University of Arkansas at Little Rock — Dean of Law School / R99714

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) invites nominations for the position of Dean of the William H. Bowen School of Law (R99714). The School of Law seeks a dean to build on the school’s achievements under former Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz and move the law school forward.

The law school seeks a dean committed to our core values of public service, professionalism, and access to justice and our vision to:

  • provide a high-quality and affordable legal education;
  • produce legal scholarship that betters the state, the nation, and the world,
  • build upon and expand our collaborations within UA Little Rock, with state leaders, and with national and international organizations;
  • provide service to central Arkansas, the state, the country, and the world; and
  • lead national legal education in the areas of legal writing, training law students to be practice-ready, law teaching, law school assessment, and law school curriculum design.

The dean of the School of Law provides leadership in all aspects of the school’s operation. The dean reports to the provost and works collaboratively with the University’s other deans, the provost, and the chancellor to develop and implement the law school’s and University’s strategic plans and institutional goals. The law school has dedicated tuition and state funding, as well as substantial budget and fiscal autonomy from the University.

The successful dean candidate will:

  • Build on the unique advantages of the Bowen School’s location in Little Rock.
  • Raise the state, national, and international profile of the law school.
  • Represent the law school before the university, alumni, the legislature, and other outside entities.
  • Lead major fund-raising efforts, focusing on developing significant sources of private funds and building on existing endowments.
  • Enhance the sense of community among faculty, students, administrators, and staff.
  • Support the law school’s commitment to diversity.
  • Support the law school’s core values of professionalism, public service, and access to justice.

Candidates should have a J.D. degree, a distinguished record of professional achievement, and a demonstrated capacity for effective administration, successful fundraising, intellectual leadership, and collaboration in a legal academic setting. Candidates should manifest strong and effective communication skills.

William H. Bowen School of Law – Founded in 1975, Bowen is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It offers both a full-time day and a part-time evening program of legal education to a student body of approximately 400 students. Applications to the law school increased by 27% for the Fall 2016 entering class and approximately 30% for the Fall 2017 entering class.

The law school has a permanent teaching faculty of 22 full-time members as well as a number of well-qualified adjunct faculty. Both the faculty and student body are racially, geographically, and economically diverse.

The law school offers six concurrent degree programs, two with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and one with the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The latter, a Juris Doctor/Master of Public Service, is the only concurrent degree of its kind in the United States.

The law school has been:

  • Ranked in the top 10 among all US law schools for smallest amount of law graduates’ debt (US News) (2016)
  • Ranked 6th best law school in the nation for producing government lawyers (National Jurist) (2016)
  • Ranked 17th best for producing prosecutors and public defenders (National Jurist) (2016)
  • Ranked in top-20 for Legal Writing (US News) (six out of the last eight years)
  • Ranked 28th best part-time legal education program (US News) (2016, 2017)
  • Ranked among the top-100 law schools in the nation in peer reputation evaluations (US News) (2016, 2017)
  • Named a Best Value Law School (National Jurist) (2017– for seventh straight year—honor is based on law schools’ tuition, bar pass rate, and employment rate)
  • Named a Best Law School for Practical Training (National Jurist) (2016)
  • Ranked 7th in the nation for our yield rate (US News) (2017—fourth straight year in the top ten)

In addition, the law school has received:

  • The American Bar Association’s 2016 E. Smythe Gambrell Award for Professionalism for its innovative professionalism curriculum (Summer 2016)
  • The Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program Distinguished Service Award (Fall 2016)

The law school’s faculty members are productive scholars who make significant contributions through research and service to the state, the nation, and the world. The law school is home to the faculty-edited Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, the traditional student-edited publication, the UALR Law Review, and the on-line Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service initiated by interested students in 2012.

From the law school’s founding, the faculty has supported a comprehensive curriculum and has been a leader in the development of applied skills education. The law school has long required students to complete two upper level skills courses but has recently revamped its curriculum to require all students to take an experiential course and a professionalism course prior to graduation. In addition, students receive extensive academic support during their first year and intensive bar preparation support thereafter.

Faculty and students have numerous close connections with the bench and bar. For example, first year students are paired with local attorneys who serve as their mentors. The dual UALR/Pulaski County Law Library, serving and funded by both the law school and the county bar association, is another example of these connections.

Little Rock is the capital city and largest metropolitan area in Arkansas, boasting affordable housing, many cultural attractions, and close proximity to extensive natural and recreational areas. The Bowen School of Law is located in recently revitalized downtown Little Rock, close to the state capitol, the federal, state, and county courthouses, the largest law firms in the state, the Clinton Presidential Center and Library, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Housed in a spacious 150,000 square foot building completely renovated in 1992, the law school is situated on the east side of historic MacArthur Park, a large urban park containing the Arkansas Arts Center and the MacArthur Museum of Military History, within the historic Quapaw Quarter.

UA Little Rock, classified as a “doctoral/research” institution by the Carnegie Foundation, is Arkansas’s premier metropolitan university and enrolls approximately 13,000 full- and part-time students. In addition to the J.D., the university offers baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees across more than thirty departments in seven degree-granting colleges.

Application
For more information about the law school, interested persons should visit http://ualr.edu/law/dean-search-announcement/. If you have questions prior to your application, or if you would like to suggest or recommend an applicant for the position, please contact Kelly Anne Rigby at karigby@ualr.edu or 501-324-9450.

Application materials must be submitted through the online application system. Additional information about this position and application requirements are available under the Jobs link on the Human Resources’ website at http://ualr.edu/humanresources/ . Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The position will remain open until filled, but applications submitted before September 15, 2017 are strongly encouraged. Additional application material may be submitted to:

Kelly Anne Rigby
William H. Bowen School of Law
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
1201 McMath Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72202

This position is subject to a pre-employment financial history and criminal background check. A criminal conviction or arrest pending adjudication alone shall not disqualify an applicant in the absence of a relationship to the requirements of the position. Background check information will be used in a confidential, non-discriminatory manner consistent with state and federal law.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and actively seeks the candidacy of minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities. Under Arkansas law, all applications are subject to disclosure. Persons hired must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States.

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