Gosman Appointed as Director of Public Service and Pro Bono Program in School of Law
The U of A School of Law has appointed associate professor Sara Gosman to serve as director of the Public Service and Pro Bono Program.
Annie Smith led the program from 2018 to 2022, and the program began in 2016 under the leadership of Dean Cynthia Nance.
"We are very fortunate that Sara has agreed to serve in in this important role,” Nance said. “It is yet another milestone in her career, which reflects sustained, impactful public service. I look forward to watching the program flourish under her leadership.”
Gosman, who teaches and writes in the areas of environmental and energy law, has dedicated much of her career to public service. Prior to joining academia, she practiced as a water resources attorney at the National Wildlife Federation and as an assistant attorney general in the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agricultural Division of the Michigan Department of Attorney General. She is an expert on the laws governing the risks of energy pipelines. Since 2016, she has represented the public on the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. She is also past president of the board of directors for the Pipeline Safety Trust, a non-profit organization devoted to pipeline safety.
Gosman received an A.B. with high honors from Princeton University and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was senior editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.
“I am honored to be the new director of this thriving program and to build upon its impressive accomplishments,” Gosman said. “My goal is to help students become the leaders of tomorrow by fostering a culture of public service and of giving back to the community.”
Through the program, students provide pro bono (free) legal services to those who cannot afford a lawyer under the supervision of licensed attorneys. The School of Law partners with organizations such as Legal Aid of Arkansas, the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation, Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas and 7Hills Homeless Center to offer these opportunities.
Last year, 50 Arkansas law students volunteered a total of 1,378 hours to serve underserved communities. The law school’s pro bono program also develops students who are interested in pursuing a career in public service. The School of Law awards fellowships to students aspiring to a career in public service to work for organizations with limited resources and gain experience in the public sector. These have included organizations such as the Washington County Public Defender, Mississippi Center for Justice as well as government entities such as Senator Tom Cotton’s office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Washington County Public Defender.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.
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