Judge R. Travis Willingham was appointed by Governor Michael Parson as associate circuit judge of Division 26 on December 18, 2019. 

At the time of his appointment, Judge Willingham was serving as Jackson County’s Chief Deputy County Counselor and was in charge of all of Jackson County’s litigation, overseeing the office and the attorneys handling litigation. He joined the County Counselor’s Office in 2011. 

Judge Willingham was in private practice from 2004 – 2011 and handled civil litigation matters, criminal law matters, civil rights litigation and Federal Indian Law.   

Judge Willingham grew up in Wright City, Missouri and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management in 1999. 

He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2004. He received the West Publishing Company Award for Outstanding Scholarly Accomplishment, the UMKC Law Alumni Association Harry S Truman Leadership Award, and served as the Note and Comment Editor on the UMKC Law Review. 

Judge Willingham later served as an Adjunct Professor of Federal Indian Law at the UMKC Law School, and served on the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Diversity Section.