The University of Arkansas Law School of Law is committed to fostering a culture of ethical practice and commitment to public service among our students, our faculty, and the wider legal community in Northwest Arkansas. To facilitate this commitment, the Pro Bono and Community Service Program partners with area legal services agencies, nonprofits, and members of the local bar to provide needed legal and community service.
In addition to the internal Habitat for Humanity Wills Project and the School of Law’s annual Pro Bono Week Celebration, the Pro Bono and Community Service Program works to match law students with area legal services providers and members of the bar to assist in the provision of free legal services.
The Program also encourages students to report their hours, and recognizes student achievement every spring at the Pro Bono and Community Service Awards Luncheon. The graduating 3L student with the most Pro Bono Service hours receives the Judge Robert J. Fussell Award for Exemplary Pro Bono Service.
The Habitat for Humanity Wills Project
The Habitat for Humanity Wills Project, directed by Senior Associate Dean Carl Circo, utilizes students to prepare simple wills for the recipients of Habitat for Humanity homes in Northwest Arkansas. A 2010 study by Harris Interactive, published in Forbes, suggests that as many as 65% of American die without a will, or intestate. In an effort to make sure that the families who have received homes through Habitat for Humanity are protected in the event of a tragedy, law students and Dean Circo meet with clients and draft wills specifying their wishes in the event of death.
To participate in the Habitat for Humanity Wills Project, students should be eligible for Rule XV certification with the Arkansas State Bar (48 hours completed, including Evidence, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Professional Responsibility). It is strongly preferred that students have either taken or are taking Wills, Trusts, and Estates. Finally, students should plan to see clients through the entire process.