Michael J. Davis

Centennial Teaching Professor of Law
Primary office:
309C Green Hall

Michael Davis is an honor graduate of Kansas State University and the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as an editor on the Michigan Law Review. He joined the KU law faculty in 1971. An outstanding teacher, he received the Immel Award for Teaching Excellence in 1991 and was named Centennial Teaching Professor of Law in 1997. In addition to his faculty duties, Davis served as University General Counsel for six years and Dean of the school for nine. He was also Interim Dean from July 2005 to July 2006. He has been involved in many aspects of the practice both regionally and nationally, and has served as Chair of the American Bar Association Standards and Accreditation Committees. Davis has been Of Counsel to the Kansas City firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker from 1989-2009.

Courses Taught:
  • Government Regulation of Land Development
  • Property
  • Religion and the State


Representative Publications
"Remembering Justice Byron R. White," 50 Kansas Law Review 1085 (2002); "Protecting Group Homes for the Non-Handicapped: Zoning in the Post-Edmonds Era," 46 Kansas Law Review 777 (with K. Gaus) (1998); "To The Promised Land: A Century of Wandering and a Final Homeland for the Due Process and Taking Clauses," 68 Oregon Law Review 393 (with R. Glicksman) (1989).

J.D. Michigan, 1967, Editor, Michigan Law Review; B.A., Kansas State University, 1964.

Missouri 1968, Kansas 1972; various federal courts, including United States Supreme Court.

Career History
Associate, Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn, 1967; Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, Legal Aid Society of Greater Kansas City, 1967-68; Associate Director, Planning & Research, Legal Services Program, O.E.O, 1968-69; Legislative Assistant, U.S. Representative Louis Stokes, 1969-71; General Counsel, Kansas University 1974-80; Associate Professor, Kansas University 1971-74; Professor, Kansas University, 1974-present; Dean, School of Law 1980-89; Interim Dean, 2005-2006.

Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 33 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 27th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • Nearly 800 employment interviews at law school, 2012-13
  • Top 25% for number of 2013 grads hired by the nation’s largest law firms
  • 20th: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at the 250 largest law firms