School of Law
1045 W. Maple St.
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 575-5601
Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law
B.S., M.A., J.D.
Phone: (479) 575-2403
Cynthia E. Nance (Cyndi), Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law earned her B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from Chicago State University and her J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law and an M.A. from the University of Iowa College of Business. She joined the Arkansas faculty as an assistant professor in 1994, and served as dean of the law school from 2006-2011.
Professor Nance has published in journals including the Iowa Law Review, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Iowa Law Review, Rutgers Law Review, and Brandeis Law Review. She has given presentations on various legal and educational issues nationally as well as in Mexico, Brunei, and Singapore. She served as keynote speaker during the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas' inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, and at the request of the U.S. State Department, lectured in several colleges and universities in Ukraine on a variety of legal topics. She teaches courses in Labor and Employment Law, Torts and Poverty Law.
A former chair of the American Association of Law Schools Labor and Employment Law and Employment Discrimination sections, Professor Nance is a Council member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Labor and Employment Law (LEL) Section and represents the LEL Section in the ABA House of Delegates. She was recently appointed to the ABA Center on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and is a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.
Professor Nance serves on the board of the National Association of Law Placement Foundation, is a member of the American Law Institute, serves on the Deans' Development Committee of the American Inns of Court and as a consultant to the Kettering Foundation Legal Education and Democracy Project. She is member of the Law School Admission Council Board, and serves as Chair of its Finance and Legal Affairs Committee.
Locally, Professor Nance is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, its Labor and Employment Law Section, and was appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court to serve on the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Committee. She is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association Leadership Academy Committee and Commission on Diversity. Nance belongs to the Harold Flowers Law Society, an affiliate of the National Bar Association, and is a member of the International Women's Forum, Arkansas Forum. Reflecting her eclectic interests, she serves on the board of Bikes, Blues and Barbecue of Northwest Arkansas and is a member of the Chrome Divas of the Ozarks, the local chapter of a national women's riding organization. Her bike is a Harley Davidson motorcycle named "Bea" (short for Beatus, which is Latin for blessed).
Examples of her past service include her role as a member of Interfaith Worker Justice board, the Advisory Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and an Anti-Racism Trainer for the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She was a member of the Greensboro Massacre Truth and Reconciliation Commission Advisory Group, and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services board and a past board member of the Arkansas ACLU, Sources for Independent Living, the Executive Committee of AFSCME Local 965, the Women's Foundation of Arkansas, and the Northwest Arkansas Workers' Center. Professor Nance is a member of the Phi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and served in several leadership roles in the chapter, including the positions of Vice-president, President and Faculty Advisor to the Kappa Iota (undergraduate) Chapter.
Professor Nance has received numerous awards and recognitions. She is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, an American Bar Association Fellow, and a 2012 recipient of the American Bar Association Spirit of Excellence Award. The Arkansas Bar Association recognized her as an Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen, and the University of Arkansas awarded her a Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Public Service and featured her as a University of Arkansas Extraordinary Woman. She is a recipient of the Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission Individual Achievement Award, and was recognized this year as one of Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine's 25 Women Making a Difference, and as a A Woman of Influence by Arkansas Business, and by On Being a Black Lawyer as one of the most influential lawyers on Twitter. She has been featured as one of Arkansas 12 Most Powerful Women by AY Magazine and Talk Business Quarterly. Professor Nance is also the inaugural recipient of the Harold Flowers Association's Judge Andree Layton Roaf Award of Excellence, and received the 2012 Women Law Students' Gayle Pettus Pontz award. Professor Nance views as her most special honor the fact that in 2009, the University of Arkansas' Black Law Students Association Chapter renamed its chapter the Cynthia E. Nance Chapter of BLSA.