Every year at commencement, the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law recognizes one student who exemplifies our core value of public service. This recipient is chosen by faculty and his or her peers. This year’s recipient was Cory Lee Bates.
Cory has given back to both the law school and the community during his time as a student. This year as a 3L, he has served as the President of the OUTLaw Legal Society, with an incredible week-long program of fundraising, advocacy speakers, and community building. With raising money for a future scholarship, hosting the first Legal Research Drive at the Bowen School of Law, and bringing Heather Fann from Alabama to discuss her work on an LGBT civil rights case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, OUTLaw has positively impacted present and future students. Cory’s commitment to helping our student organizations give back is evident – from helping the Student Bar Association generate the law school’s first Food Pantry, to mentoring a 1L student as a member of Delta Theta Phi, to designing the program for the Black Law Students Association fundraising banquet.
Outside of Bowen, Cory has helped grow and organize the awareness surrounding HIV prevention through the HIV Planning Group of Arkansas as well as serving as the Secretary and Student Representative of Q-Law Arkansas, the state’s first LGBT organization for attorneys.
Those who had the privilege of knowing Cory during his time at Bowen can’t help but mention his commitment to the community, his ceaseless advocacy for those who have been overlooked, and his obvious passion for every project he takes on.
In addition to the award, Cory received $1,000 to offset the cost of his bar prep course.