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MU Law Professor Awarded 2017 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

March 22nd, 2017

Story Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley and Commerce Bank Chairman and CEO Teresa Maledy today awarded one of the 2017 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Thomas Lambert, professor of law and Wall Chair in Corporate Law and Governance in the University of Missouri School of Law.

Foley, Maledy and a group of professors, administrators and staff surprised Lambert by honoring him with the fellowship, which includes a $10,000 check. Kemper Fellowships are awarded to five outstanding teachers at the University of Missouri each year.

This year is the 27th anniversary of the William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence, which were established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift. Kemper, a 1926 MU graduate, was a well-known civic leader in Kansas City until his death in 1989. His 52-year career in banking included top positions at banks in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Commerce Bank manages the trust fund.

ATTACHED: Lambert Bio

Thomas Lambert

Professor and Wall Chair in Corporate Law and Governance
School of Law

MU Faculty Member since 2003

Thomas Lambert’s teaching philosophy includes the primary goals of attempting to inform, equip and inspire his students while serving as a model of professionalism. Lambert does not shirk the responsibility of ensuring that attorneys from the flagship state law school really know the law. He equips his students by teaching them to master the process of distilling rules from judicial opinions and other sources of law. He inspires them by teaching them to be intrigued by the intricacies of the legal system. Kenneth Dean, interim dean of the University of Missouri School of Law, says that Lambert’s dedication to his students ‘intellectual development, careers and well-being— inside and outside of the classroom —is truly exceptional.

“Professor Lambert has passion, not merely for teaching legal rules and judicial opinions, but for inspiring fascination with law and its practice,” Dean said. “He rejects the separation of scholarship and teaching; he brings students with him on intellectual journeys into the intriguing questions of law and policy. Professor Lambert’s teaching is all the more effective because of his humor and obvious joy in what he does.”

Bradley Craigmyle, a current third-year student in the School of Law, says that Lambert’s teaching ability is second to none.

“Professor Lambert is well-known for giving the most difficult exams in the law school,” Craigmyle said. “It speaks volumes that law students—who are competitive and ranked from first to last in their class—literally line up to take his courses, while knowing that his finals will be the most difficult of the semester.”

According to Lambert’s students, it is his commitment to his students’ careers and well-being that makes Lambert stand apart as a professor at MU School of Law. His students say he has had an immeasurable impact on their lives.

“Professor Lambert’s greatest gift is his ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and concisely, walking his students through a myriad of legal principles in a straightforward and organized way,” said Brian Stair, former student of Lambert and attorney at Husch Blackwell in St. Louis. “His ability to teach reaches far beyond the confines of his classroom. He often made himself available to students to discuss career opportunities, future classes and other professors with which to work.”

“Professor Lambert served as a friend and a de facto career adviser to many Mizzou Law students. He opened up his home to students for social events, from game nights to barbecues,” said Lucinda Luetkemeyer, an attorney with Grave Garrett in Kansas City. “These gatherings were so popular that one of the most sought-after items at the annual Women’s Law Association charity auction was a group gathering at Professor Lambert’s house.”

Lambert teaches courses on contract law, anti-trust law and business organization. Lambert also is an accomplished scholar; he has authored or co-authored more than 20 journal articles in various publications, including the Antitrust Bulletin, the Boston College Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Texas Law Review and the Yale Journal on Regulation. He blogs regularly at Truth on the Market, a site focused on academic commentary on antitrust, business and economic legal issues.

He has received multiple awards for teaching while at MU, including the Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award and the Gold Chalk Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lambert earned a bachelor of science in philosophy from Wheaton College. After graduating with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, Lambert clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He practiced antitrust law at a Chicago firm before entering the academy as a fellow at both Northwestern’s School of Law and Washington University in St. Louis.