Arkansas was once called "The Land of Opportunity." But if a legal education fits your definition of opportunity, the options are a little limited. The University of Arkansas operates the only two ABA-accredited law schools in the state.
The good news is both schools have a strong reputation and cost less to attend than most other law schools across the country. The two schools have some significant differences, however. The following article provides an overview of Arkansas' law schools to help you choose which school is right for you.
University of Arkansas School of Law
Although tuition at the two Arkansas law schools is virtually the same (around $16,000 per year), UA Fayetteville is considerably better ranked than Bowen Law by the U.S. News and World Report's annual law school rankings. Of course, opinions of law schools vary greatly, and rankings alone shouldn't guide your decision. In fact, some highly ranked schools have decided to no longer participate in the rankings.
Fayetteville Law has some unique programs that might draw you to study there, including the nation's first LLM in food and agriculture law. The school's Delta Initiative helps bring legal aid to smaller rural communities. The Richard B. Atkinson LGBTQ Law and Policy Program gives students the opportunity to study complex issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation.
The school also publishes the Journal of Food Law and Policy, the nation's first student-edited law journal covering agriculture and food law.
UA Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law
Despite not being as highly ranked as Fayetteville, the William H. Bowen School of Law isn't without its advantages. The school's location in Little Rock, the state capital and location of many business and cultural institutions, can provide unique opportunities for internships and employment.
Bowen School of Law is particularly well-known for its legal writing program and appears in the nation's top twenty "Best Value" law schools. The school also boasts many high-profile faculty including former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who both taught at Bowen in the 1970s.
Bowen School of Law offers a wide range of student organizations that can deepen and develop student interests, including the Rural Practice Incubator Project.
The school also publishes The Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service, a law review focused on public service and policy.
Learn More About Preparing for Law School
Before making critical decisions relating to your legal education and preparation for a career as an attorney, you'll want to do your due diligence. You'll find articles and materials throughout FindLaw for Law Students that can help you make decisions in an informed and confident manner throughout law school and on.