Alumnus, Teacher, Scholar Joins School of Law Leadership Team

William E. Foster
Russell Cothren

William E. Foster

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Dean Stacy Leeds and the University of Arkansas School of Law leadership team continue building on the school's success by recruiting excellent students and faculty, strengthening its high academic standards and maintaining top tier and best value rankings. Over the summer, associate professor of law and alumnus William E. Foster became the newest member of that team, bringing a wide variety of knowledge and experience.

Foster's appointment as associate dean for academic affairs took effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year, along with professor Brian Gallini's reappointment as associate dean for faculty and Leeds' reappointment as dean. James Miller and Charys Williams round out the school's administration as associate dean for students and associate dean for administration, respectively.

"We are thrilled professor Foster agreed to serve the law school in this capacity," Leeds said. "His educational background, practical experience, teaching record, relationships with the Arkansas bench and bar, scholarly productivity and comprehensive history with the School of Law give him a unique perspective and the tools to excel in this role." 

Foster is a highly respected teacher and scholar who engages with students through activities such as advising the Arkansas Law Review and directing the Business Law Certificate program. The class of 2016 chose him for the Lewis E. Epley, Jr. Faculty Award in recognition of his excellence in teaching, and his years practicing business law have helped the school provide practical experience for students - a critical aspect of the curriculum.

"We rely on externships, moot court competitions and especially adjunct professors to partner students with sitting judges and the best practicing professionals in the state," Leeds said. "Having an academically successful faculty member with relevant practice experience is essential to recruiting members of the legal community."

"There are so many talented lawyers in the northwest Arkansas region," Foster said. "It is a privilege to work with them to strengthen our curriculum. As an adjunct, I was able to share my professional experience with students, and it enriched class discussions. That's something we want to hold on to when training the next generation of lawyers."

Foster graduated summa cum laude and first in his class with a Juris Doctor from the U of A in 2005. He went on to earn a Master of Laws in taxation from New York University and to join the Little Rock-based Friday, Eldredge and Clark LLP. While practicing taxation and business law in the firm's Fayetteville office, he began teaching at his alma mater as an adjunct professor.

He had not planned on a career in academia, but he left the firm in 2010 for a faculty position at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. He returned to Fayetteville to join the University of Arkansas School of Law faculty in 2013.

As associate dean for academic affairs, Foster is responsible for the oversight of the registrar's office, adjunct faculty, curricular details and academic-related student matters. He replaces professor Carl Circo who is returning to his full time faculty position after five years as associate dean.

About University of Arkansas School of Law: The University of Arkansas School of Law 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. With alumni in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, two territories and 20 countries, it has been ranked among the top 10 "Best Values in Legal Education" by the National Jurist magazine for four consecutive years and is among the top 46 public law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.


Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law


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