ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                        May 22, 2013



This week's three featured members of the Arizona Law community are graduating student Patrick Holkins, Professor Kirsten Engel, and alumnus James Stroud. Enjoy!


Until the footnotes,





Student News
Patrick Holkins (Class of 2013)


HolkinsBorn and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Patrick Holkins ventured east to attend Harvard University, majoring in government. While there, he was awarded a year-long public service fellowship to promote hearing health in rural South Africa. In 2010, he returned to the US to begin law school.


"Like many of my classmates, I chose Arizona Law for its small size, amazing faculty, and reputation for academic excellence. But I won't deny that after eight New England winters the desert lifestyle was very appealing. I could not be happier with my choice."


During law school, Patrick took courses in employment and disability law and served as an Articles Editor for the Arizona Law Review. In addition to interning with the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General and Pima County Juvenile Court, Patrick worked in Washington, D.C. as a summer associate at Relman, Dane & Colfax and as an extern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission- Office of General Counsel.


In August, he will begin a one-year clerkship with Justice John Pelander ('76) at the Arizona Supreme Court, after which he hopes to pursue a career as a civil rights litigator in Washington, DC. Currently, Patrick spends much of his free time preparing to take the Virginia Bar Exam in July.


Patrick's also committed to another passion in his life. "Reflecting on my personal experience with hearing loss, I am active as an advocate in the hard of hearing community, both in the US and abroad. In addition to founding community groups for hard of hearing young adults in Boston and Tucson, before law school I started a non-profit organization - Hear Now South Africa- to promote hearing loss detection and intervention services in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. I hope to build on these efforts in the future."


For more information on Patrick, visit his LinkedIn Profile.

Faculty News
Kirsten Engel
Assistant Dean and Professor Kirsten Engel found her way to the University of Arizona as part of an academic team. Both dreamed of the opportunity to teach at the same University. When   Professor Scott Saleska -- aka Kirsten's husband -- landed an interview at the UofA in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Kirsten reached out to then-dean Toni Massaro. Toni invited Kirsten to interview. According to Kirsten, "Neither my husband nor I will ever forget the dinner Toni threw for us during a joint interview trip which was attended by scientists and law professors.  It was exhilarating.  After that dinner, we knew wanted to teach here.  We were both fortunate enough to be offered jobs, and we've been here ever since."


Engel When I asked Kirsten about her career path she had a lot to say. "It's a tremendous privilege to teach law, but I am also energized by the practice of law, especially government practice that combines legal practice skills with the making of policy.  As a result, my career has zig-zagged between academia and some incredible posts in government." 


A graduate of Northwestern Law School in Chicago, her home town, Kirsten started her career in a Fargo, North Dakota clerkship with a great federal judge and a delightful person--Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals judge Myron Bright. After her clerkship, Kirsten joined the General Counsel's Office of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.  "Of all my various legal jobs", she says "my time at EPA was the most important because I not only learned about environmental law, but also about the workings of an administrative agency which led to my subsequent interest in and teaching of administrative law." 


Kirsten's career has included various stints working for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, the Massachusett's Attorney General, the EPA, and serving as the liaison between the Attorney General's office and the Muslim community after 911. On the academic side, she has taught at Tulane, Harvard, and Vanderbilt-all fine practice rounds for the special opportunity to teach at Arizona.


Kirsten joined the Arizona Law faculty in 2004 and became the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in 2012. Kirsten's broad and extensive practice experience helps her to advise and guide students interested in careers in administrative and environmental law.


To connect with Kirsten, visit her faculty profile.

Alumni News
James Stroud ('74)
Lawyers in Pima County are likely very familiar with this week's featured alumnus:   James (Jim)Stroud  Stroud. Late last month, Jim became the second recipient of the Peter Economidis Lifetime Achievement Award.   The award, named in honor of alumnus Peter Economidis ('65) , was created by the family law attorney community to recognize an attorney who has dedicated his/her career to family law and made significant contributions to the advancement of family law practice. 


Jim certainly fits the bill. Jim began practicing law in 1975. Very early on, he discovered a passion for Family Law. According to Jim, "Family law provided an opportunity to do right by people and what is best for children." 


In 1988 he was selected as a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Jim is a former chair of the family section of the State Bar and a former co-chair of the family law section of the Pima County Bar Association.


Jim regularly served on court and bar committees. He served on the governor's committee that drafted the Arizona Child Support Guidelines, as well as the Arizona Supreme Court committee to review and revise those guidelines. 


Jim's practice came to an end in 2010 after he suffered a massive stroke. However, Jim is still an integral part of the family law community. These days, Jim meets with friends and practitioners once a week at the "Friends of Jim Club" started by Professor Barbara Atwood ('76) where a group of attorneys get together to talk with Jim about legal issues.


Jim studied speech communication as a graduate student at the University of Southern California after receiving his bachelor of arts degree at the University of Arizona. He and his wife Betty Jo, also a lawyer, have one child.





grad2Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of awarding 148 JDs, 13 LLMs, and 3 SJDs.


Graduates and their family and friends were charmed by student graduation speakers Jonay Foster and Caylin Barter, and touched by the impressive life story of graduation speaker and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge Mary Murguia. grad1


We also honored three distinguished alumni-Anil Kankani ('95), Mike King ('79), and Sharon Marcus-Kurn ('86), and gave an honorary alumna award to our long-time former Assistant Dean of Career Services Mary Birmingham. In these four distinguish representatives and friends of the college, graduates saw their own paths unfolding into the future.


Graduation was the culmination of two days of celebration at the College including a new tradition--a pre-graduation party at the College. We also held an awards ceremony on Friday morning.   Congratulations again to the superb class of 2013.


Movers and Shakers


Is there something new or interesting going on in your life or your career? Do you have updated contact information or generally want to be more in touch with the college? You can always email us your latest news at


Also, the Wildcat Wednesday - Letter of the Law is available every week for any colleague, family member, or friend who would like to keep track of life at the College. Anyone can sign up here.





CLE - Drafting Wills in Indian Country - May 29


The Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program is partnering with the State Bar to offer a series of CLEs focused on navigating Indian Law. On Wednesday, May 29 from 12pm - 1pm, this month's topic, Drafting Wills in Indian Country, will feature speaker Mary Guss, an IPLP Staff Attorney. The event will take place at the State Bar office, on 270 N. Church Avenue in Tucson. For more information, please contact Melissa Tatum.


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's events were 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 featuring Professor Susie Salmon 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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