Kelly Terry, Ben J. Altheimer Professor of Law at the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, has been named the associate dean for experiential learning and clinical programs at Bowen.
“This is a new deanship at Bowen,” said Theresa Beiner, dean of the law school. “While our clinical and experiential programs have always been vital to the law school, this new position strengthens Bowen’s commitment to our students, the legal community, and our core values of public service, professionalism, and access to justice.”
The legal clinic at Bowen is one of the most visible aspects of the law school’s commitment to access to justice and public service. In addition to the Public Service Externship Program, there are seven legal clinics, two practica courses for part-time students, and the Rural Practice Incubator Project. Experiential learning programs include Professionalism and the Work of Lawyers and the law school’s award-winning lawyering skills program.
“Bowen has a rich history of providing its students with rigorous and meaningful learning opportunities to prepare them for the practice of law,” said Terry, who began the new position on May 1. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on that well-established foundation and enhance our existing experiential-learning programs so that our graduates enter the profession ready to serve their clients with the utmost proficiency, skill, and professionalism.”
Terry, who previously served as director of the Public Service Externship Program and pro bono opportunities, teaches the Public Service Externship course, which places students to work for a semester with federal, state, and local government agencies and judges, as well as local non-profit organizations. She also co-teaches Professionalism and the Work of Lawyers, a required class for first-year law students that is designed to develop their skills in a range of areas relating to the day-to-day practice of law.
Terry also serves as co-director of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, a national organization focused on best practices in law teaching, curriculum design, and assessment. Bowen, along with the law school at Washburn University, sponsors the organization.
Her expertise includes legal education, externship pedagogy, assessment, and access to justice. She is a co-editor of “Experiential Education in the Law School Curriculum” and has three upcoming publications. Terry has also published articles in the Clinical Law Review, the Journal of Legal Education, and the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy.
Prior to becoming a law professor, Terry practiced law for 12 years in a variety of settings, including private practice and state and federal government. She started her legal career as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. After that, she served as an assistant attorney general in the Criminal and Civil Departments of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office. Terry was also a partner in a mid-sized commercial law firm in Little Rock, where she focused on business litigation and supervised associate attorneys.
“Throughout her career at Bowen, Dean Terry has been dedicated to training students in what it’s like to be a lawyer and to improving their learning experiences,” Beiner said. “She has been an active member of the faculty and has worked with fellow professors to improve assessment and outcomes for law students as a whole. She will make an excellent associate dean.”