Calendar Course Outline

Course Requirements and Expectations


We are scheduled to meet twice a week for half the semester. Regular attendance is expected and required. Most students attend on a regular basis and your diligence is appreciated.

The Law School attendance policy applies to this course. Please keep in mind that this is a compressed course and each class day counts as one week of class.  Thus, each missed class counts as two absences. A student who has what are, in my view, excessive absences may be required to do extra work or receive a decrease in course grade (at my option).


I expect students to be prepared for all classes. Again, I realize that most students do prepare, and I appreciate that. Assignments for each class appear on the course calendar (on the website), which is periodically updated. Being prepared means having read and thought about the material in the assignment for that class and any matters you are asked to think about from the previous class. If a specific assignment is given, being prepared includes preparing the project so you can discuss it at the level you would if you were representing a client and timely submission of any written work required. Even if we fall behind the syllabus, you are responsible for keeping up unless I indicate otherwise. We may move ahead suddenly, but we will never go beyond the reading assigned for that class without specific advance notice.

If you are not able to prepare for a class, I encourage you to attend in any event, but I want written notice of that fact before class begins (by e-mail or note). I will excuse an incident of unpreparedness with prior notice for good cause. Being unprepared without prior notice may result in the assignment of written makeup work, or, if you had a specific assignment, in reduction of class grade.  Repeated instances of unpreparedness will likely result in reduction of course grade and, in an extreme case, may lead me to drop the student from the course with academic assessment.


The primary method of evaluation will be the final exam. The final will include a take-home exam given at the conclusion of the course and a short in-class portion that is multiple choice and/or short answer.  The in-class exam is tentatively scheduled for March 12th.  Dates for the take-home portion of the exam will be discussed in class and posted on the website.  Class participation may be taken into consideration in grading where a student's input significantly advances the class or where such participation reflects an absence of preparation. A part of the grade (not exceeding 20%) may be based on assignments, reflection papers, class presentations and quizzes. Details regarding reflection papers and quizzes are provided separately below.

The take home portion of the final exam will be essay format. A well-written exam answer will address the particular question(s) asked, including identifying the issues in the exam, demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the existing law and the directions the law may go, and containing analysis of that law in relation to the facts given. Application of the law to the facts is essential, and demonstration of an understanding of the context in which the issues arise and the policy implications of the law as applied is desirable.

The MPRE exam will be given on Saturday, March 8, 2008. You may take the MPRE at that time.  Successful completion of the MPRE is not required for the course but is required for admission to the Missouri and Kansas bars.  Applications to take the MPRE must be received by the National Conference by January 29, 2008.  More information regarding the MPRE will be provided in class and is available from the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.

Class Organization and Assignments

Assignments for each class are found on the Calendar.  An overview of coverage can be found in the Course Outline.  All readings are in Suni, Materials on Professional Responsibility (Winter 2008),  a Standards Supplement (that has the current Model Rules and preferably the Restatement), and supplementary material posted on the website. It is essential that you keep up with the assigned reading even though the assignments are not evenly balanced.  Read Model Rule and Restatement provisions (available in your Supplement) and do CALI exercises in conjunction with the assigned material. You do not need to report completion of the CALI exercises.

Class Meetings

We will meet as noted on the calendar. In the event of inclement weather, class may be cancelled (even if the university is not officially closed, although with our tight schedule we have very little flexibility.  Notice of cancellation will be posted on this website and on my office phone (816-235-2372) by 6 a.m.

Use of Laptops and Phones in Class

Students may use laptops (and similar devices) in class for note-taking and other uses related to class work.  Laptops (and similar devices) are not to be used for non-class related activities, including use of the Internet, instant messaging and games.  Anyone found improperly using a laptop (or similar device) will be warned.  Any student found improperly using a laptop (or similar device) after warning will not be permitted to bring their laptop (or similar device) to class.  Cell phones should be turned off during class except in an emergency, and students needing to have their cell phone on should advise me before class begins.

Disabled Student Services

UMKC endeavors to make all activities, programs and services accessible to students with disabilities.  A Campus Coordinator for Disabled Student Services is available to arrange for reasonable accommodations.  If you need accommodations, it is important that you contact the Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange for providing appropriate documentation and the prescribing of reasonable accommodations in the classroom.  For information call (816) 235-5696. Speech and hearing impaired use Relay Missouri, 1-800-735-2966 (TT) or 1-800-735-2466 (Voice.)  For questions or further information, see Adela Fleming in the Law School Administrative Suite.

Additional Course Requirements

Reflection Papers

All class members will be required to submit reflection papers during the semester. They will be submitted using numbers chosen by the student during the first class rather than names. This provides an opportunity for anonymous submission with feedback from me.

Two reflection papers must be submitted by each student.  The first must be submitted by 2/4, and the second by 2/29.  The reflection paper topics are as follows (choose two of four):

a) Discuss a real situation (e.g., from observation at work, as a client, through knowledge of a friend or family member’s experience, from news reports) or a fictional situation (either from books, TV, movies, etc.)  involving lawyers and analyze and assess the lawyer’s conduct in light of material in the readings and/or in class. 

b) Discuss a rule that you have serious concerns about.  Explain why you have these concerns and how you might deal with them.

c) Discuss the following: What issue do you expect to be the most troublesome for you when you get out in practice? Why? How do the existing Rules help or hamper your dealing with that issue? How do you think you will address it when it arises?

d) How do you think this course could be improved to more meaningfully prepare you to practice law?  Do not discuss how it could better prepare you for the MPRE. 

Each reflection paper should be the equivalent of two typed pages. They will be read by me and will be returned with comments. They are to be turned in to the envelope provided in class and will be returned sometime the following week in class. You may not submit more than one in a calendar week, and no papers will be accepted after February 29th. If you have a paper ready after Wednesday of a given week, you can submit it to my Assistant, Sari Higgins. 

Reflection papers will be "graded" based on effort and insight. Most credit will be given for sincere efforts to think about the material and explore its applicability and to critique the rules in light of perceptions of professionalism and appropriate lawyering roles. Grading of work turned in will be on the basis of superior effort, good work, or acceptable. Unacceptable submissions may receive no credit or be returned for rewriting at my option. No credit will be given for work not turned in.   Evaluation of reflection papers will be used along with and other assignments in computing a final grade.


I may administer unannounced quizzes during the semester (although I am not currently planning to do so). The quizzes will cover both material in the reading for the class in which the quiz is given as well as material previously covered. The format of the quizzes will be multiple choice, MPRE-type questions and possibly some true/false or other similar questions. The purpose of the quizzes will be to help reward those who are doing sustained work on reading and thinking throughout the course of the semester as well as to provide some practice in MPRE-type questions.

The quizzes, if given, will count for no more than 5-10% of the final grade (the total for assignments, class participation, reflection papers and quizzes will not exceed approximately 20%). There will be no makeups for the quizzes. Unless I drop the low score for everyone, if you miss one, you may receive as a score for that quiz either your quiz average or the class average on the quiz missed, whichever is lower. If you miss more than one, you will get a zero for the additional quizzes missed.

Course Requirements Course Outline