Law professor to speak at Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl

John DiPippa

John DiPippa, dean emeritus and distinguished professor of law and public policy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl. 

High school students from across the state will debate some of the country’s most important ethical issues during the fifth annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl Saturday, Jan. 28. The competition will begin at 9 a.m. at the UALR Reynolds Center for Business and Economic Development, with DiPippa’s keynote speech beginning at 2 p.m.  

DiPippa joined the UALR faculty in 1983 and teaches constitutional law, public service law, and interviewing and counseling. He previously worked as the executive director of Blue Ridge Legal Services in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and as an inaugural professor of public service at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

Differing from typical debate competitions, the Ethics Bowl encourages collaborative engagement about serious moral topics. Teams consider and discuss cases drawn from current events, which range from social and political issues, environmental concerns, and issues in the workplace and classroom.

Some of the potential 2017 competition topics include online privacy, contraception, the legal tobacco use age, donor babies, white privilege, and virtual and augmented reality. Teams receive a list of competition topics in advance to prepare, but they do not know which one they will be assigned until the competition begins. Judging is based on reasoning and the ability to engage in civil, rational discourse.

Eighteen Arkansas high school teams will compete to advance to the National High School Ethics Bowl April 7-9 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Members of the UALR Ethics Bowl Team will serve as moderators and assistants for the event. Judges will be drawn from faculty at UALR, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, and the University of Central Arkansas, as well as members of the business and nonprofit community.

The competition is hosted by the UALR Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Norton at or Dr. Jana McAuliffe at

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