This site is a developmental version of Wiki Law School. To go to the production site:

University of Missouri School of Law

From Wiki Law School does not provide legal advice. For educational purposes only.
University of Missouri School of Law
Parent school University of Missouri
Established 1872
School type Public
Endowment $1,000 million
Dean R. Lawrence Dessem
Location Columbia, MO, US
Enrollment 455
Faculty 48 (See List)
USNWR ranking 107
Bar pass rate 92.37%
Annual tuition (subsidized) $15,627
Annual tuition (unsubsidized) $30,854
Basis for tuition subsidy State residency
Outlines 0 (See List)
Loading map...

University of Missouri School of Law is located in Columbia, MO

This article is about the school in Columbia. For the school in Kansas City see University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law

University of Missouri School of Law (Mizzou Law or MU Law) is the law school of the University of Missouri, a state university in the U.S. State of Missouri. It is located on the university's main campus in Columbia, forty minutes from the Missouri State Capitol and Supreme Court in Jefferson City.[1] The school was founded in 1872 by the Curators of the University of Missouri, making it one of the oldest law schools west of the Mississippi River. Its alumni include governors, legislators, judges, attorneys general, and law professors across the country.[1]


Mizzou Law is one of the nation's leaders[2] in Alternative Dispute Resolution, having founded the nation’s first center dedicated to the study of settling disputes beyond litigation. This center, the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution (CSDR) is Mizzou Law’s only research center. The School also offers a Certificate in Dispute Resolution to its J.D. candidates, and a LL.M. for those who have already completed law school. The School discontinued its certificates in tax law and intellectual property law in 2004 because it lacked the faculty to teach those classes.

The median LSAT score for the incoming class of 2007 was 159, with a median GPA of 3.53.[3] It accepted 35.8% of its applicants.[3] Its student body total was 449 during the 2007-2008 school year.[3] The law school also has a historical bar passage rate around 90.8%, which is higher than the Missouri state average of 86%.[3] At graduation, roughly half of its students have secured employment for after the bar; 9 months after graduation around 95% of all students are employed.[3]

Degree Programs

J.D. Degree

Tate Hall housed the School of Law from 1923 to 1988.[4]

Students must complete 89 credit hours in order to receive a J.D. from the University of Missouri.[5] During the first year, all students must take Advocacy & Research, Civil Procedure I & II, Contracts I & II, Criminal Law, Lawyering, Legal Research & Writing, Property, and Torts. During the second year, all students must take Constitutional Law and Evidence. During either the second or third year, all students must take Professional Responsibility and Criminal Procedure. Students may apply up to 3 hours of non-law school coursework towards their degree in some circumstances.[6] Students may also apply up to 31 hours of legal coursework completed at another ABA-accredited law school towards their degree from MU.[7]

Additionally, all students must attend several presentations beyond their regular classes.[8] These presentations qualify for “Professional Perspectives” or “Career Perspectives” credit, depending on the nature of the lecture and whether the Dean’s office or the Office of Career Development sponsors the presentation. These presentations are usually hosted by student organizations.

Students also must complete a “Writing Requirement,” in which the student conducts original research and drafts a paper on that issue.[9] The paper must be approved by a member of the faculty who then edits and suggests changes and improvements. The student may only receive his or her writing credit after rewriting the paper, following the faculty comments. Students who participate in one of the school’s law reviews may apply their work for the law review towards the writing requirement.

LL.M. in Dispute Resolution

The LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program at University of Missouri School of Law is offered by the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution.[10] The University of Missouri School of Law is the first law school in United States to offer an LL.M. that is exclusively focused on Dispute Resolution,[11] and consistently ranks as one of the top law schools offering Dispute Resolution programs in the United States.[12] Students who already have a law degree (either a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, or a LL.B. from a school outside the United States) may receive their LL.M. in Dispute Resolution from the University of Missouri.[13] Students must complete 24 credit hours, 15 of which must be in Dispute Resolution.[14] These 15 hours include the 16 hours that students earn from required coursework in Arbitration, Research, Methods for Evaluating Dispute Resolution Systems, Non-Binding Dispute Resolution, and Understanding Conflict.[15]

Dual Degrees

Mizzou Law has ten dual degree programs with other schools at the University of Missouri. These programs lay out which courses students may count towards their law degree in addition to their non-law degree. These programs are:

  • JD/MBA in Business
  • JD/MPA in Public Administration
  • JD/MHA in Health Administration
  • JD/MA in Economics
  • JD/MA in Journalism
  • JD/MA in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
  • JD/MA or MS in Human Development & Family Studies
  • JD/MS in Consumer & Family Economics
  • JD/PhD in Journalism
  • JD/MLS in Library & Information Science

Academic programs


The School of Law also has affiliations with other schools and programs at the university, whereby the student earns a certificate from another school:

  • Center for the Digital Globe - an interdepartmental certificate, established by the College of Business, School of Journalism, School of Law, and Department of Textile and Apparel Management in the College of Human Environmental Sciences with a focus on the “managerial, theoretical and policy-related issues associated with digital media, electronic commerce and globalization;”
  • European Union Graduate Certificate from the European Union Center, established by the European Union to “develop a better understanding of the EU by individuals, businesses and governmental entities;” and
  • Certificate in Journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Clinics & Externships

Mizzou Law operates five clinics:

  • Criminal prosecution;
  • Family violence;
  • Judicial;
  • Legislative; and
  • Mediation.

Students may also perform an externship for up to 3 hours of credit. Externships are only permitted in public law offices, government offices, and not-for-profit offices. Students extern in places in Columbia and Jefferson City, such as the Missouri Department of Revenue, the Secretary of State’s Office, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Study Abroad

The University of Missouri accepts credits earned from all ABA-approved law schools and study abroad programs. It also runs its own study abroad programs.

  • South Africa Program – students take a comparative law class and study dispute resolution in an international context.
  • London Consortium – students take American and British law courses.


  • 93rd best law school - U.S. News and World Report ranks Mizzou Law the 93rd among the "Top 100" American law schools in their 2011 rankings.
  • 3rd best law school in Dispute Resolution - U.S. News and World Report ranks Mizzou Law the 3rd among American law schools in Dispute Resolution in their 2011 rankings.


The Law Barn was the center of legal studies at the University of Missouri from 1893 to 1923.[4]

The law school has a unique method for selecting associates to its three law reviews. Unlike other schools that base placement entirely on grades, the University of Missouri uses a write-on system. After the final exams in the spring semester have been returned, packets are made available to all interested students. In the packet are two assignments: the first is a case and citations to other sources; and the second is a mock list of footnotes. Applicants to the law reviews must write a case note based on the case in the packet, using as citations only those sources specifically listed; applicants must also meet minimum page length and minimum footnote requirements. Applicants must also edit the mock list of footnotes for errors, pursuant to the Bluebook method of citation. Applicants must then return the entire packet, as well as a list identifying their preferences of law reviews.

The Editors-in-Chief and other editors blind-grade the assignments. Law school administrative assistants rank each student three times: first, by weighting the applicants' GPAs at 80% and their written submissions 20%; then, by weighting the GPAs at 20% and the written submissions at 80%; lastly, by ranking solely based on the scores of the written submissions. The editors-in-chief then select which applicants they want. The Missouri Law Review selects first based on the 80/20 rankings, then the Journal of Dispute Resolution, then the Missouri Law & Policy Review. Then, they pick again in order, this time based on the 20/80 rankings, and finally they select based on the 0/100 rankings.[16]

Missouri Law Review

The Missouri Law Review is the law school's oldest and most prestigious law review. It is entirely student-run and student-edited and publishes four times a year. It has been cited over fourteen hundred times in published court opinions, including the Supreme Court of the United States, since 1936, when publication began.[17]

Each spring the law review hosts a symposium on a different part of the law. Noted scholars and practitioners in the given area give a presentation, and then they write an article which the law review publishes later that year. Recent topics have included:

  • Evolving the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and its Patent Law Jurisprudence (2011)
  • Can We Fix Our State Indigent Defense Systems? (2010)
  • Mulling over the Missouri Plan: A Review of State Judicial Selection and Retention Systems (2009)
  • Federalism & International Law (2008)
  • A Festschrift in honor of Dale A. Whitman (2007)
  • Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Bankruptcy Reform (2006)
  • Reflections on Judging: A Discussion Following the Release of the Blackmun Papers (2005)
  • Fear and Risk in Times of Democratic Crisis (2004)

Journal of Dispute Resolution

The Journal of Dispute Resolution, operated by the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, is entirely student-led and student-edited. Published semi-annually, the Journal is considered the leading publication in alternative dispute resolution.

The Journal, like the Missouri Law Review, hosts annual symposia in the area of dispute resolution. Past symposia have included:

  • Collaborative Governance: The Future of Regulation: An Interdisciplinary and International Review (2009)
  • Developing Better Lawyers and Lawyering Practices] (2008)
  • Media & Conflict (2007)
  • A Tribute to Leonard Riskin (2006)
  • The Vanishing Trial] (2006)
  • Damages (2004)
  • International versus Domestic Conflict Resolution (2003)
  • The Uniform Mediation Act (2003)
  • Challenging Assumptions About Mediation (2002)
  • The Revised Uniform Arbitration Act (2001)

Missouri Environmental Law & Policy Review

The Missouri Environmental Law & Policy Review, or MELPR (pronounced "mel-per"), is a joint venture between the School of Law & the Missouri Bar Association. Founded in 1993, it is the law school's youngest law review, consisting of eleven student editors and no more than twenty student associates. From its inception in 1993 to the 2010-2011 school year, MELPR published three editions each year. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, MELPR will publish two editions each year, with one being printed in the fall and one in the spring. MELPR publishes case notes and articles on topics including energy policy, land use, water policy, agricultural law, land reclamation, and environmental sustainability.

Notable faculty

  • Doug Abrams (family law)
  • Royce de rohan Barondes (contracts & business organizations)
  • Robert G. Bailey[18] (arbitration)
  • Frank O. Bowman (federal sentencing guidelines)
  • Michelle Arnopol Cecil (bankruptcy & taxation)
  • Dennis D. Crouch (patent law)
  • Carl Esbeck (religious liberties)
  • David A. Fischer (products liability)
  • R. Wilson Freyermuth (property law & secured transactions)
  • Leonard Riskin (conflict resolution)
  • Elwood L. Thomas - former professor; later a judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri
  • Rodney Uphoff (criminal defense)
  • Dale A. Whitman (property law)

Notable alumni

Student organizations

  • American Bar Association – Law Student Division
  • American Civil Liberties Union - MU Chapter
  • American Constitution Society
  • Asian American Law Students Association
  • Association of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Board of Advocates
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Elwood L. Thomas American Inn of Court
  • Federalist Society
  • Hispanic Law Students Association
  • International Law Students Association
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Lambda Legal Society
  • Law Students of a Better Society
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys
  • Missouri Equal Justice Foundation
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Non-Traditional Law Students Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
  • Phi Delta Phi (Tiedeman Inn)
  • Public Interest Law Association
  • Sports Law Society
  • Student Bar Association
  • Student Hurricane Network
  • Women's Law Association