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 (2020)

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 under-served 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 a dynamic 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. 

Please contact Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation at to get involved.

2021 SLA Program

Student Law Academy believes #YouCanBeALawyer.
Click the image above to view the #YCBAL video.

Are you a student? SLA internships provide a paid opportunity for students to learn about careers in the legal industry through community engagement, success seminars, and creating connections with law professionals. The 2021 application is now closed. If you already applied and have any questions, please email Keva Gorman at

Are you an attorney or judge? Our volunteer opportunities for summer 2021 are at capacity. For future volunteer opportunities, please contact Foundation Director, Sharra Wagner, with your interest at

Mayor Quinton Lucas and Hon. Paul C. Wilson Blue block that says "2021 Speakers"

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

Image shows SLA Scholar with her mentor, JoEllen Engelbart.Mentor Guide Summer 2021 

Image shows and SLA Scholar shaking hands with speaker Judge Alok Ahuja.   

2021 Sponsors - Thank You!

Magna Cum Laude

Versfeld & Hugo, LLC Logo

Cum Laude

Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader P.C.
Baty Otto Coronado PC
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Kenner Law Firm

Norman & Graves, LLC

Order of the Coif

Burgess Law Firm, PC
Jill & Mark Katz

Thank you to the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for providing case file materials. 

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

Donate to Student Law Academy 2021!

Student Law Academy accepts any and all donations to help support the program.
Please Note: Donations will not receive recognition as outlined in the above linked Sponsorship Guide.

If you are interested in donating to Student Law Academy, visit here to donate online, or mail a check to:

KCMBF's Student Law Academy
2300 Main St. Ste. 100
Kansas City, MO 64108

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation (KCMBF) is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Federal Tax Code, Federal Tax ID No. 43-11 79222, therefore in accordance with the regulations of the IRS a portion of your donation may be tax deductible. 

Student Law Academy 2021 Sponsorships

Are you interested in sponsoring Student Law Academy this year? Student Law Academy provides underserved high school students, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, meaningful exposure to a career in the legal profession and a broad overview of the judicial system. Click here to register for a sponsorship!
6/1/2021 - 6/25/2021
Sign in or create an account to register
My registration status: Not registered

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

2020 Sponsors - Thank You!

The M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation

Summa Cum Laude

Davis Bethune and Jones    Ketchmark and McCreight, P.C.

Magna Cum Laude

Dollar Burns and Becker       Franke Schultz and Mullen

Shook Hardy and Bacon

Cum Laude

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Kenner Nygaard DeMarea Kendall LLC

Norman & Graves, LLC

Order of the Coif

Gyllenborg & Brown, P.A.

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.