As a public law school with core values of access to justice, professionalism, and public service, the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law has a unique perspective on both the needs of the community and the desires of our students and alumni.
Arkansas has a genuine lawyer shortage. According to research, the state’s per capita ratio is 2.04 attorneys per 1,000 residents, which is approximately half of the national average. In the 25 most rural counties in Arkansas, the ratio is 0.64 attorneys per 1,000 residents. In addition, the population of attorneys currently residing in these counties is aging and few new attorneys are moving to the most underserved counties.
Many Bowen students and graduates have an interest in pursuing private practice in their home counties or in underserved areas. However, the idea of starting a law firm–balancing the hats of business-owner and legal professional–can be daunting, especially for a new attorney.
The Bowen Rural Legal Incubator program will play a critical role in beginning to address these issues by helping new attorneys develop innovative, economically viable law practices that increase access to justice for low and moderate income rural Arkansans.