University of Arkansas School of Law
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs
The University of Arkansas School of Law is located on the university’s flagship campus in Fayetteville, a vibrant college community with the charm of a small town and the amenities of a much larger city. U.S. News & World Report ranked the Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area at No. 5 in its 2017 “Best Places to Live,” and Forbes has listed Fayetteville among its “Best Places for Business and Careers.” The campus is just a few miles away from the corporate headquarters of such companies as Walmart and Tyson.
Established in 1924, the school prepares students for success through a challenging curriculum taught by nationally recognized faculty, unique service opportunities, and a close-knit community that puts students first. Alumni reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 2 territories, and more than 20 countries.
Students’ academic backgrounds and nonacademic experiences vary, partially because the school has no undergraduate course prerequisites. Although approximately 75 to 80 percent of students are Arkansas residents, they come from many areas of the United States and abroad. The 2017 incoming class included graduates from 41 undergraduate institutions representing 11 states.
Library and Physical Facilities
Students have key card access to the school’s more than 136,000-square-foot facility on the state’s flagship campus of 27,000 students. The building includes classrooms featuring state-of-the-art technology, comfortable study and group meeting areas, and an extensive library. The library footprint is 34,400 square feet and has more than 370,000 volumes and volume equivalents, librarian and information technology offices, technical services spaces, group study rooms, and a gourmet coffee shop.
Curriculum and Special Programs
The School of Law offers a full-time, three-year program leading to a Juris Doctor. The degree is conferred upon satisfactory completion of 90 semester hours, including 42 hours of required courses. The first year curriculum consists of a rigorous course of study that all students follow and includes courses such as Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Procedure, and Legal Writing. A broad selection of elective second- and third-year courses is available. Students who have completed the first year of law school may earn up to 12 hours of credit in summer terms, and graduation can be accelerated by one semester.
In addition to the traditional path to the JD, the School of Law offers a joint JD/MBA program with the university’s Sam M. Walton College of Business. Three dual-degree programs are offered in conjunction with the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: a JD/MPA and JD/MA in international law and politics with the Department of Political Science, and a JD/MSW with the School of Social Work.
The school offers a Criminal Law Certificate and a Business Law Certificate for students who wish to focus in these areas.
The School of Law also has an Accelerated JD program for international lawyers and was the first school in the United States to offer an advanced legal degree program in agricultural and food law.
Each year, the LLM program in Agricultural and Food Law prepares a small number of carefully selected attorneys as specialists in the complex legal issues involving agriculture and food systems. The program may also be completed online.
The law school operates a legal clinic that provides counseling and direct client representation across several practice areas. An Arkansas Supreme Court Rule permits second- and third-year law students, upon certification and under supervision, to appear in court on a no-fee basis.
Students have opportunities to work with seven clinics and nine externship programs, including with Fortune 100 companies. They may choose from several simulation courses for skills credits and specialized courses for the two-credit upper-level writing requirement. Summer curriculum and study-abroad programs are available in Russia and England. Additional courses are offered throughout the academic year.
First-year students are admitted in the fall and only for full-time study. Prior to enrolling in the School of Law, applicants must have completed all requirements for an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college. Admission is based on the applicant’s LSAT score, undergraduate GPA, and full file review. Preference is given to Arkansas residents. There is no application fee, but a nonrefundable tuition deposit is required of all admitted candidates.
The law school’s application deadline is April 15 of the year in which admission is sought, and applicants should take the LSAT no later than the preceding February. Applications received after April 15 will be considered only on a space-available basis.
Limited graduate housing for individual students is available in campus residence halls. A variety of private off-campus housing options are available in Fayetteville and surrounding communities within easy commuting distance of the law school. For more information, please contact
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
The University of Arkansas School of Law is home to an exceptionally strong advocacy skills competition program. The school hosts annual intramural competitions and fields teams for several national competitions. While most team members are third-year students, exceptional second-year students have successfully participated in various competitions.
Students may participate in the writing and publishing of two student-run journals: the Arkansas Law Review and the Journal of Food Law and Policy.
The School of Law has more than 20 active student organizations. The Student Bar Association sponsors a variety of academic and social activities. All students are also eligible for membership in the Law Student Division of the Arkansas Bar Association. Two of the largest national legal fraternities, Delta Theta Phi and Phi Alpha Delta maintain active chapters at the school. The Women Law Students’ Association was organized to provide an opportunity for women to discuss and address common professional interests and challenges. Members of the Arkansas Chapter of the Black Law Students Association work as a collective body to inform black students of the availability and advantages of a legal education, to promote the academic success of black law students at Arkansas, and to increase the awareness and commitment of the legal profession to the black community. They also hold a distinguished lecture series.
Other organizations include the Christian Legal Society, the Federalist Society, the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Equal Justice Works, the Hispanic Law Student Association, the Native American Law Student Association, Law Young Democrats, and Law GOP. Many student organizations partner to host educational, spirit, and philanthropic activities.
Located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, Northwest Arkansas features many opportunities for outdoor recreation with 70 public parks, 40 miles of trails, and three lakes. The area has a growing number of cultural and art venues.
Expenses and Financial Aid
The University of Arkansas School of Law is dedicated to keeping costs and debt as low as possible. Nationally acclaimed as one of the best values in legal education, it is regularly recognized among the nation’s schools with the lowest law school graduate debt.
Students are expected to make sufficient financial arrangements for the first year of study so they can devote full attention to their law school studies. All law students are required to be full-time students. All financial aid in the form of Perkins Loans (formerly NDSL), higher education loans, and work-study grants is processed by the Office of Financial Aid, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701. Merit scholarships are awarded to some entering students. Applications for a limited number of other scholarships are distributed following fall registration in August.
The law school maintains an Office of Career Services to assist and advise students and graduates. With two attorneys serving as full-time counselors, the office coordinates on-campus interviews for permanent and summer employment; individual career counseling sessions; workshops and handbooks regarding résumé preparation, interviewing skills and techniques, and job searches; panels of lawyers who present programs on a variety of topics; a job bulletin; employment outreach; and networking events with local attorneys and judges. The office also maintains employment and bar passage statistics.