Leeds Reappointed Dean for University of Arkansas School of Law

Dean Stacy Leeds
Photo by Russell Cothren

Dean Stacy Leeds

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Stacy Leeds, dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law, has been reappointed by Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ashok Saxena. Her second five-year term will begin on July 1.

“Dean Leeds has shown extraordinary leadership,” Saxena said. “The faculty, staff, alumni, students and others were very supportive, and I am pleased that she has agreed to continue the outstanding work she began five years ago.”

Since Leeds’ initial appointment in 2011, the School of Law has risen in national prominence. It is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best values in legal education and ranked among the top-tier public law schools. The school has one of the lowest student debt loads among the nation's law schools and is known for its financial efficiency.

Under Leeds’ leadership, the School of Law has broadened its Master of Laws in Agricultural and Food Law to include an online degree option – the first distance law degree offered in the state. The school also initiated changes to the first-year curriculum, added new certificate programs in criminal law and business law, added an accelerated Juris Doctor for foreign lawyers who want to practice in the United States and created an Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative.

Improvements to the student experience include expanded career service support, more externship opportunities and bar exam skills courses and workshops. 

Leeds initiated two summer programs geared at improving access to college and law school, aimed at increasing diversity among law students and within the legal profession.  More than 200 high school and undergraduate students have attended these on-campus programs since they began. For this and other work, she was recognized as a national leader in diversity by the National Jurist magazine. 

Leeds has remained active in teaching, research and service during her tenure as dean.  She has won many awards for leadership, service, professional expertise and achievement, including the American Bar Association's Spirit of Excellence Award. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Leeds is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the only American Indian woman to have served as dean of a law school in the United States.

She received a Master of Laws from the University of Wisconsin, a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.

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 three consecutive years and is among the top 46 public law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Mark Rushing, assistant vice chancellor
University Relations
479-575-5555, markr@uark.edu

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law
479-575-7417, dsharp@uark.edu


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