Student Law Academy

"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

Donate to the Student Law Academy

Your donations keep the program thriving and help to provide great experiences for our scholars.

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2024 SLA Program

Student Law Academy ("SLA") 2024 has two in-person components: the Legal Pathway and the Job Shadow. Read on to learn more about these two distinct sessions.

Legal Pathway 

Selected SLA Scholars, who are rising juniors through seniors in high school, participate in three educational sessions each morning from June 3-28, 2024 (excluding June 19 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 a SLA Graduation on June 28.

 Job Shadow will run from July 8 -26

We are thrilled to provide returning SLA Graduates with an in-person rotational internship opportunity and mock trial experience from July 8 - 26, 2024. 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 Kansas City Immigration Court. The Job Shadow program culminates with a Mock Trial and an Ice Cream Social on July 26 at KCMBA headquarters.

If you are a KCMBA member interested in volunteering, e-mail [email protected] and view the volunteer guide packet below for all of the opportunities. 

Volunteer Guide Packet

Mentor Application


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

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 students who are attending Kansas City’s school districts, especially those in historically marginalized areas, 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. 

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

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 [email protected] with questions or other ways to get involved.

Thank You to SLA 2023 Sponsors!

Summa Cum Laude

Davis Bethune and Jones law firm logo   Ketchmark & McCreight law firm logo

Magna Cum Laude

Cum Laude



Bill Martucci & Kelly Martucci           Norman and Graves law firm logo


Order of the Coif

The Law Office of Dana M. Outlaw


  Kamillia Scott

  Tamara Veit 

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

See our 2021 Student Law Academy Graduates!

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.

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. See our June Speakers!

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. See our July speakers! 

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 at Nepris

Meet the 2020 Student Law Academy Scholars!

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! See the 2020 Graduation Program!

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

In Memory of JoEllen Engelbart

  Visit to learn more.