The UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law has announced its 2019 Faculty Excellence Award recipients. They will be honored at the UA Little Rock Faculty Excellence Awards on Thursday, April 11, 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.
“These three professors are excellent examples of Bowen’s commitment to our core values of public service, professionalism, and access to justice,” said Theresa M. Beiner, dean of the law school.
Professor Mitchell joined the law school faculty in July 2002. Since arriving at Bowen, she has directed and taught in the Law School’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, where student attorneys represent low income taxpayers at various stages of tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
“I am fortunate to do what I do,” said Mitchell, “and I am extremely humbled by this recognition.”
In the last five years, students in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic have represented 359 taxpayers from 58 of the 75 counties in Arkansas, obtained refunds of $192,482.00, reduced taxpayer liabilities by $896,064.00, provided one-on-one consultations, 75 technical consultations, and brought 157 taxpayers into compliance with the IRS and the Arkansas Department of Finance Authority.
In addition to her work at Bowen, Professor Mitchell has worked with several organizations, including the Little Rock Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, and several national taxpayer committees.
She also provides educational programming on tax issues for international students at UA Little Rock and UAMS. In 2018, she held four such programs and assisted 84 students. Over the last five years, she has helped at least 386 international students.
Professor Mitchell has also reached out to English as a Second Language and Hispanic communities in Arkansas. She takes her students to festivals and events to raise awareness and educate these communities about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. She has also spoken at libraries in Dumas and Lake Village about the Tax Clinic’s services and on Taxpayer Advocate Problem Solving Day.
Steve Hudspeth, who works for the Internal Revenue Service as a Local Taxpayer Advocate says “[s]he has always exceeded my expectations by ensuring that our problem-solving events are a great success” and “she is always available and willing to help in any way possible.”
Lyn Entrikin, Charles Baum Distinguished Professor of Law
Professor Entrikin joined the law school faculty in June 2011. She teaches Reasoning, Writing, and Analysis I and II as well as Legislation, including statutory interpretation, drafting skills, and legislative history research.
Prior to arriving at Bowen, Professor Entrikin taught legal research and writing, legal drafting, and legislation at her alma mater, Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. She was the Director of Washburn’s Legal Writing Program from 2004-08.
Professor Entrikin recently completed two three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), serving as President in 2011-12. She remains an active member of ALWD, currently serving as co-chair of the Association’s Task Force on the ABA accreditation standards and as a member of various other committees. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Association of American Law Schools’s Section on Balance in Legal Education, currently serving on its Program and Nominating Committees.
Her most recent publication is “Legal Drafting by Design: A Unified Approach.” This course book was co-written with Richard K. Neumann Jr. and published in 2018. In her nomination, her article, Disrespectful Dissent: Justice Scalia’s Regrettable Legacy of Incivility, published in The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, was singled out as “an impressive scholarly work.”
Entrikin’s article The Death of Common Law will be published this year in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy [42 Harvard J. L. & Pub. Pol’y (2019)]. She is also leading the steering committee overseeing publication of the third edition of the ABA Legal Writing Sourcebook, a preeminent guide for designing legal writing programs. She is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences.
“I am both honored and humbled to have been recognized by my academic peers at the Bowen School of Law for my record of research and creative endeavors,” said Entrikin. “Both the financial support and the OCDA leave that the University and the law school provided have been instrumental in allowing me to engage in scholarship, as well as my ongoing volunteer efforts to advance the professional status of legal writing faculty across the country.”
Professor Gustafson has been a member of Bowen’s faculty since 1998. Since arriving at Bowen, she has worked extensively on improving student scholarship and supporting faculty-edited, peer-reviewed journals.
She serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process. She is also a managing editor for The Journal of Legal Writing Institute and a co-editor of The Law Teacher, published by the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.
Professor Gustafson’s interest in excellence in teach extends to her scholarly work. She has published articles on improving student scholarship and the impact of technology on student writing and has created three new classes to train students in writing and editing legal scholarship. She has also frequently presented at both regional and national legal writing conferences on effective teaching methods.
Professor Gustafson has been one of the leaders of team-based learning at Bowen. “It stimulates the behavioral need for each student to be accountable for his or her own comprehension,” said one student. “They, in turn, contribute to their team’s understanding of the course curriculum.”
She was nominated, in part, for her dedication to educating her students and her professionalism and advocacy both in and out of class. Her current and former students commend her mentorship and her engagement in the classroom. “Professor Gustafson gives candid and thorough feedback,” said one student. “However, she does so in a way that is digestible and encouraging.”
“I’m honored to receive this award, especially because I am surrounded by such talented, dedicated teachers at Bowen,” said Gustafson. “My twenty years spent with Bowen have been a blessing, and I continue to learn from my colleagues and from my students. At Bowen, we are never done learning, and we are serious about our teaching.”
This is the fifth time Professor Gustafson has been nominated for the Bowen School of Law Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. She won the award in 2004 and 2014.