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UA Little Rock Bowen Law School Receives Grant to Provide Legal Education, Outreach for LGBTQ Issues

Member of the OutLaw Legal Society at the William H. Bowen School of Law.
Member of the OutLaw Legal Society at the William H. Bowen School of Law participate in the Central Arkansas Pride Parade 2022.

The UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law has received a $15,000 grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation to provide continuing legal education opportunities for topics relevant to the Arkansas LGBTQ community.

Bowen’s OutLaw Legal Society, a student organization with about 50 members, received the grant. The group’s mission includes promoting diversity, raising awareness of legal issues affecting LGBT people, and maintaining an open atmosphere of respect, equality, and justice for all.

Projects for the two-year grant include working with community partners to hold rainbow clinics that provide legal assistance for LGBTQ Arkansans. They also plan to create a toolkit for lawyers that provides resources for the name and gender change legal processes.

“The third project is to offer continuing legal education (CLEs) events focused on timely Arkansas LGBTQ+ legal issues,” said Melody Weigel, advisor to OutLaw Legal Society. “We will host professional development events on relevant topics to the LGBTQ community for attorneys and law school students.”

The OutLaw Legal Society has twice been named Bowen’s Student Organization of the Year for their community involvement, on-campus engagement, and volunteerism. Some of their activities include volunteering at legal clinics to provide pro bono services to low-income individuals who needed assistance with name and gender changes, leading education events regarding health care issues affecting the LGBTQ community, creating a student scholarship fund, and conducting a holiday supply drive for Lucie’s Place, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to rehousing queer youth who may be unsheltered.

Caleb Scott, a second-year Bowen law student who serves as president of OutLaw Legal Society, said the grant allows the very active student organization to expand its services.

“OutLaw’s scope has reached its max threshold of what students can do without extra funding,” Scott said. “With this grant, we are able to go out and do more and help more people. We are so thankful to the Arkansas Community Foundation for their support.”