Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. She was sworn into office Jan. 13, 2015 and is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office. Rutledge is an Arkansas lawyer who has spent her entire career in public service. A former prosecutor, her law practice focused on Administrative Law, State and Local Government and Election Law.
A seventh generation Arkansan, Rutledge grew up on a cattle farm near Batesville and attended public school at the Southside School District in Independence County. From her mother, an elementary school teacher and her father, a lawyer and a judge, Rutledge learned the importance of hard work and service to others.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, she proceeded to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge is admitted to practice law in Arkansas, Washington D.C. and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations lead to real solutions. Since taking office, she has begun a Mobile Office program for all 75 counties, a Military and Veterans Initiative, a Metal Theft Prevention program and a Cooperative Disability Investigations program to stop fraud in Social Security Disability.
Along with making the office more accessible, Rutledge’s priorities have included creating more awareness of the office’s services, such as consumer protection and internet safety for all ages and skill levels; leading efforts to combat domestic violence; and focusing on making the office the top law firm for Arkansans.
Rutledge began work in the Arkansas Court of Appeals clerking for Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Rutledge was selected to serve as Deputy Counsel to the Office of Governor Mike Huckabee working with and advising Arkansas state agencies including: Oil and Gas Commission, Public Service Commission, Insurance Department, Real Estate Commission, Bank Department, and dozens of smaller state agencies and departments. She served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County handling felony cases and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas's Division of Children and Family Services where Rutledge actively advocated for the best interest of Arkansas's most vulnerable.
During her time in Washington, D.C., Rutledge was a key legal leader at the national level working as Deputy Counsel for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign, Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee and ultimately as Counsel for the Republican National Committee including the 2012 Presidential campaign cycle.
Her service extends to leadership in numerous community organizations including the Junior League, Alpha Delta Pi Alumni, National Rifle Association and Women in Networking in Central Arkansas. Rutledge is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the UALR Bowen School of Law Alumni Board, the Federalist Society and the Republican National Lawyers Association.
Rutledge actively works on multi-state issues with other attorneys general including serving as Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association Executive Committee and Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region. She also re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture as part of her commitment to protect Arkansas’s largest industry. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.