University of Missouri School of Law

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University of Missouri School of Law
File:Mizzou Hulston Hall 02.jpg
Hulston Hall, home to the University of Missouri School of Law
Motto Salus Populi (Latin)
Established 1872
School type Public
Parent endowment US $1.0 billion[1]
Location Columbia, Missouri, USA
Enrollment 455[2]
Faculty 41 (Fall)
48 (Spring)[2]
USNWR ranking 59th in "Best Law Schools"
Bar pass rate 96.49% (Missouri, 2007)
92.37% (All states, 2007)
ABA profile Profile
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.[2] 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.[2] According to Mizzou Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 61.1% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[3]


Mizzou Law is one of the nation's leaders[4] 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.[5] It accepted 35.8% of its applicants.[5] Its student body total was 449 during the 2007-2008 school year.[5] The law school also has a historical bar passage rate around 90.8%, which is higher than the Missouri state average of 86%.[5] 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.[5]

Degree Programs

J.D. Degree

File:Mizzou Tate Hall.jpg
Tate Hall housed the School of Law from 1923 to 1988.[6]

Students must complete 89 credit hours in order to receive a J.D. from the University of Missouri.[7] 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.[8] Students may also apply up to 31 hours of legal coursework completed at another ABA-accredited law school towards their degree from MU.[9]

Additionally, all students must attend several presentations beyond their regular classes.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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,[13] and consistently ranks as one of the top law schools offering Dispute Resolution programs in the United States.[14] 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.[15] Students must complete 24 credit hours, 15 of which must be in Dispute Resolution.[16] 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.[17]

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.


  • 59th best law school - U.S. News and World Report ranks Mizzou Law 59th among American law schools overall in their 2016 rankings.
  • 2nd best law school in Dispute Resolution - U.S. News and World Report ranks Mizzou Law 2nd among American law schools in Dispute Resolution in their 2015 rankings.


File:Mizzou Law Barn.jpg
The Law Barn was the center of legal studies at the University of Missouri from 1893 to 1923.[6]

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 Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law. Then, they pick again in order, this time based on the 20/80 rankings, and finally they select based on the 0/100 rankings.[18]

Missouri Law Review

The Missouri Law Review is the law school's oldest 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.[19]

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)

Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law

The Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law, or JESL, formerly known as the Missouri Environmental Law & Policy Review, is a joint venture between the School of Law and the Missouri Bar Association. Founded in 1993, JESL is the school's youngest law review, consisting of 11 student editors and no more than 20 student associates.

From its inception in 1993 to the 2010-2011 school year, it published three editions each year. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, two issues per year are published, one each in the fall and spring. JESL publishes case notes and articles on topics including energy policy, land use, water policy, agricultural law, land reclamation, and environmental sustainability.


According to Mizzou Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 61.1% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[20] Mizzou Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 16%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[21]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Mizzou Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $55,106 for non-Missouri residents and $34,476.30 for Missouri residents.[22] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $212,935 for non-Missouri residents and $143,714 for Missouri residents.[23]

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

Student organizations


  1. "All Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2008 Market Value of Endowment Assets with Percent Change Between 2007 and 2008 Endowment Assets" (PDF). 2008 NACUBO Endowment Study. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 LSAC/ABA School Overview
  3. "Employment Statistics" (PDF). 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Internet Legal Research Group: 2009 Law School Rankings, Profile of the University of Missouri-Columbia
  6. 6.0 6.1 History of the School of Law
  7. JD Program Graduation Requirements: Graduation
  8. JD Program Graduation Requirements: Non-Law Courses
  9. JD Program Graduation Requirements: Credit Earned at Other Law Schools
  10. JD Program Graduation Requirements: Graduation: Professional Perspectives Requirement
  11. JD Program Graduation Requirements: Graduation: Completion of a Writing Requirement
  12. CSDR Law School Teaching and Curriculum Initiatives
  13. Top 5 Reasons to Choose MU School of Law: Reputation
  14. US News Law School Rankings: Dispute Resolution
  15. LL.M. Admission Requirements
  16. LL.M Program of Study
  17. LL.M. Course Descriptions: Required Courses
  18. Membership on the Missouri Law Reviews
  19. About the Missouri Law Review
  20. "Employment Statistics" (PDF). 
  21. "University of Missouri - Columbia Profile". 
  22. "Tuition and Expenses". 
  23. "University of Missouri - Columbia Profile". 
  24. "Camille Bennett". Retrieved April 14, 2015. 

Coordinates: 38°56′38″N 92°19′42″W / 38.9440°N 92.3283°W / 38.9440; -92.3283