Andrew Pappas ('09) is a near-native Arizonan (since age 3) with close ties to the state that he now serves, along with a wide range of experiences living and working elsewhere.
grew up in Tucson and graduated from Catalina Foothills High School in 2000. He then attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, enrolling in Arizona Law right after graduation in 2004. But, he says,
"I had a change of heart that summer and -- in large part thanks to (former Assistant Dean of Admissions) Terry Holpert's kindness and patience -- ended up deferring my admission for two years to work at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. Dean Holpert told me I could return to Tucson once I'd fixed the mess in D.C., but I returned a bit sooner, entering Arizona Law in August 2006."
At that point, he was eager to begin law school and to return to Tucson after six years away.
Andrew cherishes great memories of his three years at Arizona Law, especially, he says, memories of many superb professors here.
"If I had to choose one standout memory, it would be the very beginning of my civil procedure class with Professor
in the fall of 2006. Professor White, who was also starting his first semester at Arizona Law, introduced the subject with civil-rights era cases that immediately made procedure seem vital and potent, not technical or dry. Those lectures inspired a career-long interest in complex procedural questions, and twelve years later I remember them vividly."
From Andrew's law school graduation in 2009 until last August, he worked in Los Angeles as an associate attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, primarily on appeals and class actions, as well as employment and general commercial litigation matters.
Between California and Arizona last summer, Andrew and his now-wife Emily
took a stunning detour through Norway.
Last summer, Andrew returned to Arizona from California, joining the Arizona Attorney General's Office in Phoenix as Assistant Solicitor General. He continues to work primarily on appeals but now focuses on federalism and other constitutional questions -- issues that Andrew was deeply interested in even before law school.
In his experience,
"Being an appellate specialist means being a subject-matter generalist, and that requires learning new things every day on an amazing variety of subjects. That's what I've most enjoyed both in private practice and at the Attorney General's Office. That my new position also gives me the chance to serve my home state is a huge bonus."
lifelong Arizona basketball fan, Andrew says there's almost no spot in Tucson he'd rather be than McKale Center. Two other favorite Tucson spots are the Tucson Music Hall and Leo Rich Theater, home to two under-appreciated Tucson arts institutions: the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.
In his new home of Phoenix, Andrew enjoys being active outdoors. Favorites are Murphy's Bridle Path, "a great place to run that's shaded by huge, historic ash and olive trees," and the bike and running paths along the Arizona Canal.
Andrew was also a 1L in one of my earlier Arizona Law classes, and I have distinct memories of his early legal exploits. We have kept in regular contact since he graduated, mostly during my frequent LA visits to our many California alumni and friends of the college.
It's great to catch up with you, Andrew, and we look forward to seeing you at the bar convention and back at your law school
on a future visit.