The U of A Law School has appointed Associate Professor Sara Gosman as Director of 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 take on this important role,” said Nance. “This is yet another milestone in his career, reflecting sustained and impactful public service. I look forward to seeing the program thrive under his leadership.”
Gosman, who teaches and writes in the areas of environmental and energy law, has devoted much of his career to public service. Prior to entering academia, she practiced as a water resources attorney with the National Wildlife Federation and as an assistant attorney general in the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division of the Department of Michigan Attorney General. She is an expert in 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 US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. She is also Past Chair of the Board of the Pipeline Safety Trust, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to pipeline safety.
Gosman received an AB with high honors from Princeton University and a JD, cum laudefrom Harvard Law School, where she was editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
“I am honored to be the new director of this thriving program and to build on its impressive accomplishments,” said Gosman. “My goal is to help students become the leaders of tomorrow by fostering a culture of public service and giving back to the community.”
As part of the program, students provide voluntarily legal services (free) to those who cannot afford a lawyer under the supervision of licensed lawyers. The law school partners with organizations such as Arkansas Legal Aid, Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation, Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas, and 7Hills Homeless Center to provide these opportunities.
Last year, 50 Arkansas law students volunteered a total of 1,378 hours to serve underserved communities. Law School voluntarily The program also develops students who wish to pursue a career in public service. The law school awards scholarships to students who aspire to a career in public service to work for organizations with limited resources and gain experience in the public sector. These include organizations such as the Washington County Public Defender, the Mississippi Center for Justice as well as government entities such as Senator Tom Cotton’s office, the United States Department of Justice, and the Washington County Public Defender.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion for Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the few American colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.