Hurst to Receive UAFS Young Alumni Award

rebecca hurst
Rebecca Hurst

Rebecca Hurst, managing partner at Smith Hurst law firm, will receive the second annual Young Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s Alumni Association, recognizing the alumna’s successful career in business law and service to the university.


Hurst will be honored at the Homecoming Reunion Social at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown, located at 101 N. 2nd Street. Tickets for the event are $30 and can be purchased by visiting


Hurst, who always had aspirations of entering the field of business law, graduated in 2000 with a degree in accounting from the University Center on Westark College’s campus prior to UAFS becoming a four-year university, which she said provided her a solid educational foundation.


“I felt like I had a great education and the program gave me an education I could apply to the real world,” she said. “David Craig was my statistics and economics professor, and his classes gave such a good foundation for application of these subjects, not only for the upper-level bachelor’s degree courses I had to take, but also for use in the real world after college.”


After a brief stint as a corporate accountant, Hurst went on to earn her law degree from the University of Arkansas and her Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University.


Since then, Hurst has established herself as a top estate planning and business lawyer in northwest Arkansas after co-founding Smith Hurst, initially Fayetteville and now located in Rogers. The firm works with the businesses, estates and charitable organizations of some of Arkansas’ highest net worth individuals and families.


Her work has led her to be recognized in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list of business leaders and successful individuals, as well as a 2012 and 2013 Rising Star by Mid-South Super Lawyers in the field of estate planning and probate. She has also been named a Super Lawyer each year since 2014 by the same organization. Additionally, she has been awarded an AV rating by the attorney directory Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating available for a lawyer's legal ability and professional ethics.


Her service to UAFS includes two three-year terms on the UAFS Alumni Advisory Council and her current appointment as a member of the UAFS Foundation Board, in addition to numerous speaking engagements given to students.


Rick Goins, director of alumni affairs at UAFS, lauded Hurst’s “invaluable” service to the university.


“Rebecca’s six years of service on the Alumni Advisory Council as chair of the by-laws committee were invaluable,” he said. “We relied on her legal skills multiple times as the association grew. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her as a new member of the UAFS Foundation Board, and she has graciously agreed to be the AAC ‘legal consultant’ going forward.”


For more information on the event honoring Hurst, contact Goins at 479-788-7026 or


Article by John Post, Director of Public Information
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
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