University of Arkansas Law School Overview
Located in Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas Law School has gone a long way and made many firsts since opening its doors in 1924. Its Young Law Library boasts the biggest collection of legal texts in the state. In 2011, Stacy L. Leeds became the first American Indian woman to hold the position of dean at a law school.
The University of Arkansas Law School is accredited by the American Bar Association and offers a full-time, three-year J.D. program. The Law School also has certificate programs for students who wish to augment their business law or criminal law knowledge. Both the Business Law and Criminal Law certificates are open not just to J.D. candidates but also to J.D. visitors and degree holders, LLM candidates, and college graduates.
In addition, the Law School offers four dual degree programs:
- D./M.A. in International Law and Politics
- D./Master of Public Administration
- D./Master of Social Work
The Law School hosts the National Agricultural Law Center, which was created by Congress in 1987. It also offered the nation’s first LL.M. Program in Food and Agriculture Law, which was established over 30 years ago.
The Law School also has programs enabling undergraduates to pursue a law degree after their third year. Under the 3/3 Program, fourth-year undergraduate students of the Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences and the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences can enroll in the School of Law so long as they have the required cumulative GPA, LSAT score, and meet other prerequisites.
The University of Arkansas Law School also provides students with substantive experiential learning opportunities to prepare them for legal practice. At the Law School’s Legal Clinic, students assist northwest Arkansas clients in actual legal situations. Students fill in much-needed free representation and act as their clients’ lead counsel while being supervised by the Law School’s faculty members.
The University of Arkansas Legal Clinic, an initiative of then-professor Hillary Clinton founded in 1975, currently covers civil litigation and advocacy, criminal practice, bankruptcy, human trafficking, immigration, and business transactions.
Aside from the Legal Clinic, students can meet the Law School’s required experiential learning credits through externships and simulation courses.
The University of Arkansas Law School’s alumni are spread across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as two territories and 20 foreign countries. Among their notable graduates are:
- George Howard, Jr., the first African American to serve on the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Arkansas;
- David Pryor, former Arkansas governor and U.S. congressman and senator;
- Rodney Slater, former U.S. secretary of transportation and the first African American director of the Federal Highway Administration;
- Mark Pryor, former U.S. senator;
- Philip Anderson, former American Bar Association president, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and founding partner of Williams & Anderson; and
- Mickey (Mike) Beebe, former Arkansas governor.
The Law School is currently lodged in the Robert A. Leflar Law Center within the University of Arkansas campus. The Law Center addition won the 2011 Merit Award for design from the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
On-campus students also get to enjoy Fayetteville’s cultural and natural attractions and entertainment scene. The city was named among the 20 best college towns in the nation by 24/7 Wall St and has also been dubbed as the entertainment capital of northwest Arkansas, having over 350 bars and restaurants for every 100,000 people.
Beyond graduate school, Fayetteville is also a promising city for individuals looking to grow their careers or business. In 2019, the city ranked 40th in Forbes’ list of the best places for business and careers and 10th in job growth.
University of Arkansas Law School Rankings
When looking for the best schools to obtain a law degree, aspiring J.D. students consider several factors, one of which is a law school’s ranking.
A law school’s ranking often reflects the institution’s prestige as well as selectivity. The top 14 (T14) law schools, for instance, receive a lot of applications, but they also have the lowest acceptance rates.
Despite the tough competition in securing a spot in these top-ranking schools, many aspiring law students still apply to these colleges. Getting a degree from these schools can increase their chances of landing good positions in prestigious firms and institutions after graduation. Meanwhile, other applicants are using these rankings to select the best law schools within their current location or target employment regions.
The University of Arkansas Law School ranked 90th in the U.S. News & World’s 2021 list of the country’s best law schools. The Law School did better in other school rankings, which put a spotlight on some of its strengths and priorities.
For example, in 2018 the National Jurist and preLaw magazines ranked the University of Arkansas Law School 16th in their list of the Best Schools for Public Service. More recently, Biglaw Investor ranked it among the ten most affordable law schools in the nation.
The University of Arkansas Law School has also been in the National Jurist and preLaw’s top 20 in Best Value in Legal Education for over seven years. The Best Value in Legal Education ranking looks at graduates’ likelihood of passing the bar and securing a legal position without shouldering significant debt.
This aligns with the Law School’s priority of providing high-quality legal training and good employment outcomes while being mindful of students’ debt load. In 2018-2019, the University of Arkansas Law School provided grants and scholarships to almost half (49.4 percent) of its law students.
University of Arkansas Law School Admissions
What Is the University of Arkansas Law School’s Acceptance Rate?
Aside from a law school’s prestige and criteria for selecting applicants, several other factors affect an institution’s acceptance rate. These include its admission requirements and the types of academic programs it offers.
Compared with more prestigious institutions, the University of Arkansas Law School has higher acceptance rates, although over a third of applicants still don’t make the cut. Its acceptance rate in the past few years ranged from 54 to 67 percent. In contrast, Yale and Stanford Law gave offers to less than 12 percent of applicants. Other T14 schools extended offers to less than 34 percent of aspiring law students.
The number of applications a school receives each year also affects its acceptance rates. The University of Arkansas Law School posted a higher acceptance rate for the Class of 2023, where it gave offers to 349 out of 521 applicants (67 percent). In 2018 its acceptance rate was only 54 percent, during which it received more applications (629) but extended fewer offers (340).
The median GPA and LSAT scores of accepted individuals in the University of Arkansas are 3.37 and 154, with the 75th percentile having a GPA of 3.66 and an LSAT score of 159. These scores are less steep compared to those in the T14, where the median GPA and LSAT scores are at least 3.74 and 166, respectively.
Below are some key statistics on the University of Arkansas Law School’s 2023 admissions, class profile, tuition and living expenses, and bar passage rates.
|Class of 2023||521||349 (66.99%)||121 (23.2%)|
University of Arkansas Law School LSAT Percentiles
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2023 Entering Class Profile
|Number of Students||350|
|% Students of Color||4.6%|
What Is the Tuition for the University of Arkansas Law School?
What Are the Living Expenses at the University of Arkansas Law School?
What Are the Housing Options at the University of Arkansas Law School?
Bar Passage Rates at the University of Arkansas Law School
|First Time Takers||120|
|University of Arkansas Law School Average||76.4%|
|State of Arkansas Average||76.5%|
When will the University of Arkansas Law School application materials be available?
Application materials for the Law School’s full-time J.D. programs are available online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Transfer applications are also accepted through the LSAC site.
When does the University of Arkansas Law School begin accepting applications?
The Law School’s priority application deadline for each fall semester is on April 15. After this date, the school reviews applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.
How are applications to the University of Arkansas Law School submitted?
The Law School accepts applications through the LSAC online service. You can find more information on the prerequisites of the J.D. program and their prediction index on the University of Arkansas website.
Does the University of Arkansas Law School have an “early admission” or an “early decision” process?
The University of Arkansas Law School has no early decision program.
How much is the application fee and when is the deadline?
|Early Decision Deadline||N/A|
|Regular Decision Deadline||N/A|
Does the University of Arkansas Law School grant interviews?
Interviews are not part of the University of Arkansas Law School’s application process.
Employment After the University of Arkansas Law School
|Median Salary Private Sector||$50,000|
|Median Salary Public Sector||$61,000|
Within a year after graduation, most University of Arkansas Law School graduates land positions that either require bar passage or J.D. degrees, which gave them an advantage.
A majority (84.6 percent) of the Law School’s graduates were employed. A few (2.9 percent) pursued their graduate studies full-time. Many of the Law School’s 2019 graduates (62.5 percent) pursued careers in Arkansas, while a few landed jobs in Texas and Oklahoma. Missouri was also among the leading employers of previous (2016-2018) graduates.
A majority (75 percent) of the Law School’s 2019 graduates joined the private sector, working either for law firms or businesses and industries. Other graduates (10 percent) landed jobs in government, public interest groups, and federal clerkships. Among the Law School’s 2019 graduates, over a third (34 percent) joined firms with 25 or fewer attorneys; (6 percent) worked for companies with 26-100 lawyers; and 7 percent joined firms with at least 101 attorneys. A few (4 percent) started a solo practice.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, graduates entering public service have significantly higher median starting salaries ($61,000) than those who joined the private sector ($50,000).