitted to bar, 1998, California. Education: California State University (B.A., 1987); University of California, Davis (Ph.D., 1993); Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley (J.D., 1996). COURSES:Patent Law, Law and Science, Intellectual Property. Email:holmancm @


CHRISTOPHER R. HOYT, (Law Professor), born Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 7, 1953; admitted to bar, 1979, Missouri. Education: Northwestern University (B.A., 1975); University of Wisconsin (M.S., 1979; J.D., 1979). COURSES: Tax, Deferred Compensation, Business Organizations, Charitable Organizations. Email:hoytc @


MARY KAY KISTHARDT, (Law Professor), born Pennsylvania, May 24, 1953; admitted to bar, 1978, Pennsylvania. Education: Kings College (B.A., 1975); Dickinson School of Law (J.D., 1978); Yale Law School (LL.M., 1985). COURSES:Family Law, Children in the Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation. Email:kistharm @


KRIS W. KOBACH, (Law Professor), born Madison, Wisconsin, March 26, 1966; admitted to bar, 1995, Kansas. Education: Harvard (A.B., 1988); Oxford University (D.Phil. and M.Phil., 1992); Yale (J.D., 1995). COURSES:Constitutional Law, Immigration, Legal History, Legislation. Email:kobachk @


NANCY LEVIT, (Law Professor), born Kansas City, Missouri, September 28, 1958; admitted to bar, 1984, Kansas. Education: Bates College (B.A., 1980); University of Kansas (J.D., 1984). COURSES: Torts, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination. Email:levitn @


DOUGLAS O. LINDER, (Law Professor), born Mankato, Minnesota, March 5, 1952; admitted to bar, 1976, Minnesota. Education: Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A., 1973); Stanford Law School (J.D., 1976). COURSES: Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Famous Trials, Communications Law. Email:linderd @


ANTHONY J. LUPPINO, (Law Professor), born Hartford, Connecticut, November 7, 1957; admitted to bar, 1982, Massachusetts; 1986, Kansas; 1990, Missouri. Education: Dartmouth College (A.B., 1979); Stanford Law School (J.D., 1982); Boston University (LL.M., 1986). COURSES:Business Organizations, Entrepreneurial Lawyering, Securities Regulation, Business Planning, Partnership Taxation. Email:luppinoa @


TIFFANY R. MURPHY, (Law Professor), born Detroit, Michigan, April 22, 1976; admitted to bar, 2002, Washington; 2003, Florida; 2005, Pennsylvania. Education: University of Michigan (B.A., Honors, History & Political Science, 1998); University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 2000). COURSES: Wrongful Convictions, Innocence Project Clinic. Email:murphytr @


SEAN D. O’BRIEN, (Law Professor), born Kansas City, Missouri, February 27, 1956; admitted to bar, 1980, Missouri. Education: Northwest Missouri State University (B.A., 1977); University of Missouri - Kansas City (J.D., 1980). COURSES:Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Wrongful Convictions, Death Penalty Clinic.


MARY KAY O’MALLEY, (Law Professor), born Kansas City, Missouri, February 25, 1956; admitted to bar, 1995, Missouri; Kansas, 1996. Education: St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (B.A., 1977); University of Missouri-Kansas City (M.A., 1979); Washburn University School of Law (J.D., 1995). COURSES: Child and Family Services Clinic, Guardian ad Litem Workshop. Email:omalleymk @


COLIN B. PICKER, (Law Professor), born Santa Barbara, California, October 12, 1965; admitted to bar, 1997, Maryland and District of Columbia. Education: Bowdoin College (A.B., 1992); Yale Law School (J.D., 1996). COURSES:International Business Transactions, International Trade & Finance, Conflict of Laws, Comparative Law. Email:pickerc @


JUDITH POPPER, (Law Professor), born Dalton, Georgia, April 16, 1954; admitted to bar, 1984, Missouri; 1997, Kansas. Education: Agnes Scott College (B.A., 1976); University of Missouri-Kansas City (J.D., 1984). COURSES:Introduction to Law & Legal Processes, Advanced Legal Writing, Consumer Protection. Email:popperj @


JOHN W. RAGSDALE, (Law Professor), born Neosha, Missouri, October 14, 1944; admitted to bar, 1969, Colorado. Education: Middlebury College (B.A., 1966); University of Colorado (J.D., 1969); University of Missouri-Kansas City (LL.M., 1972); Northwestern University (S.J.D., 1985). COURSES:Law and the American Indian, Natural Resources, Preservation Law, Water Law. Email:ragsdalj @


PATRICK A. RANDOLPH, JR., (Law Professor), born Pasadena, California, September 2, 1944; admitted to bar, 1970, California; 1981, Oregon and Missouri. Education: Yale University (B.A., 1966); University of California, Berkeley (J.D., 1969). COURSES: Property Law, Real Estate Law: Transactions, Finance, Leasing. Email:randolpp @


ALLEN K. ROSTRON, (Law Professor), born November 25, 1968; admitted to bar, 1995, New York; 1999, District of Columbia. Education: University of Virginia (B.A., 1991); Yale (J.D., 1994). COURSES:Torts, Products Liability, Conflicts, Constitutional Law. Email:rostrona @


JUDITH A. SHARP, (Law Professor), born Manhattan, Kansas, January 30, 1951; admitted to bar, 1977, Missouri; 1997, Kansas. Education: Stephens College (A.A. &B.A., 1973); Bowling Green State University (M.A., 1974); University of Missouri-Kansas City (J.D., 1977; L.L.M., Taxation, 2000). COURSES:Clinical Supervision of Business Law Clinic (Transactional). Email:sharpju @


WANDA M. TEMM, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, September 12, 1955; admitted to bar, 1988, Kansas; 1989, Missouri. Education: Ottawa University (B.A., 1977); Purdue University (M.S., 1979); University of Kansas (J.D., 1988). COURSES: Legal Research and Writing, Introduction to Law, Advanced Drafting. Email:temmw @


JEFFREY E. THOMAS, (Law Professor), born Inglewood, California, July 3, 1959; admitted to bar, 1988, California. Education: Loyola Marymount University (B.A., 1983); University of California, Berkeley (J.D., 1986). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Insurance, Introduction to American Law. Email:thomasj @


MIKAH K. THOMPSON, (Law Professor), born Kansas City, Missouri, April 27, 1975; admitted to bar, 2001, Missouri; 2002, District of Columbia; 2003, Kansas. Education: Southwest Missouri State University (B.S., 1998); Washington University School of Law (J.D., 2001). COURSES: Torts, Civil Procedure, Race and the Law. Email:storym @


DANIEL WEDDLE, (Law Professor), born Kansas City, Missouri, June 29, 1955; admitted to bar, 1995, Kansas; Missouri 1996. Education: University of Kansas (B.S., 1978); University of Kansas School of Law (J.D., 1995). COURSES: Introduction to Law & Lawyering Processes, Advanced Legal Writing Litigation Drafting, Advanced Lawyering Processes, Education Law. Email:weddle @


BARBARA WILSON, (Law Professor), born Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 4, 1959; admitted to bar, 1997, Missouri; 1998, Kansas. Education: University of Missouri Columbia (B.A., 1982; J.D., 1997); University of Nebraska (M.A.). COURSES:Introduction to Law and Lawyering Processes and Advanced Legal Writing, Litigation Drafting, Remedies. Email:wilsonbarbara @


JUDITH F. WISEMAN, (Law Professor), born St. Louis, Missouri, October 31, 1957; admitted to bar, 1990, Oklahoma; 1991, Kansas. Education: The University of Wisconsin (B.B.A. in accounting, 1979); The University of Tulsa College of Law (J.D., 1990); New York University College of Law (LL.M., in taxation, 1991). COURSES: Tax Practicum, Federal Taxation, Taxation of Estates, Gifts & Trusts, Taxation of Property Transactions, Corporate Tax, Estate Planning & Practice. Email:wisemanj @