School officials waived the requirement Mr. Kelly -- a Mizzou law school alum and former Boone County Judge
-- take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
. He was the only student
for whom the exception was made in 1985, Terry Ganey
of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
reported at the time.
The law school also allowed Mr. Kelly to attend classes part time
, "although the school's policy requires students to take a full load of classes," the Post-Dispatch story noted.
The waivers made headlines because Mr. Kelly, then 39, was vice chairman of the Missouri House Budget Committee
and member of the House Budget Committee on Education
"In both positions, Kelly is in a position to influence appropriations
for the University of Missouri," Ganey -- a veteran Missouri education journalist -- reported. Mr. Kelly "did not know if his position in the Legislature had influenced his entry into law school," he told Ganey. "I don't know how to measure that."
Mr. Kelly was so well qualified to attend, law school admissions committee chairman Edward Humvald
said the committee made a rare exception.
"You have to take the LSAT to determine a student's aptitude to survive law school," he told Ganey. "We do waive it in certain exceptional situations
, in the event someone is well-qualified to come to law school."
About the law school attendance requirement, "our program is set up for full-time students
," Humvald told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Very few
are here on a part-time basis."
The attendance requirement was waived for Kelly because "it would interfere with his work in the Legislature
," Humvald said. "We try to accomodate any applicant who has a particular problem. We try to take care of them if we can take care of them."
Mr. Kelly said he planned to take courses full time, but attended part time during his first two semesters "following a pattern established by other state legislators: Warren Hearnes, Richard Ichord, and Joe Holt." He had not taken either of his wife's classes, domestic relations or civil procedure, Kelly added.
Ganey heard from "some students at the law school who complained privately
that Mr. Kelly's position in the Legislature
enabled him to get special treatment."
"They are entitled to that point of view," Mr. Kelly said. "I agree it is different than the average admission, but there were others who were admitted in situations similar to my own." Mr. Kelly served
as a Boone County Associate Circuit Court Judge from 2000-06 and in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1982-90 and 2009-2015.