Raina Wagner ('12) is a triple wildcat. Originally from Tucson, she has earned a University of Arizona BA in history and journalism, an MFA in creative writing, and her JD.
But the degrees came on her time. Raina worked as a journalist at the Arizona Daily Star and The Seattle Times for nearly a decade before returning to the U of A for her law degree.
She selected Arizona Law for the small classes, nationally respected faculty, and extensive clinical programs. The move also allowed her son and daughter to spend more of their childhoods with their grandparents in Tucson.
Looking back on her time at the college, she shares her favorite memory,
"I had a group of friends who really enjoyed Professor Donald Large's property class as 1Ls. He was very tough, but his no-nonsense delivery and endless humorous anecdotes made a hard class enjoyable. We all opted to take his advanced class as 2Ls.
Then, when we were second semester 3Ls -- and trying to plan out as easy a schedule as possible -- we learned that Prof. Large was going to teach Conflicts of Law for 2Ls and 3Ls. It's one of the hardest subjects with a known-tough teacher. But we signed up for it anyway.
And during his last lecture, Prof. Large delivered a little soliloquy for the 3Ls, the Class of 2012, calling us his favorite class of students ever in his long life of teaching law. He acknowledged it was slightly impolitic to laud us this way right in front of the 2Ls, but he did it anyway -- which made us all laugh. It was a sweet and personal ending to my three years at Arizona Law."
She recalls many her favorite Tucson activities, including seeing many shows at Centennial Hall, watching her kids' swim meets at Highland Vista Pool, and exploring Saguaro National Park. She says,
"I highly recommend a full-moon night hike in the desert at Saguaro National East. It's amazing how much you can see via moonlight."
Today, Raina is a senior associate at K&L Gates in Seattle. Working in the firm's Complex Commercial Disputes Practice Group, she specializes in trade secrets with a focus on complex e-discovery.
She works with partners who handle huge matters for clients like Amazon, but more often works on smaller cases with mid-size business owners who are trying navigate business or financial conflicts. She also maintains a robust practice with government clients, such as the City of Seattle, King County, and various school districts.
"With public clients, I often work them through issues involving the Washington Public Records Act, which is fun because it's in the same world as my prior life as a journalist -- though interestingly, these days I am more likely to find myself on the other side of that conflict."
If you are in Seattle, Raina recommends enjoying the water. Her favorite places include the cliff view of Puget Sound in Discovery Park and Puget Sound from Lincoln Park in West Seattle. For a more involved adventure, she encourages visitors to kayak the San Juan Islands.