School of Law Hosts Inaugural Arkansas Law Review Academy Editor’s Luncheon

Anna Hope Colley

At the Editor’s Luncheon, Arkansas Law Review editor-in-chief Taylor Spillers and interim Dean Alena Allen stand with U of A alumni Erron Smith and Libby Smith, whose endowed gift established the Arkansas Law Review Academy.

The U of A School of Law hosted the inaugural Arkansas Law Review Academy Editor’s Luncheon on May 23. The event was held to induct new members into the academy, recognize the academy’s life and annual members, and celebrate the 75th year of the Law Review‘s publication.

At the Editor’s Luncheon, Erron B.A.’99, J.D.’02 and Libby Smith B.A.’99, M.A.T.’02; Steve J.D.’93 and Tracey Caple; David Hargis B.S.B.A.’70, J.D.’73; and Bill Martucci J.D.’77 were inducted as life members, while Martin Gilbert B.S.B.A’61, LL.B.’64, and James Ross B.S.B.A’61, LL.B.’62 were inducted as annual members.

The Arkansas Law Review Academy was established in 2019 through an endowed gift from U of A alumni Erron and Libby Smith. The academy assists with funding the general operations of the Arkansas Law Review and provides current members with a group of seasoned law review alumni readily available to answer questions and consult as needed.

The academy currently has 12 life members and 25 annual members. Membership helps support the publication of journals, organize the annual symposium, coordinate the awards banquet and improve the publication. A full list of members and information on how to join is on the law school website at


The 75th volume of the Arkansas Law Review includes:

“I couldn’t be prouder to serve on the editorial board during the journal’s 75th anniversary publication,” said Taylor Spillers, editor-in-chief of the Arkansas Law Review. “It was wonderful getting to work with both Steve Caple and Erron Smith as they drafted the introduction for volume 75 last month. I hope everyone takes the time to read their remarks and reminisce on the journal’s proud history. In the midst of celebrating this important milestone, we were also able to hold our first in-person Law Review Academy induction luncheon. It was a joy meeting the alumni who continue to enhance the Arkansas Law Review‘s success and influence. A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the celebration, including amongst others, David Hargis, Bill Martucci, James Ross and Martin Gilbert. Also, a special thank you to Erron and Libby Smith for starting the Law Review Endowment and making the event possible. It was a wonderful afternoon all around.”

The Arkansas Law Review was established with the publication of the first issue in the fall semester of the 1946-47 academic year. It was preceded by the University of Arkansas Law School Bulletin, which was started five years after the U of A School of Law was established in 1924.

Julian S. Waterman, the school’s first dean, edited Volume 1, Issue 1 of the University of Arkansas Law School Bulletin in 1929, and the publication appeared intermittently through May 1942. It was suspended for four years before the final issue was published in May 1946, paving the way for the Arkansas Law Review.

Prior to the establishment of the Arkansas Law Review, the Arkansas Bar Association expressed interest in the creation of a Law Review and appointed committees to explore the possibility. The first two issues, which were published through the work of Dean Robert A. Leflar and his staff, were met with enthusiastic response, and the Law Review was turned into a joint undertaking of the law school and the Arkansas Bar Association.

Published quarterly by U of A School of Law students, today it is an established part of the legal community. Lawyers and courts throughout the nation, including the United States Supreme Court, have cited and relied on the journal. Its articles and student writings have been quoted in books and learned journals throughout the world. For an in-depth discussion of the origins and traditions of the Arkansas Law Review, see “The History of the Arkansas Law Review,” by Allen W. Bird II, which was published in vol. 50 of the Arkansas Law Review (1997).

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 in an effort 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.

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