The UA Little Rock Faculty Excellence Awards are tonight, April 12, at 5:30 p.m. in the George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology Auditorium on UA Little Rock’s main campus. An independent panel chooses from college-level winners to select the university-wide winner in each of three categories: Public Service, Research and Creative Endeavors, and Teaching.
The college-level winners from the William H. Bowen School of Law are profiled below.
The William H. Bowen School of Law winner for the Faculty Excellence Public Service Award is Terrence Cain.
Professor Cain is the associate dean for faculty development at the Bowen School of Law. He is a demanding teacher because he wants his students to be able to walk into any courtroom in the country and perform so well that, as he told me, “The people in that courtroom will ask: “Where did this cat go to law school?” He challenges his students to critically evaluate current legal doctrines and consider whether they deal effectively and fairly with contemporary issues.
Professor Cain devotes over 100 hours per year to pro bono legal representation of people who cannot afford to pay an attorney. These cases, primarily in the areas of family law and criminal law, help low-income people deal with life-changing legal matters. In addition, he offers his counsel – academic and legal – to countless students, graduates, and attorneys. His insight is highly valued. For example, his work as an appellate lawyer led to his appointment to the Arkansas Supreme Court’s outreach program. Twice each year, the court travels across the state to hold oral arguments. Professor Cain delivered a presentation about the court’s work to students from middle school through college during these proceedings.
Research and Creative Endeavors
The William H. Bowen School of Law winner for the Faculty Excellence Research and Creative Endeavors Award is Kelly Terry.
Professor Terry is a professor of law and director of externships programs and pro bono opportunities. Her most significant work has been research in legal education.
She writes on a variety of legal education topics and has presented at numerous conferences and law schools around the country. The Clinical Law Review published her 2014 article, “Embedding Assessment Principles in Externships,” and established her as a leader on legal externship teaching and scholarship.
Professor Terry has also co-edited a primer titled Experiential Education in the Law School Curriculum, providing a resource for law professors with a desire to increase experiential learning. The publication also provides insight for administrators seeking to strengthen the quality and depth of the experiential educational opportunities. Law faculty noted the importance of this work as they developed and revised their courses to include experiential components.
Professor Terry is one of the three co-directors of the Institute of Law Teaching and Learning. The Institute provides a learning environment that helps students achieve the highest academic standards and prepares them to become effective, ethical attorneys. One of the goals of the institute is to support the research and development of materials that enhance teaching and learning in law school.
The William H. Bowen School of Law winner for the Faculty Excellence Teaching Award is Lynn Foster.
Professor Foster is the Arkansas Bar Foundation professor at the Bowen School of Law.
Professor Foster uses team-based learning, in contrast to the Socratic Method prevalent in legal education. Under Professor Foster’s guidance, student teams wrestle with legal problems, skills assignments, and collaborative exercises in order to maximize their comprehension.
In 2014 and 2015, Foster began revising the Property I and II courses to include team-based learning and assessment. To do this, Foster created class structures with clear expectations and manageable assessment tools. After assessing her curriculum revision, Foster discovered that students perform better on their exams when there is more team-based learning and assessment built into the course.
Professor Foster also exposes students to property law outside of classroom. Ten years ago, Foster began the Arkansas Real Estate Review. This semi-annual publication for the Arkansas Bar Foundation summarizes Arkansas’ appellate real estate decisions with commentary by real estate attorneys. Property law students discuss the practice of real estate law with practicing attorneys and write abstracts for the spring issue.
She is the recipient of the Charles W. Goldner Teaching Award, two William H. Bowen School of Law Faculty Excellence awards for Public Service, the first Law School Outstanding Service award, and the Arkansas Bar Association Golden Gavel, Continuing Legal Education, and Presidential Excellence awards.