Student Law Academy light blue and dark blue logo

"It is an outstanding program that connects the legal community with diverse, future community leaders. 
I'm inspired by the students' enthusiasm for the law and their eagerness to learn." 

- Sherri Wattenbarger, 
U.S. Department of Justice Office of The U.S. Trustee, 
SLA Mentor

Image: Amy Coopman headshot.  Image: Kelly Frickleton headshot.Image: Kamillia Scott headshot.
                 Chair                                    Vice Chair                          Secretary
       Amy L. Coopman                    Kelly C. Frickleton               Kamillia M. Scott
     Bridge Mediation, LLC                    Bartimus Frickleton                   Dentons US LLP
                                                               Robertson Rader P.C.

The application window for students is now closed. If you applied and have any questions, please contact Keva Gorman at

KCMBF's Student Law Academy 2022

Student Law Academy ("SLA") 2022 has two in-person components: the Legal Pathway and the Job Shadow. Read on to learn more about these two distinct sessions.
Image show the blue Student Law Academy logo: Full Program Calendar of Events 2022

Legal Pathway
Selected SLA Scholars, who are rising juniors through seniors in high school, participate in three educational sessions each morning from May 31 - June 24, 2022 (excluding June 20 in observance of Juneteenth). During the sessions, Scholars learn from legal professionals on a variety of topics. The Legal Pathway continues the SLA tradition of providing exposure to careers in the legal field and an overview of the legal system. Each Scholar is assigned a Mentor as they share ideas and connections over lunch once a week. The Legal Pathway program culminates in SLA Graduation on June 24 at UMKC School of Law, with Keynote Speaker Irene Caudillo, President and CEO of El Centro, Inc. 

Image: smiling woman with glasses wearing a nice suit.
Keynote Speaker, Irene Caudillo, El Centro, Inc.

Graduation Program

Image of an abstract laurel leaf in blue encircling a graduation cap. Congrats, Grads 2022!

Meet the 2022 SLA Legal Pathway Scholars
Image of 28 high school students on an outdoor patio overlooking a city skyline.

Job Shadow

We are thrilled to add a new segment to SLA to provide returning SLA Graduates with an in-person rotational internship opportunity and mock trial experience from July 7 - July 29, 2022. These returning Scholars, having already completed the Legal Pathway in previous years, are placed at different law firms, courts, and government agencies to job shadow legal professionals within a different office each week. Each Scholar is assigned a Mentor to help them prepare for their job shadow opportunities and to assist them in building a portfolio to ready them for future career opportunities. These Scholars also visit different field trip locations to see law in action, including the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, United States Courts Western District of Missouri, Missouri Court of Appeals - Western District, and UMKC School of Law. The Job Shadow program culminates with a Mock Trial and Betty Rae's Ice Cream Social on July 29 at KCMBA headquarters.

Meet the 2022 SLA Job Shadow Scholars
Image of 10 college students posing in front of a state seal and circular window.

*New* Pre-Law Fellowship

All SLA Graduates are eligible for the Pre-Law Fellowship, which provides additional resources and mentorship for those applying to law school or other legal-related professional school. SLA Graduates may access these resources at any time.
Image shows the blue Student Law Academy logo: Pre-Law Fellowship

Volunteers: Inspire the Next Generation

"If I know someone out there is supporting me, then I have more motivation to pursue law." - 2021 Student Law Academy Scholar
Are you an attorney or other law professional?  Explore all of the below opportunities to see how YOU can get involved!

Former SLA Scholar stands next to Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas with their arms around each other and smiling at the camera

Please contact Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation at with questions or other ways to get involved.

About Student Law Academy

"Increasing diversity in our profession is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. The Kansas City legal community will realize its fullest potential only when the talents of all who practice law or aspire to a legal career, regardless of background, are welcomed."
- Sylvester "Sly" James, KCMBA Past President and founder of the Diversity Initiative

Student Law Academy graduate with her mother

Who We Are

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation (KCMBF), in partnership with local education non-profit organization The Partnership for Regional Education Preparation-Kansas City (PREP-KC), created Student Law Academy (SLA) in 2019. SLA aspires to serve as a future pipeline to diversify Kansas City's legal community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide underserved urban high school students, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, meaningful exposure to careers in the legal profession and a broad overview of the legal system. 

What We Do

SLA collaborates with local law firms, courts, and other legal entities to provide students with a dynamic, paid summer program. SLA works within PREP-KC's six school districts and three charter schools (Allen Village, Center, Independence, KCKPS, KCPS, Grandview, Guadalupe Centers, and Hickman) to select juniors and seniors in high school as SLA Scholars. 

Thank You to SLA 2022 Sponsors!

Summa Cum Laude
Davis Bethune and Jones law firm logo   Ketchmark & McCreight law firm logo

Magna Cum Laude

Law firm logo for Dollar Burns Becker and Hershewe
Shook Hardy Bacon LLP firm logo

Cum Laude

Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Radar PC law firm logo Baty Otto Coronado Scheer logo  Burgess law firm logo             McGonagle Spencer Gahagan law firm logo             Norman and Graves law firm logo

Order of the Coif
Dentons US LLP
Athena M. Dickson
Gyllenborg & Brown, P.A.
The Goss Law Firm, PC
Stinson LLP

Other Contributors

Thank you to 
The M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation for their ongoing support.

2021 SLA Program
Due to COVID-19, the 2021 program was once again adapted to a virtual format. The SLA Legal Pathway launched June 1, providing online sessions through Zoom each morning through June 25. The Scholars interacted with legal professionals, judges, federal agents, and others to learn about practice areas, case studies, the legal system, and what careers exist in the law. Each scholar was also paired with two mentors, who were legal professionals from the Kansas City community. Scholars and mentors met for an hour each Monday.

We are proud of the Scholars' ability to engage, learn, and collaborate through this format. We are also thankful for the Kansas City legal community supporting these Scholars' desire to learn about the law!

Student Law Academy believes #YouCanBeALawyer.


Image: 2021 Graduates  - In Their Own Words

Congratulations to our 
2021 Student Law Academy Graduates! Click here for the Graduation Program that took place on June 25, 2021, and see below for a recording of the virtual graduation ceremony.

During The Missouri Bar Annual Meeting, Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson gave remarks on September 23, 2021 and highlighted the Student Law Academy at minute 17. Listen to the entire address below.

Linked below is a calendar of all sessions that took place during the 2021 Student Law Academy program. Recordings for many of the sessions have been imbedded in the title of the session. Simply click to watch what our Scholars learned!

Photo of SLA Scholars viewing the Court of Appeals oral arguments.

2020 SLA Program

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 program was adapted to a virtual format. The SLA Legal Pathway launched June 1, providing online sessions through PREP-KC’s virtual Connector. Each Monday in June, SLA Scholars interacted with legal professionals on salient legal topics. This Legal Pathway sets up a formal path to the law for future students nationwide. Thank you to all our speakers for June!

Additionally, rather than the planned in-person internships, SLA pivoted to an online curriculum for the weeks of July 13-17 and July 20-24, with a virtual Graduation on July 24. Each day, SLA Scholars learned from legal professionals through interactive sessions, discussions, and special projects. They virtually visited courts, witnessed dockets, depositions, and learned about the legal system and careers in the law. All online activities were administered through the Connector. Thank you to all our speakers for July!

If you or a student is interested in these topics many of our speakers agreed to share their presentations with the public. You can find a playlist of their presentations here.

KCMBF's Student Law Academy Won 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Award

2020 KCMBF President Peter Goss

2020 KCMBF President Peter Goss accepting the award

Congratulations to KCMBF's Student Law Academy for being selected as a Missouri Lawyers Media 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Award winner! The awards recognize attorneys, firms, and organizations that are significantly advancing diversity, inclusion, and the dignity of all people in Missouri’s legal profession and in communities in which exceptional legal work impacts justice for all. To learn more about the award and honorees click here

Congratulations to our 2020 Student Law Academy Graduates! Click here for the Graduation Program that took place on July 24, 2020, 
and see below for a recording of the virtual graduation ceremony.

Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas gave opening remarks for the 2020 SLA Graduation.

Click below to meet the 2020 Scholars
Meet the 2020 Student Law Academy Scholars

Learn more about SLA and the other Legal Connection programs by watching the video below:

Click below to meet the 2019 Scholars
Meet the 2019 Student Law Academy Scholars

Student Law Academy 2019 Photos
Student Law Academy 2019 Photos

In Memory of JoEllen Engelbart

Visit to learn more.