Allen chosen to help lead the Association of American Law Schools


University Relations

Alena Allen, Acting Dean of Law School

The acting dean of the University of Arkansas Law School, Alena Allen, has accepted the position of associate director of the Association of American Law Schools, commonly known as AALS, effective August 1. She will remain a full professor at the faculty with reduced teaching and service. charge, but will end her role as interim dean on June 30.

“Dean Allen has thought deeply about the challenges facing law schools from a variety of perspectives, so he is the perfect person to help advance legal education at this critical time,” said Judith. Areen, Executive Director of AALS. “We are fortunate to have such an innovative leader joining us in helping AALS support law schools and their faculty, staff and students.”

“AALS has thrived under Judy’s leadership and recently released the American Law School Dean Study which highlights the challenges faced by law deans,” Allen said. “I look forward to working with Judy, the talented AALS staff and educators to meet the challenges and advance excellence in legal education.”

Allen joined the law school in 2021 as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Professor of Law. Prior to joining the U of A, she spent 10 years teaching family law, health law electives, torts, and feminist jurisprudence at the University’s Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. from Memphis. She has also served as co-lead of the University of Memphis campus-wide racism-eradication initiative, senator for the Memphis School of Law (2020-21), director of diversity (2017- 18) and Director of Faculty Research for Memphis Law (2020-21).

Allen’s research interests include the intersection of health policy and critical feminist theory. His work has been published in the North Carolina Law Reviewthe Fordham Law Reviewthe Ohio State Law Journal and the Cardozo Law Review.

Nathan G. Gordon law professor Cynthia Nance will serve as dean of the law school beginning July 1. Nance previously served as dean of the faculty from 2006 to 2011.

Cynthia Nance

“Clearly, Dean Alena Allen is recognized among her professional peers for her expertise and contributions to legal education and we are delighted that U of A law students continue to benefit from her unique and valuable skills. and thank her as she embarks on her next challenge,” said Terry Martin, Acting Vice-Rector and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “We are also grateful to Dean Nance for stepping in during this important time to provide continuity of leadership and a constant guiding hand. His deep experience and respect for the legal community will serve the law school well.

“I am honored to be Dean of Law School once again and grateful for the support of my law school colleagues,” Nance said. “I look forward to working with staff, faculty, and our alumni to continue to develop our academic programs, promote student success and well-being, strengthen our relationships on campus, and guide the law school throughout. throughout the accreditation process. I want to congratulate Dean Allen on her new role and thank her for her leadership and service to the law school.

A nationwide search for the new Dean will begin at a later date. Details will be announced in the coming months.

About the School of Law: The law school offers a competitive JD as well as an advanced LL.M. curriculum, which are taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, internships, live client clinics, competitions, and food and agriculture initiatives. The school strives to identify, discuss and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity and the impacts they have on students, faculty and staff members with the aim of create 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 professors who became President of the United States and Secretary of State, Law The school has a rich history and culture.


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