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 American Bar Association accredited law schools in the state.
The good news is that both schools have a strong reputation and cost less to attend than law schools in most places across the country. The two schools have some significant differences, however. The following article provides an overview of some of the significant advantages and drawbacks of Arkansas' law schools to help you choose which school is right for you.
Although the two Arkansas law schools cost virtually the same to attend, 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. Fayetteville Law has some unique programs that, along with the school's reputation, might draw you to study there.
Fayetteville Law offers the nation's only LL.M. in agricultural law and offers programs that can allow students to pursue their interest in protecting the natural world, such as its Habitat for Humanity Wills Project. The school also publishes the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, a unique law review covering Islamic law and the intersection of Western and Muslim legal cultures and the Journal of Food Law and Policy, the nation's first student-edited law journal covering food law and policy.
Although Bowen School of Law holds a lower rank than Fayetteville, the school 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, regardless of its ranking by U.S. News and World Report, Bowen appears in the top twenty 'Best Value' law schools in the nation, while Fayetteville School of Law does not.
Bowen School of Law offers a wide range of student organizations that can deepen and develop student interests including a "Street Law" Mentor Program, a Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, and The Finch Society, an organization intended to organize and promote the activities of young lawyers practicing in smaller communities and in smaller practice environments.
Another point of pride for Bowen Law School is the fact that both former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton served as faculty at Bowen Law in the 1970s.
Learn More About Preparing for Law School
An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure, especially given the competitiveness of law school and the job market. 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.