« on: July 28, 2006, 10:31:41 AM »
thank you, i know. i actually went there so i used those exact things as my defense to the taunts i received from my friends going to MU . The profs are good but the administration is horrible. they haven't told you this yet, but they are required to give 20% of the class a C- and below. And if you carry a 1.8 or less average (remember a C- is a 1.7), then they kick your ass out. (Sorry to ruin the surprise)
you know why? to inflate their bar pass.
also, you are REQUIRED to take approximately eight or so classes beyond the normal 1L requirements. why? so you have already had nearly every course tested on the bar. now you might think thats not such a bad idea, but honestly it is. you don't get to take as many classes as you want to and it shows that UMKC has to force you to take the classes in order to even get you to pass the bar. it also proves that UMKC cannot trust its students to learn the material through bar/bri. but what can really be infered from all of this is that kids at umkc aren't smart enough to learn the material quickly during Bar/bri and perform adequetly on the bar exam without first having a formal education in the subject. that pretty much says, "well they aren't smart enough to figure out by themselves, so we have to take them by the hand and teach it too them twice or else our bar pass will tank."
considering they just eeked at past WUSTL (and i believe WUSTL beat them many other times), i don't think that's very impressive. they flunk out 20% of the class and then force the rest of them to take purely bar prep courses, even though they don't want to practice in those areas. trust me, i know this.
plus, the bar passage rate is what, less thant +/- 1-2% different than the other schools in the state. THATS STATISTICALLY INSIGNFICANT. the only time it actually mattered was when SLU tanked it and its bar pass was at 77%, whereas all the other missouri schools were in the upper 80's. i don't remember the exact statistics but i think UMKC was up less than a percent on WashU and less than 2% on MU. the difference is only a couple of students. congrats. two more umkc kids passed the bar than MU kids (but at least the MU kids had jobs right?). so again, the differences are miniscule and insignificant. the truth of the matter is that the bar pass percentages don't matter until there is a difference of about 10% (not 1-2%).
here's two things you don't know:
1) their reputation sucks ass and their career services is the worst.
Of course the USNews statistics (compiled from profs/attnys/judges) wholeheartedly back me up on this, that UMKC has the absoulte worst reputation in the region, but you can also look at other factors as well. I think a good baromoter for a law schools reputation is the number and quality of the firms who interview there. Lets look to the NALP directory for comparisons. It lists UMKC as having 38 firms (mostly repeats) interviewing on campus. MU has 58, KU has 65, and WashU has 178. Remember that there is significant overlap between all the schools for MO/KS jobs and you will be competing with kids with your exact same credentials but at better schools. Can you tell a diffierence now? By the way, the firms don't take equally from each school either. If they have an incoming class of 10 associates, they will probably take 4 from KU, 4 from MU and maybe 1-2 from UMKC. sometimes they don't hire anyone from umkc.
Also, they don't have a lottery system for interviewing. A lottery system means that a certain percentage of students to be interviewed are chosen by the firms and the remaining percentage are chosen through students "bidding" on the employer in a numerical lottery. For example, 75% of the students would be chosen by the employer, whereas the school would provide the other 25% based solely on those students desires to work for that firm (read: not based on grades). Here's what happened last semester b/c UMKC doesn't have this: the top 10-15% of kids got all the interviews and totally shut out everyone else. that means, that if you aren't in the top 10-15% of your class (top 25 people), you aren't even going to get an interview.
Lastly, arguendo, if you still believe UMKC is a good school consider that it is the WORST law school in the region. If you do well at UMKC you aren't set for a job. You then take your credentials and go compete against: 1) SLU (rank 80), 2) KU (rank 70), 3) MU (rank 60), 4) Washu (ranked 19), and 5) Washburn (T3, so a similar school). Not only that, but you'll also be fighting for jobs against kids who went to T14 schools, are originally from KC, and now want to return. So, as you can see, you're tied for dead last out of six schools.
UMKC values itself as the "solo practicioner's (sp) law school." in fact, in the year i was there, they released statistics saying that 20% of students went solo and another 50% went to firms of less than 10 people. what that really means is that about 50% of students didn't get a job (i'm interpolating this b/c i knew several 3L's who graduated and formed their own law firm together and they would be included in the latter figure). oops, another UMKC secret spoiled. its a terrible idea to hang out your own shingle right at graduation, law school doesn't teach you have to practice law. all hanging out your own shingle means is that you're unemployed, have no client base, and live in your parents basement.
2) their administrators are terrible people and they don't mind f**cking you in the ass at every turn.
One of the things that made me the most pissed off was how brazen those a_s_s_h_o_l_e_s are in the front office. in the beginning of the semester they held a meeting where they revealed to us their intent to kick 1/5 of us out. they, of course, didn't say it in those terms but it was still there (p.s the flunk out rate of the previous class was 16.6% in the first year). But they lied and said, "It's an ABA requirement that we flunk people out." Oh really, that would mean Yale has a flunk out rate. Lo and behold, it does not. Out and out lie directly from the dean of students to a courtroom full of 1Ls.
Maybe you don't think this is a big deal, but it really is. It demonstrates a total lack of respect. These kids plop down 15k to attend, go through hell trying to do the best they can, and you can't even tell them the truth? thats pathetic.
they also keep your grades artificially low. the class average in any given class MUST be between a 2.5 and a 2.7. thats not very fun. only 10% of the class or so may get an A. that translates to mostly C's and about 6-7 kids getting A's in a class of 60-70 very hard working people. as opposed to schools that keep a higher average, your resume looks terrible by comparison, even though your class rank may be decent. my nominal grades were well under what i used to get in undergrad, but my class rank was very high.
here's another thing. if you flunk out, they usually don't tell you until second semester. so, despite them knowing your grades, they hold them until you plop down tuition, books, etc... and start back up. Its very eerie. One day my whole class was there (what was left of it anyway, lots of people voluntarily leave b/c they hate it), and they get letters from the school and just vanish.
i won't detail the rest of the shenanigans that go on there, but i believe i've pretty thoroughly debunked your claims. the bar passage rate was a flash in the pan that was built upon a faculty enforced death-march thru bar classes and flunking otherwise good students out of the school. the school is totally not respected, you'll find that out the hard way when you want to get a job. as for the teachers, i would say that they are generally good and caring people. there are some bad teachers (fergueson, kobach), but then again, there are some absolutely phenomenal people (hoyt, hood, and especially professor allen rostron).
if you have questions, i'll try and be fair and answer them. UMKC isn't the worst place you can go to law school, but if i had to make the choice of going there or getting my MA where i was before, i would've made a different choice. so please, ask questions and i'll tell you what life was like there.