The UALR William H. Bowen School of Law not only welcomed a new class of 1L students this fall, the school also brought in a much-traveled and well-versed woman to help educate them.
Assistant Professor Anastasia Boles relocated from San Diego with her family to Arkansas’ capital city to begin an exciting new chapter in their lives.
By the time she began her teaching career, Boles had worked as an attorney for nearly 10 years in metropolitan areas including New York City and Los Angeles. She started working in corporate law soon after receiving her Juris Doctorate from Columbia University in 2000, where she served on the editorial board of both the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and National Black Law Journal.
But Boles said that she wasn’t always interested in the legal profession, much less becoming a professor of law. While at Stanford University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology in 1997, Boles had a realization that changed her career path profoundly.
After starting college as a psychology major at Stanford University in 1993, Boles soon realized that she was more interested in group behavior rather than the focus on individuals that was common in that field. So after changing her major to sociology, she found herself taking political science courses “just for fun” — and that is where the seed was planted. Boles eventually decided to double major in both sociology and political science, earning departmental honors in political science. From there, she applied to law school.
The way that she eventually became a law professor was similarly lucky. Boles says that she “kind of fell into” her job at Thomas Jefferson Law School (TJSL) in San Diego and quickly fell in love with teaching during her fellowship.
While at TJSL, Boles taught legal writing, professional responsibility and performed research in areas including employment law, employment discrimination, and critical race theory.
During her teaching fellowship, Boles began exploring options for teaching law in many places across the nation.
“We explored various options across the country and decided that the Bowen faculty was just a great combination of an activist faculty — very involved and invested in the community — exceedingly smart and productive, and also very down to earth,” Boles said. “It felt like a place that myself and my family could really fit in, so we accepted the offer before my husband had even been to Little Rock and we have loved it.”
The family found a home in West Little Rock and moved in last spring. The couple have one 3-year-old son who Boles describes as “a very energetic preschooler.”
Edward, a native of Harlem, N.Y., now works in the Information Technology Services Department on UALR’s main campus. He left New York to study at University of California at Berkeley. The two met while he was working in the television and film industry in Los Angeles and she was practicing corporate law.
“We hope that he has the opportunity to do some more films on the side,” Boles said. “I produced two of his short films that we won a couple of awards for, so hopefully in the future he will be able to put a documentary together.”
Boles and her family enjoy the great outdoors of central Arkansas and like to go on day trips to places like Pinnacle Mountain and Lake Ouachita.
“We’re really getting to explore the great natural recreation that Arkansas has to offer,” she added.
Impacting future generations of legal professionals with her expertise is what drives Boles’ work in the classroom and beyond. She hopes to bring her passions and experiences to the table here at Bowen and share her appreciation of the school’s core values with students.
“My scholarly agenda focuses on the intersection between labor and employment law and legal issues involving race, age, gender, sexuality, disability, and class,” Boles said. “Specifically, my research examines the unintended effects of many employment laws.
“I look not only at workers that we aren’t yet protecting, but rather workers we say we are protecting and who are falling into the void created by the law.”