Rose Law Firm has established the Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Award to promote and provide experiential opportunities for University of Arkansas School of Law students with public service and pro bono interest.
"For nearly a century, the University of Arkansas School of Law has provided well-trained advocates. Our firm and our state have been the beneficiaries," Brian Rosenthal, member and chair of the 200th anniversary committee, said.
"Our donations to the law school will fund the Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Awards for two public service fellows and a pro bono student fellow for the next three years. The law school's creation of these awards using our gifts is a reflection of both the law school's and Dean McCabe's public service mission, which we hope continues into the future."
As part of the law school's broader effort to fulfill the university's land-grant mission, McCabe created the Summer Public Service Fellowship Program in 2019 to encourage first- and second-year law students with an interest in, and demonstrated commitment to, public service.
"Public law schools have a unique responsibility to provide robust exposure to public service opportunities for students" McCabe said. "We are grateful to Rose Law Firm for this partnership."
To date, 18 students have held fellowships and have contributed their expertise to government, non-governmental and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., Boston, neighboring states, the Arkansas Delta, and throughout Arkansas, while gaining professional experience.
Rose Law Firm is the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River and traces its origin to November 1, 1820, before Arkansas statehood, when Robert Crittenden and Chester Ashley entered into an agreement for a partnership in the practice of law.
"Rose Law Firm has been blessed to survive and thrive for two centuries" said Robyn Allmendinger, CEO and managing member. "It is in that spirit of gratitude that we have committed to give back to our community with gifts totaling $200,000 in honor of our 200th anniversary. These gifts will benefit several legal aid, non-profit and educational institutions in our state, including the University of Arkansas School of Law."
The law school seeks to rapidly build a public service program that creates innovative experiences, allowing students to make meaningful, interdisciplinary contributions to Arkansas, nationally and internationally.
Stacy Leeds, dean emeritus and professor of law, began this work by appointing a faculty director of pro bono and community service. Cyndi Nance, dean emeritus and the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law, served as the inaugural director; Annie Smith, associate professor of law, now directs the program, which has been renamed public service and pro bono to better reflect changes in the program's direction.
Robyn Allmendinger announces the Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary gifts during the firm's anniversary celebration in Little Rock.