I hope your 2016 has been as productive, exciting, and meaningful as it has been for the UALR Bowen School of Law. I feel so fortunate to be serving you as dean of your alma mater, and I love working with the faculty, educational staff, students, and alumni who make up our community. Thank you for all you do to support Bowen.
2016 was a year of great achievement for Bowen. The law school was again ranked as a Best Value Law School, but we also were honored as a Best Law School for Practical Training, received a top 10 ranking for producing prosecutors and public defenders, a top 20 ranking for producing government lawyers, and a top 10 US News Ranking for graduates having the smallest amount of law school debt. For only the second time, our legal education peers ranked Bowen as one of the top 100 law schools in the nation. This summer, at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, Bowen was awarded the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award.
While, nationally, applications to law school are approximately half of what they were in 2004 (even as the number of law schools has grown by roughly 10%), Bowen’s applications and new student enrollment are up 23% and the entrance credentials of the fall entering class are the strongest they have been in the last few years. In fact, Bowen was one of only a handful of law schools in the nation to have to operate a wait list.
To seize on this extraordinary momentum, Bowen needs your continued support. Your contributions will allow us to realize critical initiatives, including:
- establishing a post-graduate incubator program to assist new graduates in starting up rural practices in cities and towns throughout the state suffering from lawyer shortages;
- helping to address some of those shortages by bringing the law school’s clinical offerings to the Arkansas Delta region; and
- creating new student recruitment scholarships to make sure Bowen continues to attract top in-state and out-of-state students.
All of these projects require financial support. Bowen’s funding is approximately 180th among the 205 US law schools. We need your help to offset this competitive disadvantage and make these initiatives a reality. I hope you will keep our students in mind as you make your year-end, tax-deductible contributions and consider making a meaningful gift to the school.
Michael Hunter Schwartz
Dean and Professor of Law