Liz Harris, a 2018 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law’s part-time program, is spending a year between clerkships to assist veterans in need of legal services.
Harris earned her Juris Doctor in May and passed the bar exam in July. In October, she began a year-long fellowship sponsored by Equal Justice Works and Americorps and hosted at the Center for Arkansas Legal Services, where she is an attorney in the Veterans Legal Corps program. She was one of 24 fellows selected nationwide who will be spending a year providing legal representation and assistance to veterans and their families on issues related to consumer and medical debt, government benefits, child support, and other family law matters.
“Legal services are needed because so many individuals don’t have the income to hire a private attorney,” Harris said. “It’s a rewarding experience to provide them with the legal help they need.”
The timing of the fellowship lined up perfectly with Harris’ schedule and offered her a chance to gain hands-on experience.
“It is a tremendous opportunity for me to get some practice in between clerkships and to give back to our veterans,” she said. “From my standpoint, it’s a way to help in a meaningful way.”
Before her fellowship began, Harris clerked six weeks for Judge Raymond Abramson on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. When her fellowship at Center for Arkansas Legal Services ends, she will begin a federal clerkship in August with The Honorable Lavenski Smith, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Before she enrolled in law school, Harris earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in entrepreneurship and small business management in 2009 and a Master of Business Administration in 2011, both from UA Little Rock.
Attending Bowen’s part-time program allowed Harris to balance the demands of law school with being a single parent. The Bowen law school offers the state’s only part-time JD program, in which students attend evening classes four nights a week.
Harris was also able to take advantage of clerkships and fellowships that have broadened her experience.
“As a result of Bowen’s part-time program, I am now an attorney, and I see this as an amazing opportunity to do good unto others,” she said.