Arkansas Access To Justice Commission (1 position)
One in five Arkansans lives at or below 125% of the federal poverty level and is qualified to receive legal aid.Â Yet every year, one-third to one-half of qualified Arkansans who contact a legal aid provider for help with civil legal issues are turned away because there are not enough staff attorneys or pro bono volunteers to meet the demand.Â Numerous others donâ€™t qualify for legal aid because their income exceeds the eligibility threshold, yet they still canâ€™t afford attorneys to help them.Â The legal issues that affect Arkansasâ€™s poor involve the most basic of human needs: protection from domestic violence; access to safe, habitable housing; and protection from financial exploitation, to name a few.Â Those without access to representation are left to navigate the legal system on their own, often with devastating consequences for their families and for our system of justice.
The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission was created by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2003 for the purpose of coordinating statewide efforts to provide equal access to justice in civil cases to all Arkansans.Â The Commission has since worked toward that goal by securing approximately $855,000 in annual legislative funding for legal aid, by making resources available online to self-represented Arkansans and legal advocates for low-income clients, and by establishing a nonprofit foundationâ€”the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundationâ€”which is dedicated to raising funds to support the work of legal aid and the Commission.Â The Commission works closely with the stateâ€™s two nonprofit legal aid providersâ€”the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansasâ€”as well as the Arkansas Supreme Court, the Arkansas Bar Association, the UALR Bowen School of Law, and the University of Arkansas School of Law on policy initiatives designed to address the justice gap in our state.Â Staff for the Commission also provide support for the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation and the Arkansas IOLTA Foundation.Â For more information about the Commission, see www.arkansasjustice.org
An extern for the Commission will: (1) conduct research and develop informational materials for use in educating policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public about the problems associated with lack of access to legal representation in civil matters; (2) assist in developing programs and resources to increase pro bono and financial support for legal aid providers; (3) assist in conducting education and outreach activities; and (4) assist in developing resource materials for the Arkansas IOLTA program. Commission staff will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board (1 position)
The Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board is a state agency that houses both the Contractors Licensing Board and the Residential Contractors Committee.Â The Contractors Licensing Board regulates the issuance of licenses for Commercial Contractors in the State of Arkansas pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. Â§Â§ 17-25-101 through 17-25-315. Â The Board also regulates the Arkansas State Contractors Bond Law pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. Â§Â§ 17-25-401 through 17-25-409. The Board has seven members who are appointed by the Governor.Â Five of the board members are contractors, while two board members are not contractors and represent consumers.Â The Board meets twice a month to issue licenses and conduct Administrative Hearings for commercial contractors alleged to be in violation of the law.Â The Residential Committee meets once a month to issue residential licenses and hold administrative hearings.Â For more information about the Contractors Licensing Board, see http://aclb.arkansas.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
The Staff of the Board includes an Administrator who oversees the entire operation of the Board, investigators who are assigned to various portions of the State, staff members who handle licensing and bonding, and a staff attorney.Â An extern with the Board will work directly with the Administrator, the staff attorney, the investigators, and other staff members and may be called upon to:
- Research various issues concerning administrative law, the contractors licensing and bond law, the residential licensing law, and construction law;
- Assist with investigations of unlicensed contractors;
- Assist with investigations of complaints filed against licensed contractors;
- Attend meetings with the administrator, staff attorney, and investigators;
- Assist with preparation for monthly hearings before both the Contractors Board and Residential Committee;
- Attend monthly board meetings before the Contractors Board and Residential Committee.
While not required, successful completion of the course in Administrative Law would be beneficial prior to beginning this externship.Â The Staff of the Board will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Department Of Environmental Quality, Legal Division (1 position)
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is an agency of the State of Arkansas.Â Its purpose is to protect Arkansasâ€™s priceless natural resources â€“ its air, water, and land â€“ from the threat of pollution.Â ADEQ accomplishes this mission in a variety of ways, including regulatory programs that set and enforce safe environmental limits for industries that affect air, water, solid waste, hazardous waste, regulated storage tanks, and mining.Â The Legal Divisionâ€™s staff of 15 provides legal support for the Directorâ€™s Office and the regulatory divisions.Â Staff attorneys represent the agency in enforcement actions, permit appeals, and other regulatory matters before the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission as well as in state and federal courts.Â Staff attorneys are also responsible for personnel issues; bankruptcy matters; collection matters; and drafting, review, and interpretation of legislation.Â For more information about ADEQ, see www.adeq.state.ar.us.
An extern with ADEQ will work directly with the Chief Counsel, staff attorneys, legal support staff, and the regulatory divisions, which include engineers, geologists, and other technical professionals.Â The extern may be called upon to:Â research and prepare written opinion memoranda on the application of federal and state environmental laws and the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commissionâ€™s Administrative Procedures Regulation to Department proceedings; assist staff and participate in enforcement proceedings and trials, including those in state and federal courts and those before the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission; and assist staff with personnel and collection issues.
A strong work ethic and interest in environmental law are required.Â Successful completion of courses in Administrative Law and Environmental Law is preferred, but not required, prior to beginning this externship.Â The staff of the Legal Division will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Department Of Finance And Administration, Office Of Revenue Legal Counsel (1 position)
The Office of Revenue Legal Counsel is within the Revenue Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the state agency that handles tax and revenue matters.Â The Office of Revenue Legal Counsel has fifteen attorneys, who handle tax issues from the administrative level through the appellate courts.Â Subject matter areas include sales and use taxes; withholding, individual, and corporate income taxes; motor fuel tax; oil, gas, and natural resources severance taxes; collections and tax liens; and other miscellaneous taxes.Â Additionally, the Office represents the Department concerning motor vehicle registration and driverâ€™s licensing issues, including appeals to circuit court of administrative suspension of driverâ€™s licenses for DWI violations.Â During legislative sessions, the attorneys in the Office draft and review legislation, attend committee meetings, and draft/promulgate Rules to implement legislative changes.Â The Office also provides verbal advice to Department personnel and taxpayers and writes binding legal opinions in response to inquiries from taxpayers.Â For more information about the Office, see www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/legalcounsel/Pages/default.aspx.
An extern in the Office of Revenue Legal Counsel will work directly with the attorneys in the Office, assisting with legal research and other activities.Â An extern will have the opportunity to assist in preparing license revocation appeals for trial, research legal issues and assist in drafting appellate briefs, and assist the Officeâ€™s representation of the Department in bankruptcy cases filed by Arkansas taxpayers.
The extern also will have the opportunity to observe tax hearings conducted under the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act by the Office of Hearings & Appeals.Â An extern likely will have the opportunity to research legal issues arising during administrative hearings and discuss such research with Administrative Law Judges.Â The staff of the Office of Revenue Legal Counsel & Office of Hearings & Appeals will interview prospective externs recommended for placement prior to final approval.
Arkansas Fair Housing Commission (1 position)
The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission (AFHC) is a quasi-judicial regulatory enforcement agency that works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to enforce federal and state fair housing laws. The Arkansas Fair Housing Act, which is substantially equivalent to the Federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, 1968), prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and disability. See Ark. Code Ann. Â§ 16-123-301 et seq. and 42 U.S.C. Â§ 3601-3619.
AFHC consists of thirteen (13) Commissioners, seven (7) of whom are appointed by the Governor, three (3) by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three (3) by the Senate Pro Tempore. Six of the appointees are industry representatives, and seven are consumer representatives. Each congressional district must be represented by a Commissioner. Day-to-day operations are maintained by an Executive Director who employs a staff of investigators and administrators.
Agency daily operations include the initiation, intake, investigation, and conciliation of fair housing and fair lending complaints for the State of Arkansas.Â Additionally, the agency implements its statutory obligation of providing fair housing/fair lending education and outreach to housing providers, housing developers, lenders, and the public at large. The agency also is charged with providing technical assistance to support compliance to various federal and state entities and nonprofit organizations.Â For more information about AFHC, see www.fairhousing.arkansas.gov.
An extern with AFHC will work with its Executive Director/Staff Attorney, Investigators, and Administrative team to assist them in performing legal research; investigating alleged fair housing and fair lending violations; conciliating fair housing and fair lending cases; and planning and facilitating fair housing education and outreach. The extern will attend and observe staff meetings and administrative or judicial hearings. AFHC will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Insurance Department (4 positions)
The Arkansas Insurance Department (Department) is the state agency charged with regulatory and enforcement jurisdiction over the insurance industry, including insurance companies, insurance producers, insurance adjusters, and funeral homes offering pre-paid burial policies.Â The Department also works with Professional Employer Organizations and touches upon some workersâ€™ compensation issues.Â The Department is particularly concerned with the solvency and investment of insurers, regulating market conduct of both insurers and producers, and fraud prosecution and deterrence.Â The Department is headed by the Arkansas Insurance Commissioner and is composed of 160 full-time employees, fifteen of whom are attorneys.Â For more information about the Department, see www.insurance.arkansas.gov.
An extern with the Department will work with the Commissioner, the legal staff, and other staff members.Â Â Duties may include:
- Research projects related to the Arkansas Insurance Code, federal law, and/or changes occurring in the insurance marketplace.Â Particular emphasis will be on how these issues would affect Arkansans.
- Assist with drafting legislation, rules, bulletins, directives, contracts, administrative declaratory orders, and legal opinions.
- Assist legal division staff in enforcement and licensing proceedings, financial contract reviews, acquisition hearings, preparation of legal memoranda, pleadings, and discovery.
- Review contracts, filings, complaints made to the Department, and evidence-related investigations.
- Assist staff through communication with regulated entities.
- Attend and observe administrative hearings, criminal and civil hearings at circuit court level, appellate hearings, staff meetings, investigative conferences, and legislative committee meetings.
- Assist in the review of policy filings and/or applications to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations.
- Assist in performing examinations and investigations of insurers and producers regarding how insurance is marketed, sold and serviced, and how claims are adjusted.
- Other job duties as assigned.
Externship positions are available in the following divisions of the Insurance Department:
Compliance (1 position).Â The Compliance Division reviews contract forms and rates of various insurance contracts filed for approval by Life, Health, Property and Casualty insurance companies.Â An extern would assist in these duties and perform research and legal interpretation to support this area as needed.
Health Benefits Exchange Partnership (1 position).Â The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 directs that every state will have a health benefits exchange available to lawfully present residents, with open enrollment beginning October 1, 2013, and coverage effective January 1, 2014.Â An extern will assist in planning and implementation efforts for the exchange.Â Duties may include research projects, drafting legislation, rules or bulletins, reviewing contracts, and assisting staff with communication efforts.
Legal and Market Conduct Division (2 positions). The Legal Division works closely with every division within the Department, participating in numerous investigations, drafting legislation, rules, bulletins, directives, legal opinions, and investigating consumer complaints.Â Market Conduct performs examinations, investigations of insurers and producers regarding compliance with laws respecting how insurance is marketed, sold, and serviced as well as how claims are adjusted.Â An extern will assist in these efforts.
Successful completion of courses in Administrative Law, Contracts, and Business Organizations is preferred, but not required.Â When applying for an externship with the Insurance Department, please specify the division in which you wish to be placed.Â The staff will interview prospective externs recommended for placement with the Department prior to final approval of the placement.Â All externs must be able to complete a background check prior to beginning work with the Department.
Arkansas Lottery Commission (1 position)
A constitutional amendment approved on November 4, 2008 allowed the General Assembly to establish a State of Arkansas lottery with proceeds used to fund college scholarships.Â With the passage of Acts 605 and 606 in 2009, the General Assembly created the Arkansas Lottery Commission (ALC).Â Ticket sales began on September 28, 2009 with the introduction of four instant ticket games.Â As of February 2013, ALC offered sixty-three instant ticket games and seven draw games.
The purpose of the ALC is to oversee the operation of a lottery whose net proceeds provide scholarships and grants to Arkansas citizens for in-state colleges and universities. ALC is authorized to establish and oversee one or more lotteries to fund the scholarships as well as to fund the Commissionâ€™s operations.Â By law, the lotteries are to be operated and managed in a manner that provides continuing entertainment to the public; maximizes the revenue generated; preserves the integrity and dignity of the process; and accounts to the public and the General Assembly through reports and audits.
ALCâ€™s Chief Legal Counsel provides day-to-day legal services and representation to ALC Commissioners and staff on an array of issues.Â These include contract drafting and review, researching and writing memos relating to ALCâ€™s statutory authority, and ALC security and employment matters. As with all State legal offices, ALCâ€™s Chief Counsel is regularly involved in a number of Arkansas Freedom of Information matters. An extern with ALC will work directly with ALCâ€™s Chief Counsel and Paralegal on the above issues, and may be asked to:
- Research and write about legal and technical topics in the lottery industry;
- Assist with the drafting and promulgation of revised ALC Rules and Regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act;
- Assist with bill research and analysis when the General Assembly is in session;
- Assist with the preparation of reports to the Lottery Legislative Oversight Committee and Arkansas Lottery Commissioners;
- Assist in the drafting of Requests for Proposals and Requests for Qualification and procurement contracts;
- Review and finalize contracts with ALC management and vendors;
- Attend and observe staff meetings, civil and criminal enforcement proceedings, legislative committee meetings, and Arkansas Lottery Commission meetings.
Staff at the Lottery Commission will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Public Defender Commission, Capital, Conflicts, & Appellate Office (1 position)
The Arkansas Public Defender Commission is a state agency whose mission is to provide zealous and effective representation to indigent persons who are charged with criminal offenses in state court and who face a risk of loss of liberty.Â The Commission is divided into four parts:Â the Capital, Conflicts, & Appellate Office; the Trial Public Defender Office; Administration; and Ombudsman.Â The Capital, Conflicts, & Appellate Office exclusively represents indigent individuals accused of capital murder at the pre-trial, trial, and appellate levels in the 75 counties of Arkansas.Â Most often, the death penalty is sought in these cases, and extensive litigation is involved.Â For more information about the Commission, see www.arkansas.gov/apdc/.
An extern in the Capital, Conflicts, & Appellate Office will work directly with the attorneys in the office, assisting them with legal research and trial preparation, including witness interviews, mitigation investigation, and guilt/innocence investigation.Â The extern also will have the opportunity to attend and observe pre-trial and trial proceedings.Â The majority of the cases that the Capital, Conflicts, and Appellate Office handles are outside of Pulaski County, so this externship placement may involve some travel.Â While not required, it would be helpful for students to have completed courses in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Constitutional Law prior to beginning this externship.Â The staff of the Capital, Conflicts, & Appellate Office will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Public Service Commission (2 positions)
The Arkansas Public Service Commission (Commission) was created in 1935 by the Arkansas General Assembly and is the state agency that regulates electricity, natural gas, water, telephone, and pipeline safety services for all of Arkansasâ€™s public utilities. The Commission has three full-time Commissioners who are appointed by the Governor for staggered, six-year terms. In addition, the Commission has 114 employees in a variety of disciplines, including eleven lawyers and three administrative law judges.
The Commission performs both quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial functions, including setting the rates utilities can charge customers, determining whether power plants and transmission lines can be constructed in certain areas, making decisions on energy efficiency and demand response programs offered by the regulated utilities, and much more.Â The Commission also has a Tax Division that assesses property taxes on public utilities and motor carriers.Â For more information about the Commission, see www.arkansas.gov/psc/.
An extern for the Commission will provide research and writing assistance on a wide range of legal and policy matters for the Commissionersâ€™ Staff and the General Staff of the Commission in addition to having the opportunity to attend hearings and local workshops on utility-related topics. Typical duties include:
- Research and writing on both legal and technical topics in the energy industry as part of a project team;
- Drafting or assisting in drafting legal pleadings, motions, discovery, etc. as well as legal memoranda on assigned topics;
- Participating in policy development discussions and related work for expert testimony and exhibit preparation in matters pending before the Commission for a decision;
- Litigation work including working with legal and technical staff in discovery as well as hearing/witness preparation; and
- Other duties as assigned based on the Commissionâ€™s needs and the externâ€™s interests.
If necessary, the Commissionâ€™s legal staff will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Arkansas Securities Department (1 position)
The Arkansas Securities Department (Department) is the state agency charged with regulatory and enforcement jurisdiction over (i) the securities industry, including offers and sales of securities, and investment professionals such as investment advisers and broker-dealers; (ii) mortgage loan companies and loan officers; (iii) money transmission and currency exchange businesses; (iv) state-chartered savings and loan institutions and foreign savings and loan brokers; and (v) state-chartered credit unions.Â In addition, the Department assists the Arkansas Cemetery Board, which regulates Arkansas perpetual care cemeteries.Â The Department is headed by the Arkansas Securities Commissioner (Commissioner).Â For more information about the Department, see www.securities.arkansas.gov.
An extern with the Department will work directly with the Commissioner, the legal staff, and other staff members, and may be called upon to:
- research and advise the Department and the Commissioner on the application of the Arkansas Administrative Procedures Act to Department proceedings;
- research and advise the Department and the Commissioner on proposed changes to the Arkansas Securities Act, the Arkansas Fair Mortgage Lending Act, the Arkansas Money Services Act, and the various rules implemented pursuant to such laws;
- assist the Departmentâ€™s legal staff in enforcement and licensing proceedings, including proceedings in state courts and administrative proceedings before an administrative hearing officer, through preparation of legal memoranda, pleadings, and discovery;
- research and assist the Departmentâ€™s legal staff with issues regarding applicable rules of civil procedure and evidence;
- assist the Departmentâ€™s examination and licensing staff through communications with licensed persons and entities and review of disciplinary histories of investment professionals; and
- attend and observe staff meetings, administrative proceedings, criminal and civil enforcement proceedings, and legislative committee meetings.
Successful completion of courses in Administrative Law, Business Organizations, and Securities Regulation is preferred, but not required, prior to beginning this externship. Â The Commissioner and the Departmentâ€™s legal staff are willing to arrange a non-traditional work schedule, including working evenings and weekends, to accommodate special scheduling needs.Â Accordingly, night division and part-time students are encouraged to apply for this position.Â The Departmentâ€™s legal staff will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial District (3 positions)
The Public Defenderâ€™s Office of the Sixth Judicial District is a state agency providing representation to indigent persons who are charged with criminal offenses in state court and who face a risk of loss of liberty. The Office represents indigent individuals in Pulaski and Perry Counties in Arkansas at the district, circuit, and appellate levels.
An extern in the Public Defenderâ€™s Office of the Sixth Judicial District will work directly with an attorney in the office, assisting with both legal research and trial preparation. The extern also will have the opportunity to assist in pre-trial and trial proceedings.Â It is necessary that the student have completed courses in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Constitutional Law prior to beginning the externship.Â The staff of the Public Defenderâ€™s Office will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
University Of Arkansas System, General Counselâ€™s Office (2 positions)
The General Counsel for the University of Arkansas System represents the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, the University President, the University system officers and employees, and all of the various University campuses and divisions around the State of Arkansas.Â Those campuses and divisions include:Â University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; University of Arkansas at Little Rock; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; University of Arkansas at Monticello; University of Arkansas, Fort Smith; Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas; University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville; University of Arkansas Community College at Hope; Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas; University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton; the Division of Agriculture and its Community Extension Service; the Arkansas Archaeological Survey; the Criminal Justice Institute; University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service; and the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and Arts.
In addition to providing day-to-day legal services and representation to all of those campuses, entities, and their officers and employees, the General Counselâ€™s Office handles most University litigation in-house, except for cases involving specialized areas such as tax, bonds, and intellectual property.Â The Office also handles a large amount of transactional work, including contract drafting and review, and purchase or other disposition of personal property.Â As with all State legal offices, the General Counsel is consistently involved in a number of Arkansas Freedom of Information Act matters.
The vast majority of litigation that the General Counselâ€™s Office handles is in the federal courts and primarily involves issues of employment discrimination, civil rights, First Amendment, or student constitutional rights.Â The Office also engages in some state-court practice in areas such as eminent domain and FOIA challenges.Â On an ongoing basis, the Office handles a good number of matters before the Arkansas State Claims Commission, involving personal injury, contract disputes, or medical malpractice claims against non-physician employees at UAMS.Â The Officeâ€™s attorneys also are involved in a good number of internal grievance procedures at the campuses involving faculty, other employees, or students.
The responsibilities of an extern serving in the General Counselâ€™s Office would include legal research, writing legal memoranda, drafting discovery and other basic documents, and perhaps some client contact as the opportunity presents itself.Â An extern also would be able to take advantage of any opportunities that might arise to attend depositions, hearings, trials, and other legal proceedings, and perhaps to assist the attorneys handling those matters in an appropriate manner.Â Because the practice of the General Counselâ€™s Office is so heavily concentrated in areas involving federal constitutional and statutory law, especially in the areas of employment discrimination, civil rights, First Amendment, and student constitutional law, the Office has a preference for externs in their third year of law school or the second semester of their second year, so that the externs likely will have completed Constitutional Law and possibly Employment Discrimination or other elective courses in civil rights law.Â The staff of the General Counselâ€™s Office will interview students recommended for an externship prior to final approval of the placement.
The main office of the General Counsel is at the UA System offices in the Heights area of Little Rock.Â The General Counsel also has a satellite office on the campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).Â Externships are available at both locations of the General Counselâ€™s office.Â The attorneys at the main office handle legal matters for the various campuses in the UA system, while the attorneys in the UAMS office focus specifically on the legal matters relating to UAMS and its hospital, clinics, colleges, graduate programs, and area health education centers.Â When applying for an externship with the UA System General Counselâ€™s Office, please specify whether you seek a position at the main office or a position at the UAMS office.