UPCOMING EVENTS

Greetings,

mock trial
Judge Ted Borek advises students in Barbara Bergman's trial advocacy class during mock trials held last spring in our downtown Tucson courtrooms. Professor Bergman's class is just one example of the practical training opportunities we offer.
One of the major trends in modern legal education is towards more "experiential" learning. And Arizona Law is at the front of the pack.
 
For many lawyers in the past, a great law school education would teach them to think like a lawyer, and provide both broad and focused foundations in different substantive areas. Most drafting in class or moot court settings would be of trial and appellate briefs. 
 
Now, responding both to the national trend and demands from employers and students, we believe that every student should be exposed to the core aspects of the practice of law. Students need to know how to interview clients, how to engage in discovery practice, and how to wrestle knotty questions of applied ethics. They need to know about the economics of legal practice, something about how a law firm operates, something about the impact of changes in practice, including those brought about by technology.
 
We are deeply committed to this new vision, where we build on longstanding strengths in clinical education and legal writing.
 
Today, with 14 clinics, we guarantee clinical placement for every student who wants it, and many clinic participants describe it as the most valuable part of their degree. (Be sure to read further in this issue to see the recent success story out of our 9th Circuit Appellate Representation Clinic.)
 
We have created a new position in the Career Development Office to maximize student externship opportunities. Amanda Bynum ('09) has been hired for that role--learn more about her below. (And welcome back to campus, Amanda!) 

We have also strategically recrafted the curriculum to include more simulation and skills courses, from legal writing and advanced drafting, to trial advocacy and mediation, to professionalism and legal practice.
 
These efforts and more make Arizona Law a national leader in practical training: National Jurist magazine ranks us as #4 in the country.
 
But more important than any ranking is the satisfaction that comes with knowing our students have a deep and engaged learning experience and leave Arizona Law better prepared to succeed in the law.

Until next time,

 

The winning team from the 9th Circuit Clinic, with director Willie Jordan-Curtis
In the beginning of their 3L year, Ashley St. ClairNick AlsakaMatthew HoxsieJoseph Radochonski, and Slade Smith began work representing a plaintiff who had lost a claim against her employer. 

The stakes were high, but the students from Arizona Law's 9th Circuit Appellate Representation Clinic were ready and in the end, came away with an impressive victory.

The students worked under the supervision of clinic director and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Willie Jordan-Curtis.

The students worked for months to identify appealable issues, file multiple briefs and prepare for oral arguments in April. 

"It's not a student thing--it's real," says St. Clair, who was the team lead. "We went up against the same lawyers who argued the case in trial." 

The students presented their prepared arguments in front of a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit's Pasadena, California courthouse.  

"It was really exhilarating," St. Clair says. "Most lawyers never get a chance to go to the 9th Circuit. It's really a privilege and a pleasure to go there." 

The next month they graduated and then began studying for the bar exam. Finally, on Aug. 22, the court's decision was rendered: reversed and remanded. The client was shocked--but thrilled--with the victory, St. Clair says. 

The work does not stop just because they graduated. The team is helping their client find new pro bono representation in San Diego. 

St. Clair is now returning to her hometown of Las Vegas to work in the consumer rights division of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. She says the clinic experience taught her volumes of practical skills, from client contact to teamwork to time management. And she learned the benefits of the mentorship provided by Jordan-Curtis.

Says St. Clair of working in the 9th Circuit Clinic, "It's extremely challenging, but very rewarding."

Around the College
Amanda Bynum Amanda Bynum ('09) has been named the director of externships and bar success, a newly formed position in Arizona Law's Career Development Office (CDO). She will help students find externships and work with employers to create new opportunities and will also be a resource in helping 3Ls prepare for the bar exam.

"I was drawn to this position because of the opportunity to bring even more experiential learning opportunities to students," says Bynum, who previously was a criminal defense attorney in private and public practice and also led the college's Criminal Defense Clinic.

Assistant dean for CDO Karen Kowalski says,"Under Amanda's leadership, our externship program will allow students to gain practical experience and to enrich the environment of host organizations. Amanda and I look forward to working with the Arizona legal community to meaningfully connect interested organizations with student externs." 

mock trial
Tucson teens acting out Regina v. Harry Potter
In August, 
Arizona Law Review kicked off its new community service initiative, ALR Gives Back.
 
Second- and third-year ALR members hosted nearly 20 teens from a Tucson youth services organization for a special event at the College of Law. The teens took a tour of the college and learned how to interpret laws using the common law definition of burglary, debating ideas such as what constitutes "intent to commit a felony."

Students prepped for and participated in a Harry Potter-themed mock trial, in which Harry Potter was accused of second degree murder in the death of Professor Quirrel. After the jury hung and the judge dismissed the charges, the day wrapped up with a pizza party. 

"Lots of us came to law school with the intent of helping others, but sometimes that gets lost between school work, internships and clinics, and the job hunt," said Sara WrightALR's senior note editor and the event organizer. "I'm hoping by doing more projects like this, we'll remember why we started down this path in the first place and have the opportunity to make a difference in the community in which many of us will practice."

Arizona Law in the News
Arizona Republic, quotes Professor Toni Massaro and Professor Dave Marcus from previous testimony before the Legislature
Arizona Public Media, commentary from Immigration Clinic Co-Director Lynn Marcus

Austin American-Statesman, op-ed from Professor Dave Marcus 

  

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University of Arizona James E Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway, Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
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