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This week's three featured members of the Arizona Law community are student Eddie Walneck, Professor Susie Salmon, and alumnus Judge Frank Zapata. Enjoy!


Until the footnotes,




Student News
Eddie Walneck (Class of 2014)

This week I had a chance to sit down and talk with rising 3L, Eddie Walneck, the new Editor-in-Chief of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law and Vice President of the Student Bar Association.


A Safford, Arizona native, Eddie spent four years in Asia and six years on the East Coast completing his bachelor's degree from Harvard and working for Representative Ann Kirkpatrick ('79) before returning to Arizona for law school.

  Walneck, Eddie

When I asked Eddie how he selected Arizona Law, he credited Rep. Kirkpatrick for encouraging him to consider Arizona Law. "I had other law school options, but upon my visit to Arizona Law I was impressed with the atmosphere - it was more than just a college of law, it was a community. I have found that Arizona Law is unique because students celebrate each other's successes, and the small class size allows for substantial and meaningful interaction with the faculty that's hard to find at other law schools."


Eddie's favorite experiences from his time at the College have confirmed that our alumni are a strong part of Arizona Law. "Last summer I worked for US District Judge Frank Zapata ('73). During the spring semester, I was at Lewis and Roca with John Hinderaker ('96) and several other alumni. Judge Zapata and his clerks - all Arizona Law alums - and Mr. Hinderaker were great mentors in helping me develop new legal skills and demonstrating to me how many of the skills I have learned during my time at Arizona Law were relevant in the practice of law."


Eddie is interested in connecting with alumni of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. Any Journal alumni interested in getting involved should contact Eddie for additional information.


After graduation, Eddie would like to clerk with a judge in Arizona or elsewhere before pursuing a career in commercial litigation. This summer, he will be in Phoenix working for a law firm.

For more information on Eddie, you can visit his
LinkedIn profile. 


Faculty News
Susie Salmon

Susie Salmon has been with the College since 2010 as the Assistant Director of Legal Writing. Even though Susie, an Associate Clinical Professor, says that the best things in her life always seem to happen by accident, her love of teaching has always guided her journey.


Salmon, Susie 1

After Susie graduated from UCLA with a degree in English, she spent a few years working in hotels and interning for a variety of politicians and political organizations, but neither career really clicked. She admits, "I did learn to nod and smile while people yelled at me, which is a highly useful skill for a lawyer and for a legal-writing professor."


When she started applying to law schools, she took a very strategic approach. "I looked at schools located in cities with National League baseball teams since I'm a huge Dodger fan - which hasn't been terribly rewarding since, oh, 1988."


"UC Hastings turned out to be a great fit for me - I loved the city, I loved my classes, I loved being an articles editor on law review, I loved moot court, but most of all, I loved being a teaching assistant." Upon graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and spent a little more than five years as a litigation associate at O'Melveny & Myers.


"The job required long hours, but involved fascinating, front-page legal work with incredibly brilliant people and interesting clients. I met my partner, Kevin, there, which was a nice bonus! When life led Kevin to Tucson, I followed and joined Quarles & Brady in their litigation group."


In 2007, a friend of Susie's mentioned that Arizona Law was looking for adjunct legal writing professors. "I began teaching the following semester, and I fell in love. When the Assistant Director position opened a year and a half later, I applied, thinking it was a long shot. Imagine my surprise..."


Susie enjoys teaching, but says she misses some things about law practice, so she makes a point to keep her skills sharp. "Last summer, I second-chaired two trials with the Pima County Public Defender's Office, and got two 'not guilty' verdicts."


"I also occasionally handle cases for the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, including a Ninth Circuit appeal that I briefed and argued a couple of years ago. I have plans to second-chair another trial or two this summer; I think it's really important to maintain my skills so that I'm better able to help my students hone theirs."


Susie was struck by the supportive community she found at Arizona Law. "Sure, the students are competitive, but they also champion each other and foster a collaborative, cooperative atmosphere. And I enjoy working with a group of passionate, opinionated, truly brilliant scholars."


Understanding her dedication to her students, I asked Susie if she has a favorite class to teach. "That's a really hard question - each class has its own special appeal. Teaching the 1L class, I get to see students mount that steep first-semester learning curve - I watch students find their voices as legal writers, and I enjoy the many 'light bulb' moments."


"Moot court has a special place in my heart, though. Oral argument is just about the most fun you can have as a lawyer. My moot court professor called it 'sports for lawyers,' and it is that and more. I love seeing students become more nimble thinkers, and I especially enjoy watching a student knock a tough question out of the park."


Susie has also been a leader in working with lawyers and judges outside the College, as well as with her colleagues, staff, and students inside the College to develop a curricular framework to take full advantage of the February bar project.


Salmon, Susie 2

Outside of teaching, Susie enjoys singing in her band. "Performing with The Gotes for the past few years has been a lot of fun and a great outlet for stress - and for all the goofiness that I try to suppress most of the time. Most trial attorneys are giant hams, and you definitely see that with our group!"


"We mostly play covers - lately we're doing a lot of stuff from the 1980s and '90s - but we also have a few original songs, including one that Kevin and I wrote called 'TV Boyfriend,' which will be in our set at the Battle of the Bands at the State Bar Convention." You can find out more about The Gotes on their Facebook and YouTube pages.


Susie also enjoys being involved in the Tucson community. "I'm on the Steering Committee for the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, and I'm Vice Chair of the Board of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. It's a good thing that my dog, Phoebe, is a spoiled only child; she's the only thing standing between me and 'crazy dog lady' status."


At home, Kevin's two daughters are seniors in high school and are headed to college in the fall. While Susie will miss attending their plays and choir performances, she looks forward to visiting them at Amherst College and UC San Diego next year. "My latest distraction, though, is running. I ran my first 10K on May 5, I'm doing a mini-triathlon in July, and I hope to run my first half-marathon in my hometown of San Luis Obispo, CA in October."

For more information on Susie, you can visit her faculty profile.


Alumni News
Frank Zapata ('73)

US District Court Judge Frank Zapata, like Eddie Walneck, is a native of Safford, Arizona. He is a two-time wildcat (BA, '66) who received the University of Arizona Alumni Association's Public Service Award at the Law College Association Dinner last month.


During the dinner, we honored Judge Zapata for his many years of public service. Here is a brief snapshot of how he has given back to his community.


Zapata, Frank
Judge Zapata at this year's LCA Dinner

Judge Zapata was a staff attorney of Pima County Legal Aid Society for two years after which he became a federal public defender - a position he held for twenty years. He then served as a US Magistrate Judge for two years before being nominated as a US District Court Judge by President Clinton in 1996, eventually taking senior status on the court in 2010. Judge Zapata's service to the community began before he was a law student: prior to law school, he served as a public school teacher in Arizona.


While I will not attempt to re-tell all the stories from the LCA Dinner, I would like to share two of my favorites with you. Dean Willie Jordan-Curtis did a masterful job introducing Judge Zapata and celebrating his commitment to the public. In her introduction, she spoke about how, for many years, every class of incoming law students has visited Judge Zapata's chambers. During this visit, he has a "father/son or father/daughter" conversation with every student. Judge Zapata helps the students start their career in the right way by talking about the gravity of the journey on which they are about to embark. He encourages each of them to be courteous to one another, to be prepared, and to be on time. Judge Zapata has made it a priority over the years to meet with hundreds of Arizona Law students.


My other favorite story is about the letter that alumnus Fred Kay ('64) penned nominating Judge Zapata for his award. Fred worked with Judge Zapata for about twenty years at the office of the Federal Public Defender, and wrote, "Frank took his role as a public defender seriously. He was always respectful to his clients, and he always was an impeccable dresser. On a few occasions, there was discussion at work about lawyers and staff being allowed to dress down a bit to relax. Frank refused to compromise on this issue and said we were not there for our quality of life, but for our clients."


Each year at the College of Law, we host a naturalization ceremony, and this year, Judge Zapata was the guest speaker. During the ceremony, he spoke about the opportunities available to the newly naturalized citizens. He spoke of how the son of migrant workers can come to this country, get an education, and become a judge. He spoke of the importance of public service.

Judge Zapata's personal story inspired all of those in the room. I hope his story and dedication to public service inspire each of you as well.



Online Recurring Giving: Green, Great, Grateful

Are you wondering how you can make a difference? A gift to the Arizona Law Fund allows us to support student scholarships, provide critical funding for key priorities, and develop important student enrichment events.


Our new online option to make monthly gifts using a credit card is an easier, greener way to support Arizona Law:


Every gift matters. Recurring giving is a way to show your steady support for the College of Law as we continue to guide one of the world's great public law schools through changing and challenging times.




Denver Alumni Reception - May 22

Attention Denver alumni: Arizona Law is coming to your town! The firm of Dorsey Whitney is hosting the event from noon - 1pm on May 22nd. Professor Chris Robertson will be presenting his latest research on juries and the credibility of expert witnesses. For more information and to register, click here. We hope you will join us for lunch and the presentation.


13th Annual Himelic Memorial Dinner and Golf Classic, May 31 - June 1

This Tucson event raises funds for ALS Research at the UA College of Medicine. Since it began in 2001, the dinner and golf classic has raised more than $832,000 to benefit ALS research at the University. Golf enthusiasts can experience the Westin La Paloma Resort's private Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, while non-golfers can enjoy dinner, auctions, and dancing to live music.


The weekend was established to honor Jim Himelic ('73), a former Pima County Juvenile Court judge who lost his battle with ALS in 2000. Now, his daughter, Ana ('05), continues to help raise funds in search of a cure for the disease. For more information on the event, including how to register, click here.


Battle of the Bands - June 20

The State Bar of Arizona is again sponsoring a Battle of the Bands at this year's annual convention. Hosted at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, this year's battle will take place on Thursday, June 20 from 5pm - 7:30pm. It will feature The Gotes and Guilty as Sin trying to unseat the 2011 champions, Los Big Grandes - featuring Judge Philip Espinosa ('83). For more information, click here . 






Marc MillerMarc Signature  


Interim Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
James E. Rogers College of Law

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