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School of Law

Office of the Dean of the School
162 Leflar Law Center, 479-575-4504
Dean
Stacy L. Leeds
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Carl Circo
Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development
Ned Snow
Associate Dean for Students
James K. Miller
Law School Admissions
479-575-3102
World Wide Web
law.uark.edu

Mission and Objectives

The primary goal of the University of Arkansas School of Law is to prepare lawyers who will render high-quality professional service to their clients, who are interested in and capable of advancing legal progress and reform, and who are prepared to be leaders in their communities. These objectives can best be realized by a talented and dedicated full-time faculty working in partnership with an interested and involved bench and bar. The faculty and administrative staff at the School of Law strive to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with judges and practicing lawyers. Appellate courts regularly schedule cases at the School of Law, and the judges meet with students informally after the arguments. Full-time faculty members teach first-year courses and other required substantive law courses, while practice skill courses such as legal clinic and activities such as moot court and client counseling depend on the assistance of the practicing bar.

The University of Arkansas School of Law also has a strong sense of responsibility to the people of Arkansas. Members of the faculty and student body are active in numerous public service activities. Legal counsel to the indigent is provided through the clinical education program and by special court appointments from time to time. Students and faculty also serve on the bar, in civic and legislative committees, and on task forces. A number of faculty and students contribute time and expertise to state agencies and law reform groups. All of these activities offer students real legal work, serving the people of Arkansas.

Teaching Methods

Legal training teaches principles through discussion and skills through practice. The student must be, by definition, an active participant in that process.

The Socratic “case method” is the basic tool of traditional American legal education. This method involves the study and discussion of litigated cases. The teacher calls upon students to respond in a stimulating question-and-answer dialogue, frequently involving several class members and often including more questions than answers. The learning experience occurs not only in the interchange between teacher and student, but also among the students themselves. This process, applied skillfully by expert teachers and by students possessing a sense of awareness and curiosity, hones the minds of students, develops their respect for facts, and creates a sensitivity to essential differences among issues, policies, reasons, and arguments. Intensive and consistent daily preparation is necessary for students to participate effectively in this process.

In some of the first-year courses, and in many later courses, students are given practical legal problems to solve. These problems may involve drafting legal documents or formulating a course of action for a hypothetical client.

By the time students reach their third year, they will be prepared to engage in significant legal research in selected areas of specialization. A primary source for such experience will be seminars taught informally in small groups by professors who are experts in selected subjects. Frequently, a student will be expected to defend a seminar paper before classmates under circumstances that provide lively and constructive discussion. During the second and third years, students are also permitted to engage in research and writing projects for credit under the supervision and consultation of a selected faculty member, in an area of particular interest to the student.

Of increasing importance in legal education is the role of practical, on-the-job training involving legal problems of actual clients. Legal clinic courses provide valuable client counseling experience, as well as participation in actual trials and appeals under the supervision of a member of the faculty who is also a licensed attorney. Representation is provided for students and indigent local residents. Both civil and certain referred criminal cases are accepted by the clinic.

Many classes in the School of Law involve a significant skills component in which students are placed in a simulated client-based situation and asked to respond appropriately. The curriculum includes a number of specially designated-skills classes that focus on practice skills. All law students are required to take at least one skills class prior to graduation.

Facilities and Resources

Robert A. Leflar Law Center

Additions to the Robert A. Leflar Law Center were completed in spring 2008, and the building was dedicated in October 2008 by former Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. A new addition was opened for students in fall 2006, and faculty and staff moved into new offices in August 2007. The expanded facilities include a new entry hall facing the Arkansas Union and Mullins Library, a two-story lobby, four state-of-the-art classrooms on the third floor, a gourmet coffee shop on the second floor, the 203-seat E.J. Ball Courtroom and a new Student Services office. The Richard B. Atkinson Memorial Courtyard, designed by world-renowned artist and sculptor Jesús Moroles, was completed in fall 2008.

Robert A. and Vivian Young Law Library

The Robert A. and Vivian Young Law Library includes more than 300,000 volumes, including cases and statutes from every American jurisdiction. The law library also contains a current and complete collection of legal encyclopedia, digests, tests, treatises, law reviews, reports of administrative agencies, and other government publications.

The Young Law Library is a depository for federal, state, and United Nations documents. It is the only U.N. documents library in the state and one of a few in the Midwest. The library includes a growing collection of agricultural law materials developed with assistance from the National Agricultural Law Center.

Students researching legal problems use traditional printed resources and electronic resources available across the Internet. Portals such as Loislaw.com, LEXIS, WESTLAW, the State of Arkansas Web page, the National Agriculture Law Center Web page, and the Young Law Library’s Web page help students identify and use appropriate resources. Computer labs are available for student use. The School of Law also has a wireless network accessible to all students, faculty, and staff.

While primarily designed for the use of Arkansas students, the Young Law Library also serves the research needs of the bench, the bar, and the University community. The Young Law Library provides an attractive and comfortable atmosphere for study and research. Included within the Young Law Library is the Barrett Hamilton Law Library Mezzanine, a particularly attractive study and shelf space area. In addition, the main campus library, Mullins Library, is located near the Young Law Library. The two libraries work closely together to identify, acquire, and share resources throughout the campus.

Law Faculty

  • Robert A. Leflar Professor Bailey (C.)
  • Vincent Foster University Professor of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Brill
  • Clayton N. Little Professor Goforth
  • E.J. Ball Professor Judges
  • Wylie H. Davis Distinguished Professor Killenbeck (M.)
  • Ben J. Altheimer Professor of Legal Advocacy Leflar
  • Sidney Parker Davis Jr. Professor of Business and Commercial Law Matthews
  • Nathan G. Gordon Professor Nance
  • William H. Enfield Professor Sheppard
  • Professors Beard, Brummer, Circo, Ewelukwa, Flaccus, Leeds, Moberly, Norvell, Schneider
  • Associate Professors Foster, Gallini, Hughes, Kelley, Killenbeck (A.), Snow, Tarvin, Thompson, Young
  • Assistant Professors Buehler, Sacharoff, Sampson
  • Visiting Clinical Assistant Professors Bailey (D.), Doss, Gaithe
  • Professor of Law Emeritus Witte
Other Programs

Joint J.D./M.B.A. Program (Business Administration)

The School of Law and the Sam M. Walton College of Business offer students a juris doctor (J.D.) degree and a master’s of business administration (M.B.A.) degree concurrently. Students working to pursue their degrees in this joint program must gain admission to both the School of Law and the Graduate School and be accepted into the program of study leading to the M.B.A. degree. If the student is accepted into both programs, a maximum of six hours of approved upper-level elective law courses may be used as duplicate credit toward the M.B.A. degree and a maximum of six hours of approved graduate courses in business administration may be used as duplicate credit toward the J.D. degree, thus reducing the total time necessary for completion of the degrees.

Joint J.D./M.P.A. Program (Public Administration)

The department of political science, the Graduate School, and the School of Law cooperate in a dual-degree program that allows a student to pursue a juris doctor (J.D.) degree and a master’s of public administration (M.P.A.) degree concurrently. Students must be admitted to the M.P.A. program, the School of Law, and the dual-degree program. If students enter the dual-degree program after enrolling in either the School of Law or the M.P.A. program, they must obtain admission to the other degree program and the dual-degree program during the first year of study.

The School of Law accepts a maximum of nine hours of M.P.A. courses to satisfy requirements for the J.D. degree. To qualify for J.D. credit, the M.P.A. courses must come from a set of core courses and must be approved by the School of Law. For purposes of the M.P.A. degree, 15 hours of elective courses may be taken in the School of Law, provided they are in an area of concentration approved by the director of the M.P.A. program. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in any M.P.A. course offered for credit toward the J.D.

Students admitted to the dual-degree program may commence their studies in either the School of Law or in the M.P.A. program but must complete first year course requirements before taking courses in the other degree program. If they do not maintain the academic or ethical standards of either degree program, students may be terminated from the dual degree program. Students in good standing in one degree program but not the other may be allowed to continue in the program in which they have good standing and must meet the degree requirements of that program. If for any reason a student admitted to the dual degree program does not complete the M.P.A. degree, he or she cannot count any hours of M.P.A. courses toward the J.D. degree. Likewise, M.P.A. students may not be able to count certain law courses if they decide to discontinue their studies in the School of Law. The J.D. degree will be awarded upon completion of all degree requirements; the M.P.A. will be awarded upon completion of the comprehensive examination and the internship (and internship report), or alternately, six hours of additional coursework.

Joint J.D./M.A. Program

The School of Law and the Department of Political Science provide a dual J.D./M.A. in International Law and Politics. This program’s students must be admitted both to the School of Law and the Graduate School in the Department of Political Science.

A maximum of 12 hours of approved, upper-level elective law courses may be used as credit toward the M.A. and a maximum of nine hours of approved graduate courses in political science may be used as credit toward the J.D. degree,, reducing the time necessary to complete both degrees by about one academic year. The M.A. program offers a six-hour thesis or a paid, six-month internship option designed to prepare students for a career in international politics or law.

The 12 hours of M.A. courses taken in the School of Law must relate to the study of international law and be approved by the student’s M.A. adviser and the Law School’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The nine hours of approved graduate courses in political science may include: Comparative Political Analysis; Seminar in International Politics; Seminar in Contemporary Problems; International Political Economy; and International Trade Policy. Other political science and graduate-level courses may be taken by permission. Paid internship credits cannot be applied toward the juris doctorate.

School Admission Requirements

For complete details concerning admission to the School of Law, visit the School of Law Office of Admissions Web site, or write to us at Leflar Law Center, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, or telephone 479-575-3102 for a University of Arkansas School of Law Catalog of Studies or download a Catalog.

General Information

The School of Law’s deadline for receiving a completed application is April 1. The school does not charge an application fee. Admission is only for the fall of each year, and only a full-time program is offered.

The School of Law prefers online applications. The school may request more information than is listed below, but please do not send additional materials unless requested. Each student application file will be reviewed when it is completed.

Prerequisites

Except for students in the 3/3 programs, applicants must have completed all requirements for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution prior to the date of enrolling in the School of Law.

CAS

Applicants must participate in the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and be registered with CAS during the application year. Through CAS, applicants are required to send the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) official transcripts from all higher education institutions that the applicant has attended.

LSAT

Applicants also must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before the end of February and within the five years preceding the date of application. Applications may be submitted prior to taking the LSAT. The School of Law will use an applicant’s highest LSAT score in calculating the applicant’s prediction index.

Prediction Index

The School of Law will grant index admission to non-residents who have a prediction index of 205 or above and to Arkansas residents who have a prediction index of 200 or above. If space permits, we may offer index admissions to other applicants.

The prediction index is calculated as follows: (LSAT score) + (13.4 x UGPA) = Prediction Index. For example, if you have an LSAT score of 160 and a 3.00 UGPA, your prediction index would be 202.

Transfer Students

A law student who has completed one year of legal studies with satisfactory scholarship in a law school accredited by the American Bar Association is eligible to be considered for transfer to the University of Arkansas School of Law. The amount of transfer credit to be granted will depend on the quality of performance and the relation of completed courses to this school’s program. A maximum of 30 credits may be accepted for transfer credit. Credit or units only (not grades) are transferable. Credits will not be accepted for any course or other work in which a grade below 2.00 or equivalent is given at another law school. Failure to disclose attendance at another college or law school or expulsion or suspension is sufficient grounds to require withdrawal from the School of Law.

Pre-Law Study

No pre-law curriculum is prescribed at the University of Arkansas School of Law or at any other American law school. Experience has shown that students do equally well in law school and in law practice regardless of their differing educational backgrounds. As a result, no single “pre-law major” is required or even recommended. Students in a position to structure their college curricula should select courses that emphasize analytical and problem-solving skills and courses in which written work is vigorously edited. Arkansas admits applicants from a wide variety of college majors. The resulting diversity enhances and enriches the educational experience of all students.

LSAT: The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is given four times per year in Fayetteville and at other locations throughout Arkansas and in other states. Registration may be arranged online at www.lsac.org. Applicants for admission are urged to take the test at least nine months prior to expected entrance in the School of Law.

3/3 Programs

The School of Law and the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences have collaborated in developing a program that will enable outstanding students to enter the School of Law after their third year of undergraduate studies. A student enrolled in the Fulbright College is eligible to begin study in the UA School of Law after the completion of at least 94 hours of college work if the following criteria are met:

  1. Completion of all University, college, and major course requirements for their undergraduate degrees;
  2. A cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.50; and
  3. A score of at least 159 on the LSAT.

Such students will receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science after the completion of sufficient hours at the School of Law in order to meet the regular requirements of Fulbright College. These students will then receive a juris doctor (J.D.) degree after completing the required number of hours at the School of Law.

In addition to the 3/3 program with the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Law has a similar program with the department of agricultural economics and agribusiness in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences. Exceptional students may enroll in the Law School in their fourth year of undergraduate study. Students will be required to have (1) completed at least 95 credit hours in the pre-law program, (2) a cumulative grade-point average in all college or University course work of at least 3.50 without grade renewal, and (3) an LSAT score of at least 159. The B.S.A. Agricultural Business degree will be granted after successfully completing 29 credit hours from the first-year School of Law course work.

It is a requirement of the School of Law’s accreditation standards that no student be admitted to the University of Arkansas School of Law until they have completed at least three-fourths of the work necessary for the baccalaureate degree. The requirements embodied in these 3/3 programs satisfy this requirement.

College Scholarships

Students are expected to make sufficient financial arrangements for the first year of study without the necessity of seeking employment. All law students are required to be full-time students, and no law student is permitted more than 20 hours per week of employment. First-year students are strongly discouraged from working while enrolled in classes. First-year students are expected to adhere to a stan-dard curriculum; some courses in the upper-division curriculum are also required.

Applications for financial aid may be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid, University of Arkansas, Hunt Hall 114, Fayetteville, AR 72701, 479-575-3806. You may also find more information about financial aid opportunities online. Applications for financial aid must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by April 1. Specific fees and costs are listed in the School of Law Catalog.

Degree Requirements

For course information and degree requirements, see the School of Law Catalog online or by writing or calling the University of Arkansas School of Law, Leflar Law Center, Waterman Hall 147, Fayetteville, AR 72701, 479-575-7645.

Graduate Studies

The University of Arkansas School of Law is a professional degree program. In addition to the law degree, the Law School offers a graduate degree in agricultural law. The Graduate Program in Agricultural Law at the University of Arkansas is the only program in the United States that offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in agricultural law. Students enrolled in this unique and selective program have the opportunity for advanced study, creative research, and specialized professional training in the legal issues involved with agricultural production, marketing, and distribution. Graduates of the program are among the leaders of today’s agricultural law community, working in private practice, government, agribusiness, public policy, and academia. For more information, visit the School of Law Web site or e-mail the graduate program at llm@uark.edu.

Accreditations

The degree programs in the School of Law on the Fayetteville campus are accredited by both the American Bar Association and the As-sociation of American Law Schools.

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