In the Family Violence Clinic, students represent indigent victims of domestic abuse, working in trial courts on matters such as clemency petitions for victims and drafting and lobbying for legislation affecting abused women, children and families. The clinic also conducts interdisciplinary programs with other colleges at the University of Missouri, including a funded research alliance with the School of Journalism and the School of Medicine to examine the response to violence against women in rural Missouri counties. The Family Violence Clinic has been led by nurse, lawyer and faculty member Mary Beck since 1993.
Students in the Legislative Practicum take advantage of the School of Law’s proximity to the state capitol in Jefferson City, the advent of MU’s Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and the school’s traditional role as a resource for the Missouri General Assembly. Students gain hands-on experience in the legislative process by drafting legislation, lobbying and working on policy. The classroom component that accompanies the practicum experience involves visits by legislators, lobbyists and representatives of organizations who influence legislation. The Legislative Practicum is directed by MU Deputy Provost Kenneth D. Dean, whose scholarly work has focused on the Missouri legislative and administrative arenas.
The Mediation Clinic gives students the opportunity to act as mediators in a variety of dispute settings, such as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the Missouri Commission for Human Rights, the 13th Judicial Circuit Small Claims Court for Boone County and with private attorneys. Mixing federal cases with small claims cases provides clinic students with an opportunity that few other mediation clinics offer. The clinic, which is housed in the School of Law’s nationally recognized Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, is headed by James H. Levin, an experienced practitioner and trainer in dispute resolution and a founding member of the National Association for Community Mediation.
Supervised by a staff attorney from Mid-Missouri Legal Services Corp., students in the Landlord/Tenant Practicum represent indigent tenants in a variety of disputes, including eviction, habitability and security deposit non-return. They may also represent indigent tenants who reside in public or subsidized housing in administrative actions brought by or against a housing authority.
In 2007, the University of Missouri System provided funding to launch a joint innocence project with The Midwest Innocence Project, a non-profit organization based in Kansas City, Mo. Students work with an experienced lawyer and clinical professor who serves as legal director for the Innocence Project, handling cases of possible innocence from six states with the opportunity to review case transcripts, gather documents and other evidence, search for witnesses and conduct interviews.
The School of Law’s Externship Program offers students an opportunity to develop the skills necessary to bridge the gap between law school and the legal profession. Through this program, students apply the core concepts learned in law school courses to the challenges presented in the legal profession. Students work under the supervision of a lawyer or judge in a public law office, government agency or non-profit organization, or for a lawyer in private practice conducting pro bono work.
The Externship Program allows students to enhance their legal research and writing skills, take part in and observe the practice of law, use concepts and skills learned in other law school courses, appear before courts and administrative agencies, understand the requirements of compliance with the rules of professional responsibility and consider the difficult human and ethical problems that face modern lawyers.
Under the supervision of Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Professor of Law Kandice K. Johnson, students in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic learn how to present cases, conduct direct and cross examinations, and evaluate evidence as they handle cases for the State of Missouri. Cases include a broad range of misdemeanors and felonies, making the clinic one of only a handful at American law schools that allows students to prosecute felony cases. While providing academic lessons about criminal prosecution, the clinic also focuses on the various issues that arise with each unique case.
Students at the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic helps veterans and their families secure disability benefits.
Student work is done at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals level and before the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims. Students are supervised by an experienced attorney at each step, and will have the opportunity to work in a law firm atmosphere within the law school serving real client needs. Law students interested in personal injury, civil litigation or administrative law will benefit from the skills taught in this clinic.