Professor Carol Miller stands out in a crowd of law professors.
For one thing, the northwest Missouri native doesn’t teach at a law school. As a business law professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, Miller teaches students who plan to pursue business or law after their undergraduate work.
Miller also has been honored with awards in teaching and researching. She has secured spots in law reviews. She’s slated to become president of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business in 2012.
And she plays a tough game of racquetball.
“I use it more for relaxation,” Miller says, “even though I play it pretty intensely.”
Teaching always was on Miller’s radar. Her father was a dean at Northwest Missouri State University. There were teachers in her mother’s family. She received undergraduate degrees from NWMSU and the University of Missouri.
After she graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law, Miller served as a clerk for Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice June Morgan. “It gave me a lot of insight into appellate law,” Miller says. “It was a really good learning experience to be able to really discuss legal issues that were pending with the judges.”
Still, her sights were set on teaching. “I went to law school, and when I had a chance to market that into college teaching, that’s what I wanted to do all along,” she says.
Teaching business students about law is valuable for them, says Miller, who also has an MBA.
“It’s definitely a good foundation,” she says. “It also gives them exposure. That might perk some interest in them that can be combined with their business background effectively, especially if they want to go into transactional law or corporate law.”
Miller has racked up accolades and admiration. She won MSU’s cross-disciplinary University Foundation Research Award in 2008 and the University Foundation Teaching Award in 1998. She also received an award from the Missouri Bar Review for an article about limited liability partnerships. And she has proven to be helpful to members of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, says Clemson University law professor Megan Mowrey.
“She’s always willing to give her advice or opinion to your research interest, the work that you’re currently pursuing,” Mowrey says. “Carol’s been very generous about giving those opinions and helping you, in a formal way in terms of meetings that are set up through ALSB, as well as informally.”
Gloria Galanes, an MSU communications professor, says Miller readily tackles problems. “She brings that attention to detail to the students and to the classes,” she says.
“She has a MBA and a law degree. Those are not traditionally known as being research degrees. Yet, Carol is known as being a premier researcher. It’s that ability to focus, it’s that ability to not let go of the question until you feel satisfied with the answer.”