Natural State Law to work for underserved Arkansans
June 11-17, 2018
By Becca Bona
William “Goose” Changose, Jarred Kibbey, and Jennifer Glover met during their first year at UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. The three were nontraditional students in that they each already had careers and were enrolled in the part-time program.
“For four years we generally sat next to each other, if we were in the same class,” said Goose. He continued, noting that the three made it out of school and managed to stay friends, as he said, “You could get on each other’s nerves in four years.”
Goose, a small-town New York native, spent over two decades in the US Air Force before retiring, but not before he’d worked his way up to the Commander of Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii. “I had always wanted to be a lawyer, but the Air Force came along first, so I did that,” he said.
He worked at Alltel before it sold to Verizon, and then got involved with Bear State Bank and Westrock Coffee. A little over a month ago, Goose left the post as President of Westrock ready to tackle law full time. He felt his work there was done – “I was given a mission to try to increase revenues and get it running a little bit better. When I left we had increased revenue six times.”
Kibbey, originally from Glenwood, Ark., worked for Blue Cross & Shield immediately after graduating from UCA in 2006 with a degree in Political Science. During his time with Blue Cross, he went to law school and after graduating worked for various insurance agencies. He served as the senior policy advisor for the Arkansas Department of Health for a time as well as the Senior Healthcare Advisor to Governor Hutchinson. He reconnected with Goose when he went to work at Westrock Coffee, as well.
Glover, originally from a suburb of Memphis, worked as a paralegal for a family law firm and as caseworker for Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) before she landed in law school. She had her eyes set on a Master’s in Social Work originally, but the attorneys she worked with at the time convinced her to take the LSAT.
“I always wanted to be an attorney, and then I kind of branched off and got into social work because I thought I could save the world that way,” she said. After getting into law school she decided she’d try to make a difference from within the system and began practicing family law as soon as she graduated.
Goose and Kibbey established the Natural State Law, LLC in 2015 to pick up legal work that worked its way across their desks. When they decided to make the firm a full-time enterprise, they knew they needed Glover on the team.
“I think a lot of fresh law students probably don’t have experience running a business or a law office and that’s one of the main reasons we just knew we had to get Jennifer because she’s been in a small law office […] for over a decade, and we knew her experience was instrumental in this venture being a success,” said Kibbey.
Although the three exhibit different backgrounds and areas of expertise, they make a solid, well-rounded team. Glover said, “We’re all so different – I think it is a really good thing – we balance well.”
One of their initial goals is to help serve rural populations in Arkansas. The majority of all Arkansas lawyers work in Pulaski County, which can often leave those in rural populations with limited access to lawyers. The firm is in the process of opening satellite locations in the state – with the first in Glenwood – Kibbey’s hometown.
“We all three have different specialties,” Kibbey explained. Kibbey and Goose both have an interest in helping small businesses, as he went on, “Legal expenses can be very very expensive, and we want to be an affordable for small business in Arkansas.” Goose also has an interest in veteran affairs and Glover wants to work with LGBTQ communities.
When asked what advice the team would give those starting out in the legal field, Glover mentioned finding a mentor. “Find someone you can ask a question, even if you feel like it’s a dumb question,” she said. Kibbey echoed this sentiment.
Goose said the most important thing to do is to “Go for it. Law school is too much work not to try it.”
Learn more about Natural State Law’s services online at natstatelaw.com.