The MU School of Law offers a collegial environment, reinforced by a small student body and a low faculty-student ratio. The intimacy of this setting, coupled with reasonable cost, consistently high bar passage rates, a network of alumni around the globe and access to top scholars in the legal world, make MU Law one of the best values in the nation.
PROFILES OF LL.M. STUDENTS IN 2012-2013
FT and PT indicate full-time and part-time students, respectively.
Mr. Christopher Egbunu Adejo (FT) was born in Ankpa, Kogi State North-Central Nigeria in 1973. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Calabar, Nigeria in 2002. He qualified as a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in October 2004 after passing the requisite exams at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja. He has been working with the Kogi State Ministry of Justice for six years. His work includes the writing of legal advice on behalf of the State for the Police; criminal prosecution from the Magistrate’s Court to the Supreme Court of Nigeria; representing government ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals in civil matters; protection of citizens’ rights; and legal research. In all of these experiences, he believes that the adversarial system of adjudication does not really resolve disputes, hence his determination to acquire skills in alternative dispute resolution. He also holds a diploma in civil engineering. He is a compere at social functions and a resource person for the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and other organizations. Chris and his wife are both lawyers and are blessed with two wonderful girls.
Mr. William C. Hopkins II (PT) received his JD degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia Law School and began practice with a large law firm in Kansas City. After five years of legal practice, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he became vice president of Special Event Entertainment, a live-event film and production company responsible for the film "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!", a film about U.S. President Harry S. Truman and other projects. While in Los Angeles, William also pursued an independent writing career and wrote teleplays for television shows such as "The Paper Chase," "Quincy," and many others. He returned to Kansas City and resumed his practice as a trial lawyer. He has represented clients in state or federal courts in 20 states, including in a number of high-profile cases involving fires and explosions, wrongful death, and catastrophic injuries. He has been rated as an "AV" attorney through the Martindale-Hubbell service, the highest rating possible, and has been listed in "Who's Who In American Law." He has been a frequent lecturer in CLE programs covering topics including the Federal Rules of Evidence, medical negligence, accident investigation, bad-faith insurance litigation, and trial preparation. He has been actively involved in various organizations including as a member of the board of directors of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys. He strongly believes in ADR and has served as a volunteer mediator for Kansas City in disputes between city taxpayers. He maintains a law firm with offices in Kansas City and Butler, Missouri.
Ms. Ki Eun Kang (PT) was born in Deagu, South Korea, and earned her LLB degree at Kyung Hee University. She lived in the United States for about two years when she was 10. In addition to the LLM program, she is a master’s student in the Truman School of Public Affairs at Mizzou and a graduate research assistant in the Institute of Public Policy. She is planning to pursue her PhD and wants to study more in both public policy and dispute resolution. In her spare time, she likes to read and watch movies.
Ms. Simone Haberstock McCartney (PT) received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa with honors and, thereafter, passed the Certified Public Accountants Examination in 1986. She received her JD degree from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1991 and began practice in a law firm in St. Louis, Missouri. As a young lawyer, she became involved in several bar projects and community service programs through the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and has received two Young Lawyer Division Awards of Merit and two President’s Outstanding Service Awards. She has been in private practice for over ten years and served for several years as a part-time adjunct professor in civil practice and the Law Clinic Program at Saint Louis University School of Law. As a family law practitioner, she is rated as an “AV” attorney by Martindale-Hubbell; has published the Retirement Chapter for the Missouri Bar Elder Law Handbook; and has frequently spoken at CLE programs on family law, mediation, and collaborative law. She served as 2007-2008 President of the Collaborative Family Law Association in St. Louis and is active in the Family Law Section of the Missouri Bar. She maintains her office in Kirkwood, Missouri. She is interested in alternate dispute resolution and mediation, not only as it applies in family law, but also in its potential as a process integrated into the judicial system and in its application in interdisciplinary problem solving.
Mr. Bob Rawlings Onghetich (FT) is from Uganda, East Africa, where he graduated from the Uganda Christian University with a degree in Law and attained a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala. Currently, he works as a Foreign Service Officer with the Government of Uganda in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also taken mediation training and served as an intern at the International Law Institute - African Centre for Legal Excellence, where he helped with preparation of training materials for judicial officers in Liberia on court administration and management for professions and paraprofessionals and with curriculum development for the training of local council court judges on mediation and best interest negotiations in the implementation of UK based TIRI Pro-Poor Initiative. He worked with the Attorney General's Chambers in the Department of Civil Litigation at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs as a pupil State Attorney is active with the Northern Uganda Land Platform, where stakeholders are studying and strengthening the practice of mediation as a form of land dispute resolution for the war-torn communities affected by the 20 year LRA war.
Mr. Thomas Ragsdell (PT) is currently the pastor of New Life Community Church in Columbia, Missouri. He began his college career at the University of Missouri and graduated with a BA in Bible and Missions from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He earned a master’s of divinity degree from the Assembly of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. For the past 20 years he has worked in various capacities in the local church. For roughly nine years, he and his wife, Jeni, served as missionaries in Kiev, Ukraine. While in Kiev, he became the academic dean of Kiev Bible Institute and an instructor at Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also served as the pastor of International Christian Assembly, a church serving people in multiple languages. His interests in mediation and ADR include family mediation, organizational dynamics and conflict, collaborative leadership, and the application of mediation methods to spiritual care in the hospital setting. He enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.
Mr. Rich Skalstad (FT) was born in Spokane in 1948, grew up there during the 50s and 60s, attending Catholic schools. He attended Seattle University for a year, transferred to the University of Washington from which he graduated in 1969. He has graduate degrees from the University of Washington and Eastern Washington University. He served in air force intelligence as a Russian linguist during the early 70s. He graduated cum laude from Gonzaga University Law School in 1979 and after practicing law for many years in Spokane, he founded Colonus Publishing, Inc., of which he is the president. He is the author of The Jones Trilogy, noir legal thrillers, and the coming-of-age stories Fudge Day and its sequel The Christmas Ship.
Ms. Karen Taylor-Liggins (PT) is from St. Louis, Missouri. She received her MA in management from Webster University and her BS in biology from Stephens College. Karen has worked for many years in the managed care and pharmaceutical industries. She has presented extensively on issues related to health-care access and various disease states. Karen is a graduate of the International Coach Academy in Melbourne, Australia and is a certified coach specializing in time management, organization, interpersonal skills and conflict management for college students with ADHD. Karen has taken mediation classes in civil and family mediation from MU Law and Washington University in St. Louis. She has an interest in special education inclusion and advocacy. Karen is married with three children and she enjoys bicycling and spending time outdoors with her family.
Mr. Chris Thompson (PT) is a founding member of the firm Thompson & James, LLC, in Liberty, Missouri, where he practices commercial real estate law. Chris received a BS in business administration in 1993 and a JD in 1996, both from MU and both with honors. His work has focused on shopping center law and Chris has made presentations and facilitated workshops at functions sponsored by such groups as the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Association of Corporate Counsel. When not representing retail tenants and landlords, Chris serves as coordinator for Together for Hope West, a nonprofit organization providing economic/community development assistance to communities along the Rio Grande in West Texas and to Lakota communities in South Dakota. He has worked in Lakota communities for the past seven years and currently serves as economic advisor to the Together For Hope rural poverty initiative, a 20-year commitment to 20 of the most economically challenged counties in the United States. He has facilitated community development workshops at the Community Development Society annual international conference and at Bread for the World's annual national conference. Chris intends to use his LLM experiences and education to assist indigenous communities in addressing community/economic development issues through the development of dispute resolution processes. He lives in Liberty with his wife and two children. His hobbies include fitness, golf, reading, and coaching his children's basketball teams.
Mr. Thendo Tshivhengwa (FT) was born in the small village of Manamani situated in the Limpopo province, South Africa. He received his LLB from the University of the Western Cape in 2011. He participated in the African Human Rights Moot court, 7th Annual African Trade Moot and the Phillip C. Jessup International Moot court competition. In 2012, before starting his LL.M. at MU, he studied Management and coordinated the Peer Mentoring Programme at UWC. He has also volunteered and worked professionally with Zote Investments and Projects, attending to international volunteers and seeing to it that there is sustainable change in the community projects.
Mr. Yuteng Xie (FT) is from Shijiazhuang, China. He obtained his LL.B. from the Hebei University of Technology in 2011. He served as an intern with the Shijiazhuang Transportation Court, and actively participated in extra-curricular activities, such as mock court competitions and the school’s Legal Aid Center. His future goal is to be part of arbitration tribunals involved in international trade, especially maritime law, and to promote improvement in the use of ADR in China in civil and commercial cases.
Ms. Noluthando Xolilizwe (PT) was born in Benoni, Johannesburg, and lived most of her life in the beautiful mother city of Cape Town, Khayelitsha. She obtained her LLB at the University of the Western Cape in 2011, where she was the chairperson of the Caltex House Committee, the deputy chairperson of the Central Housing Committee, and the Gender and Security Officer of the Student Representative Council. In 2010 she worked at the South African Human Rights Commission where she primarily used dispute resolution measures to resolve disputes between complainants. She would like to expand her knowledge in order to assist in introducing dispute resolution measures to all sectors of the labor industry in South Africa, particularly in the domestic workers sector.