The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law has recognized recent Bowen graduate Cory Lee Bates as the recipient of the 2018 Student Public Service Award.
Every year at commencement, the faculty, staff, and students at Bowen Law School select one of its graduating students who exemplifies the law school’s core value of public service to receive the award. Bates will also receive $1,000 to go toward the cost of a course to prepare him to take the bar exam.
During his third year of law school, Bates has served as president of the OUTLaw Legal Society and helped organize a weeklong program of fundraising, advocacy speakers, and community building. The activities consisted of raising money for a student scholarship, hosting the first Legal Research Drive at Bowen, and bringing Heather Fann, a family law attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, to discuss her work on an LGBT civil rights case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bates is passionate about helping Bowen’s student organizations. He helped the Student Bar Association generate the law school’s first food pantry, mentored a first-year law student as a member of Delta Theta Phi, and designed the program for the Black Law Students Association’s fundraising banquet.
His classmates and teachers at Bowen have described Bates’ commitment to the community, his ceaseless advocacy for those who have been overlooked, and his obvious passion for every project he takes on.
Outside of Bowen, Bates has helped grow and organize HIV prevention awareness through the HIV Planning Group of Arkansas as well as serving as the secretary and student representative of Q-Law Arkansas, the state’s first LGBT organization for attorneys.
In the upper right photo, John DiPippa, interim dean of the Bowen School of Law, presents Cory Bates with the 2018 Student Public Service Award during the commencement ceremony on May 12.