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Dreams Materialized: Part-time Bowen Law Student Graduates, Sets Sights on Arkansas Attorney General’s Office

What do you want to be when you grow up? We’ve all been asked this question before, especially as children.  While most people’s answers change over time, some know very early on exactly what they want to do. Such is the case for Rachael McKenzie, a 2024 graduate of the William H. Bowen School of Law.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a lawyer,” McKenzie said. “It just never seemed like an attainable goal. I had to work, and most law schools don’t allow you to go to school and work.”

Seemingly stuck at a crossroads, Rachael joined the Batesville School District where she taught history to seventh and eighth grade students for five years before recommitting to her own dreams of becoming a lawyer.

“I knew I had to work, but I also knew I had dreams of becoming an attorney,” she said. “So, I decided to just do it, and I took the LSAT [Law School Admissions Test].”

Attracted by the institution’s flexible programing and affordability, Rachael returned to the classroom in the fall of 2020 as both a teacher and a part-time student at the Bowen.

“The flexibility of the part-time evening program allowed me to work full-time as a student, which was beneficial in more ways than one,” Rachael said. “Not only have I been able to work to maintain my livelihood, I’ve also been able to cover expenses and will not have to graduate with a lot of student debt because this program allowed me to work while being significantly less expensive than other law schools.”

While in law school, Rachael made the move from academia to the legal field. Today, she works full-time at the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office in the Consumer Protection Division where she hopes to work as an attorney after graduating this month and hopefully passing the bar soon.

“I intend to stay in my office after graduation,” said McKenzie. “Bowen’s focus on public service as well as my work history in this office has really helped prepare me to be of service to others in this capacity, and I’d love to work as an attorney in the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office.”