The Delta Initiative

The University of Arkansas School of Law has prioritized the Delta as a region of focus. A Delta advisory committee was established in 2021, which identified areas that have the greatest need within the region:

  • access to justice
  • severe lack of legal professionals per capita, and
  • the need to recruit students earlier in their educational careers (high school vs. junior/senior year of college)

Goals Of The Delta Initiative

Visibility | Engagement | Community Service

Pine Bluff Courthouse

Outreach to communities

Bring our current School of Law students to smaller rural areas that need legal professionals in an effort to make an immediate impact on the access to justice issues.

Pipelines to provide resources and information

Expose around 800 high school students to the idea of law school by providing legal curriculum that engages the students and evokes questions and discussion.

Inform students about University of Arkansas and University of Arkansas School of Law enrollment and scholarship opportunities.

Pathways to help students

Expose our law students to the Delta communities, alumni and legal professionals in the area so they can learn about opportunities for post-grad employment and the benefits and impact of practicing in the region.

Our Plan

Osceola Courthouse

Current law school students, faculty, and staff will travel to high schools in the Delta to deliver curriculum crafted around the Constitution and its impact on current laws and policy. This will be a two-day trip with the students being in the high schools for the first day and performing a community service project on the second day.

2021 will be our pilot year with the students visiting schools in Osceola and Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff High School, Watson Chapel). In conjunction with the City of Osceola, the law school students will host an expungement clinic, and in Pine Bluff, work with the McKissic Firm, to host a wills and trusts clinic.

The National Archives has partnered with the School of Law to provide coaching and training to our law students in preparation for teaching high school students.

Originally scheduled for September 17 and 18, 2021, activities have been postponed.

Osceola · postponed

photo of Katie SparrowKatie Sparrow: “I am thrilled about the opportunity to encourage people from the Delta to pursue practicing law because the community should have options when it comes to representation. There are not enough lawyers in the Delta.”
photo of Mason GatesMason Gates: “Rural America is experiencing a severe lawyer shortage, which is especially true for Arkansas. As one of only two law schools in the state, it is essential that we take a leadership role. The Delta Initiative is an excellent opportunity to venture into the Natural State while doing important work. I have loved working on this project and hope it grows into a yearly event that continues to connect the law school with all of Arkansas.”

Pine Bluff · postponed

photo of Josie BatesJosie Bates: “I want to be involved in this project because it has the incredible potential to bring positive long-lasting change to not only the law school, but the state of Arkansas in general. I cannot think of a better project to be included in.”
photo of Hannah MaloneHannah Malone: “I believe that extending information and opportunities to people to become lawyers is of the utmost importance. Every person has unique qualities and life experiences that they can bring to the table to help strengthen the legal profession as a whole.”

Sponsors

Arkansas Bar Foundation logo Big River Steel logo First Commercial Bank logo 1st National Bank of Eastern Arkansas logo Mitchell Williams Law Firm logo American Greetings logo United Way of Southeast Arkansas logo