James M. Niemann

Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic

BA, University of Notre Dame ('90)
JD, University of Missouri School of Law ('93)

Professor Niemann is a 1993 graduate of our Law School and, after 22 years in private and corporate practice, has returned to serve as the inaugural Director of the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic. During law school at MU, he was Student Bar Association President, Co-Chair of the Student-Faculty Relations Committee, a member of the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Committee, and a member of the Law School Dean Search Committee.

Professor Niemann’s early legal career began in St. Louis as a litigation associate at Evans & Dixon. He later transitioned from commercial litigation to corporate practice while working at Blumenfeld, Kaplan & Sandweiss. During his early legal career in St. Louis, Professor Niemann tried several cases and argued appeals in various state and federal courts, including oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. His appellate brief in Duggan v. Zip Mail Services, Inc., 920 S.W.2d 200 (Mo.Ct.App. 1996) resulted in new precedent on Federal Arbitration Act pre-emption of Missouri’s Uniform Arbitration Act and clarification of the “interstate commerce” exemption.

Prior to returning to Mizzou, Professor Niemann represented start-ups, early stage companies and other commercial clients in both law firm and in-house legal roles. His recent in-house experience spanned over 7 years at Assurant, a Fortune 300 multi-national company. After starting in Assurant’s Government Relations Department in Miami, Florida, Professor Niemann soon transferred to Assurant’s Atlanta office and served in general counsel roles for various business units. He spent his last years at Assurant as lead counsel for the Company’s new product development team, helping innovators protect and commercialize their inventions while also managing their intellectual property portfolio.

Professor Niemann has served in numerous leadership roles for the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, including Young Lawyers’ Division Chair, BAMSL Board and Executive Committee Member, and Distinguished Fellow of the St. Louis Bar Foundation. He received the BAMSL YLD Award of Merit in 1996. He has also held leadership positions with the American Bar Association, including Chair of the ABA Young Lawyers’ Division Ethics & Professionalism Committee and Member of the ABA’s Ethics 2000 Committee. Professor Niemann contributed to the ABA Journal Article “A Treacherous Path: Evolving Business Law Ethics Issues” (February 2000). He has been a featured speaker at numerous CLE and client education programs. He is also an ABA YLD Fellow.

Professor Niemann holds law licenses in Missouri, Georgia and Illinois, and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, and the federal district courts for Eastern and Western Missouri and the Southern District of Illinois.


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