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The University of Arkansas School of Law
Established 1924
Type Public
Dean Cyndi Nance
Faculty 33
Students 445
Location United States Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
Campus college town
Website law.uark.edu

The University of Arkansas School of Law is the law school of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a state university. It has around 445 students enrolled in its Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Law (LL.M) programs and is home to the federally-funded National Agricultural Law Center and the nation's only LL.M in agricultural law program. The School of Law is one of two law schools in the state of Arkansas. (The other is the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law).

The 2009 U.S. News & World Report law school rankings placed the School of Law at 94st in the nation. U.S. News also ranked its Legal Research and Writing program as 22nd in the nation.

Contents

History

Six Pioneers historical marker.

The School of Law was founded in 1924. The founding dean was Julian Waterman, a Dumas, Arkansas native and University of Chicago Law School graduate who led the school through its first 19 years, until his death in 1943.

The School met initially in the bottom floor of Old Main, and was approved by the American Bar Association two years later, in 1926. In 1927, the first class, consisting of ten students, graduated.

Over the next several decades, as the law school grew in size, it moved to larger accommodations. The 1930s saw a move to the Chemistry Building just to the southeast of Old Main, and then into Waterman Hall, the first dedicated law school construction project, in the 1950s. The latter half of the 20th century saw additions added to Waterman Hall to form the Robert A. Leflar Law Center.

On February 2, 1948, the University of Arkansas School of Law became the first Southern white university to accept an African-American student since Reconstruction. Silas H. Hunt, a World War II veteran who had been wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and following the conclusion of the war had completed an undergraduate degree in English at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College applied to multiple law schools in 1947. He chose to seek entry at the Arkansas School of Law to challenge the system of racial segregation established in Arkansas at the time.[1 ] Accompanied by his attorney, Howard Flowers, Hunt met with the dean of the law school, Robert A. Leflar, who reviewed Hunt's application. Leflar was impressed and accepted Hunt's application to the law school. For a semester, Hunt attended the law school until succumbing to illness, and dying in a veteran's hospital on April 22, 1949, in Springfield, Missouri.[1 ]

Following Hunt's successful entry into the law school, five more African-American students applied and were accepted into the law school: George Williford Boyce Haley, who went on to become a United States Ambassador to The Gambia; Wiley Branton, who served as dean at the Howard University School of Law; Jackie L. Shropshire; Chris Mercer; and George Howard, Jr., who later became the first black United States district court judge in Arkansas.[2] Collectively they are known as the "Six Pioneers." Silas H. Hunt Hall, located adjacent to the Robert A. Leflar Law Center, honors Silas Hunt, in addition, to a historical marker in front of the law school.

In 2007, a 64,000 square-foot addition to the Leflar Law Center was completed, expanding on the Young Law Library, as well as adding a coffee shop, four classrooms, a technologically equipped courtroom, and a formal entrance hall.

Facilities

New Addition to the Robert A. Leflar Law Center.

The University of Arkansas School of Law is self contained within the Robert A. Leflar Law Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, which is located in Washington County in Northwest Arkansas at the edge of the rolling hills of the Ozarks.

The law center is a square facility with four wings that encompass a courtyard. It consists of approximately 64,000 square feet, a courtroom, classrooms, and the Young Law Library. In addition to legal library resources, the Young Law Library includes a coffeeshop, computer lab, and lounge area,

Legal Clinic

The legal clinic of the law school has been in operation for more than thirty years, offering free legal services to charities, government agencies, and individuals unable to afford legal representation. The goal of the Legal Clinic, which offers the services of student attorneys, is to one, to train competently students in specific areas of legal practice encountered in every day law practice; and two, offers students a chance to refine basic lawyering skills, such as counseling, interviewing, and persuasive legal writing.[3]

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Clinics

  • Advanced Mediation Clinic
  • Criminal Defense Clinic
  • Criminal Prosecution Clinic
  • Civil Clinic
  • Federal Clinic
  • General Practice Clinic
  • Habitat For Humanity Wills Project
  • Innocence Project
  • Transactional Clinic
  • Pro Bono Program
  • Immigration Clinic

National Agricultural Law Center

The School of Law is home to the National Agricultural Law Center, a federally-funded research and information facility established by act of Congress in 1987. The Center operates in conjunction with the United States National Agricultural Library of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The center employs law students enrolled in the graduate LL.M. program in agricultural law. The School of Law was the first school in the country to publish a student-edited legal journal devoted to the study of food law and its impact on society, the Journal of Food Law & Policy.[4]

Journals

View of new addition of law school from southwest.

The School of Law publishes four legal journals.:

  • The Arkansas Law Review is student-edited and published on a quarterly basis and distributed statewide to members of the Arkansas Bar, as well as legal libraries throughout the nation.[5]
  • The Arkansas Law Notes, published annually, features written articles and research performed by the faculty of the school.[6]
  • The Journal of Food Law & Policy is the first student edited legal journal dedicated to food law in the nation and is published twice a year.[7]
  • The Journal of Islamic Law & Culture is published semi-annually and contains not just articles and reviews on Islamic law, but also presents "an emphasis on the significance in law of the intersection of Western and Muslim legal culture."[8]

Notable faculty members

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton served as faculty at the law school during the 1970s. Senator J. William Fulbright also served as a faculty member at the school. For decades, Robert A. Leflar, legal scholar and judge, taught at the school and served as dean.

External links

Notes


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