Josie Bates Named Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Pro Bono Fellow

Josie Bates
University Relations

Josie Bates

Dean Cynthia Nance has named Josie Bates the 2022-23 Rose Law Firm's 200th Anniversary Pro Bono Fellow at the U of A School of Law. 

To keep the importance of public service in the forefront of the School of Law community's collective mind, the dean selects one or more promising students each year to serve as Pro Bono Fellow during their third year of law school. The title, along with a stipend, recognizes and supports exemplary law students committed to pro bono (legal services performed free of charge or at reduced fees for the public good). Fellows encourage their peers to engage in pro bono and other forms of community service by organizing events, forming partnerships with organizations and through leading by example. In 2020 the men and women of Rose Law Firm underscored the importance of pro bono service by selecting the fellow sponsorship as a part of the commemoration of the firm's bicentennial. The firm, based in Little Rock, is the oldest firm located west of the Mississippi River.

"It is such an incredible honor to be selected as the 2022-23 Pro Bono Fellow," Bates said. "Giving back to one's community is of the utmost importance. I would be nowhere close to where I am today without the communities I have been a part of. Due to this, I cannot think of a better way to spend my third and final year of law school than to promote the Pro Bono Program to other law students and to assist them in finding their own ways to give back to our community through this program." Bates is a 2020 cum laude graduate of the U of A and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and English.

"Josie's willingness to use her legal skills to help others is inspiring," said Sara Gosman, associate professor of law and director of the School's Public Service and Pro Bono Program. "I look forward to working with her as we continue to build a culture of service at the School of Law. We are very thankful to the Rose Law Firm for funding the fellowship and for recognizing the critical importance of student leadership to our program."

Bates was selected as fellow in recognition of her consistent service, significant leadership potential and performance of substantial pro bono work. She is a member of the 2022-23 executive board of Arkansas Law Review and serves as managing editor. She is active in the Women's Law Student Association (WLSA) and Outlaw and served as the 2021-22 president of both organizations. Her volunteer activities include working with Legal Aid of Arkansas and as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Bates played a critical role in developing the curriculum for the U of A Constitution Day efforts in Pine Bluff and Osceola High Schools, a program designed to encourage students to view law as a rewarding and attainable career path.

Pro Bono Fellows serve as student leaders of the school's Pro Bono and Community Engagement program. A primary duty associated with the position is the planning and organization of the school's participation in the annual National Celebration of Pro Bono, the American Bar Association's week-long effort to call attention to the need for pro bono services and to thank those who give their time year-round. The 2022 celebration is slated for Oct. 23-29.  Gosman and Bates have organized events and volunteer opportunities for the week that include a panel discussion of the ways pro bono service can improve access to justice for low-income individuals. Panelist include: Jordan Bates-Rogers, executive director of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission and Foundation; Greneda Johnson, the school's director of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; and the school's inaugural Pro Bono Fellow, Tony Jones, who now clerks for Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Robin Wynne. Other activities planned for the week include participation in pro bono events sponsored by Legal Aid of Arkansas and Arkansas Access to Justice, a pro bono opportunities fair in the law school's Norma Lea Beasley Entrance Hall and a school-wide supply drive, organized with WLSA, for Flo Free Foundation, an organization that helps women in need.   

About the School of Law:The law school offers a competitive J.D. as well as an advanced LL.M. program, which are taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, externships, live client clinics, competitions, and food and agriculture initiatives. The school strives to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity, and the impact(s) they have on students, faculty, and staff members to achieve a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. From admitting the Six Pioneers who were the first African American students to attend law school in the South without a court order to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and faculty who went on to become president of the United States and secretary of state, the law school has a rich history and culture. Follows us at @uarklaw.         

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.



Jackie Stites, communication specialist
School of Law

Sara Rollet Gosman, associate professor of law
director of Public Service and Pro Bono Program


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