spradling-5A new Center that will provide continuing education and opportunities for legal professionals as well as students will soon open its doors at Missouri Southern State University.

The James R. Spradling Center for Law & Politics officially will open in January 2014 in Webster Hall on the campus of MSSU.

The Center for Law & Politics will connect students, practitioners and the community at the “intersection of theory and practice,” said JoAnna Derfelt, assistant professor of political science at MSSU and director of the Spradling Center.

“We are really excited for this opportunity for our students and our professional partners,” Derfelt said. “This will help us develop our civic connections and will provide a much-needed resource to the professional legal community.”

The Center will help run the Mock Trial program, Constitution Day programming, the Legislative Intern program and Law Day activities, as well as workshops. The Center will also sponsor a program allowing attorneys to become “fellows” of the Center.

The Center for Law and Politics is dedicated in memory of James R. Spradling, a longtime Carthage attorney and former director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. Appointed by then-Missouri Governor Christopher “Kit” Bond, Spradling served from 1973-1976 in the position. He also served as Carthage Municipal Judge and in civic posts including president of the Carthage YMCA and Carthage Park Board. He also taught as an adjunct professor at MSSU.

Advisory Board Members of the Center are:

Jake Heisten, Field Representative for Representative Billy Long Dean Dankelson, Jasper County Prosecutor Charlie Davis, Missouri State Representative Michael Gayoso, Crawford County, Kansas Attorney Doug Gatewood, former Kansas State Representative and current advisor for Four State Orthopaedic Services Anna Sanderson, Alumni Member

For more information on this or other continuing legal education opportunities at MSSU, legal professionals should call the Center at (417) 625-3081 or email spradlingcenter@mssu.edu.