The UALR Bowen School of Law offers an outstanding legal education, focusing on the foundation of the law, yet providing a diverse selection of electives. During the first year of the full-time program or first two years of the part-time program, students take required courses. After that, most of the curriculum is elective, although most students choose to take the courses tested on state bar examinations. In order to build the foundation, students must take required courses in the sequence indicated, and they must satisfy any prerequisite requirements before taking certain electives. All students are also required to satisfy an upper level writing requirement and a policy and perspectives requirement; by doing so, students expand their understanding of the law and continue to improve their writing skills.
For all required courses divided into two semesters except Lawyering Skills, the first-semester course is a prerequisite for the second-semester course. It is assumed for all electives that students have finished, at a minimum, the first-year part-time curriculum (Contracts I and II, Torts, Criminal Law, Legal Research I and II, and RWA I and II) and that they have not enrolled in upper-level required courses later than indicated in the required curriculum. Additional prerequisites are listed in each semester’s registration materials and are available in the Course Descriptions.
Policy and Perspectives Requirement
Each student is required to take at least one course from selections designated by the law faculty or the Curriculum Committee which are grounded in jurisprudential, historical, and public policy concepts. Courses are so designated based on subject matter that requires the student to consider factors governing the development of legal doctrine, rather than simply the application of doctrine in the solution of problems, or regulation of the activities of a community governed by principles of law. Conflict of Laws, Critical Race Theory, Introduction to International Law, Jurisprudence, Law and Economics Seminar, Law and Human Sexuality, Law and Literature, Law and Religion, Legal History, Mass Violence and the Law, Public International Law, Race and the Criminal Justice System, and Tax Policy have been designated as fulfilling this requirement. Other courses satisfying this requirement may be designated each semester by the Curriculum Committee.
Upper Level Writing Requirement
In addition to completing the required courses, all students are required to complete at least one rigorous writing experience after the first year. This requirement is satisfied by participation in the UALR Law Review, Advanced Appellate Advocacy, Advanced Legal Writing, or Independent Study, or by successfully completing a designated seminar course. The Curriculum Committee may designate other courses satisfying this requirement. The Rules for Independent Study and the Upper Level Writing Requirement may be downloaded or obtained from the Office of Student Records.