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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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Bowen School of Law Judged ‘Golden’

The UALR William H. Bowen School of Law has been judged among nine of America’s “golden” institutions. The designation is based on a national study of full-time law school programs and their acceptance-rate-to-applicant-yield ratios.

The law school is part of a group of schools that have the lowest quintile of acceptance rates and the highest in applicant yields, according to Matt Leichter’s study of Law School Admission Council (LSAC) data.

“The ‘golden’ distinction reflects the UALR law school’s commitment to an admissions process that is holistic and mission-driven,” said Valerie D. James, assistant dean of admissions and scholarships. “We look beyond the numbers to admit a student body that is qualified, diverse, and committed to our core values of professionalism, public service, and access to justice. Bowen fits our students, and our students fit Bowen.”

For his article, “Tough Choices for Some High-Ranked Law Schools,” Leichter analyzed admissions data for law schools and then divided those schools into four categories: golden, popular, marginal, and scavenger. The nine golden schools were:

  • UALR
  • Stanford
  • Yale
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Harvard
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Carolina Central

Leichter’s research left him with a complete dataset on full-time law school applications, acceptances, and matriculations from 2004 to 2010. Prior to his findings, he assumed there was a direct correlation between applicant yield and acceptance rates: the more selective the school the higher the applicant yield. However, he discovered that there are a large number of law schools in the “upper echelons” that are very unpopular with their applicants.

According to this study, the Bowen School does a good job of accepting applicants who will be a good fit for the school, its location, and its values. However, those law schools characterized as “scavenger” schools will either have to cut their class sizes or increase their acceptance rates to keep up in a market containing fewer and fewer quality applicants, Leichter said.