ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                       July 31, 2013



This week's featured members of the Arizona Law community are student Rebekah Wallace Elliott, Professor Shun-Ling Chen, and alum Francisco Aguilar.


With roots in Kentucky, Taiwan, and Tucson, and professional interests ranging from the digital commons to pro sports, they reflect the diversity and breadth of the Arizona Law experience.


Until the footnotes,



Student News

Rebekah Wallace Elliott (Class of 2015)


Like many of our students, Rebekah Wallace Elliott is an alumnus of Teach for America.


Originally from the small town of Madisonville, Kentucky, she received her BBA in Finance from the University of Kentucky before coming to Phoenix, where she taught elementary special education with Teach for America for two years.  She earned her M.Ed. from Arizona State University.


"Toward the end of my second year of teaching, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in law," she says. "I applied to law schools all over the country. Ultimately, I felt that Arizona Law was the right choice for me. I liked the smaller class sizes, academic environment, and collegial atmosphere."


Rebekah has spent her summer as an intern at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix. She learned about the firm through our Office of Career Services and participated in spring On-Campus Interviewing. 


"My summer experience has been great," she says. "I've worked on projects in a variety of practice areas, including health care, corporate law, labor and employment, and commercial litigation. I have also been able to attend oral arguments and meetings with clients." Rebekah's not sure what she wants to do with her JD, which is why she has cherished the exposure to so many practice areas at Snell & Wilmer.


Rebekah looks forward to returning to campus in a few weeks. "Law school is the first time in my education that I've been excited about attending every class," she says. "One of the things I enjoyed most about my first year is my small section. I came into class on the first day nervous, alone, and unsure of what to expect. I found out right away that almost everyone else felt the same way.  My small section became my support group, study group, and some of my best friends."


While Rebekah found Legal Writing especially daunting, she says, "I ended up receiving awards for outstanding memo and outstanding oral argument. My most challenging course also ended up being the most rewarding."


You can connect with Rebekah on LinkedIn.

Faculty News
Shun-Ling Chen


Shun-Ling Chen joins our faculty August 1 as a Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP).


The VAP program brings promising young teachers and scholars to Arizona Law for two years, during which they serve as members of the faculty, teaching, doing research, and writing articles. Shun-Ling is one of two VAPs who will join the faculty for two years: the other is Jason Kreag, who will teach Criminal Law.


"Arizona Law is home to many scholars whom I've read and admired," she says. "The VAP program shows strong commitment to young scholars, and the faculty and staff have been friendly and supportive. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity."


Shun-Ling earned her LLB and LLM from National Taiwan University and an LLM at Harvard Law, where she also earned her SJD in May. Her research focuses on Intellectual Property, and she will teach International Intellectual Property at Arizona Law starting this fall.


"Intellectual Property is a field that affects our day-to-day life," Shun-Ling says. "International IP is not only about international trade and economic growth; it is also about basic livelihood and survival. Think of pharmaceutical patents and generic drugs, or the patenting of genetically modified crops and the work of traditional seed breeders. International IP is a field that challenges students with a variety of policy considerations, principles of social justice, and ideals of the good life."


She came to the field "by accident," she says. "I'd worked with indigenous communities in Taiwan since I was in college, mostly on land rights and self-governance issues. My indigenous friends taught me to think more deeply about the study of law."


Seeking a change, Shun-Ling accepted an invitation to help build a free community platform for software developers. She co-founded Creative Commons Taiwan as a local counterpart to the US-based organization that prepares free, easy-to-use copyright licenses for authors, artists, and educators to allow wider uses of their works.


"We introduced Creative Commons licenses to Taiwan because we thought it was a good way to engage a wider range of practitioners--musicians, photographers, bloggers, anthropologists, archivists, etc.--to rethink what copyright should do for the public," Shun-Ling says. She also has published several research papers about Wikipedia and worked as a legal intern at the Wikimedia Foundation.


Shun-Ling learned of Arizona Law through the research of our own faculty. She cites Professor James Anaya's book Indigenous Peoples in International Law and Professor Carol Rose's scholarship on the "commons" as particularly influential. At Arizona Law, she'll work closely with her VAP mentors, Professors Derek Bambauer and Brent White, and says she looks forward to learning more about our Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy program.


This will be her first time living in the Southwest. "I am looking forward to living in Arizona, a state that is known for being the home to various groups of indigenous peoples, for having a magnificent landscape, and for its vibrant art and culture," she says.

Alumni News
Francisco Aguilar (JD/MBA '04)


Francisco "Cisco" Aguilar is a major player in the business of professional sports. He is General Counsel for Agassi Graf Holdings and the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and was reappointed in 2012 by Nevada's Governor for a second term on the Nevada Athletic Commission.


Cisco's leadership skills were evident long before coming to the U of A, where he earned his BS in Finance and Accounting in 2000 and a joint JD/MBA in 2004. At Maxwell Middle School, the Tucson native was class president. He went on to become U of A student body president, representing 35,000 students.


Long interested in banking, Cisco cultivated a passion for lobbying and the law as U of A student body president. "I spent a considerable amount of time lobbying at the Arizona Legislature and really enjoyed it," he says.


In law school, he worked at Wells Fargo's executive office in Tucson. "The bankers kept telling me how the lawyers were always killing their deals," he recalls. "I thought, 'If I am going to be a lawyer and want to be a banker, I better have a deeper understanding of business to help alleviate the notion that lawyers do not understand business.'"


While Cisco participated in football, wrestling, and track in high school, he says, "I never thought in a million years my career would focus so heavily on sports and athletes. The fact that I get to work in sports every day is a gift."


At Agassi Graf Holdings, the management company for Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, Cisco is responsible for legal affairs, communications, brand management, and external affairs.


"In business, Andre and Stefanie are global brands with high-brand values," Cisco says. "Agassi Graf includes everything from a major private equity fund to several tech start-ups, traditional athlete endorsement deals, major events, two extremely active foundations, and a tuition-free public charter school with 1,200 students. Over the last five years, we have grown at unprecedented levels, and we are proud of what we have done. "


Beyond Agassi Graf, Cisco spends considerable time as a member of the Nevada Athletic Commission, which regulates boxing and mixed martial arts (Ultimate Fighting Championship) in the state. He also serves on the board of the Marshall Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Tucson that provides major funding for the University of Arizona and a variety of Tucson charities.


Cisco has been a committed and active member of the Arizona Law and University of Arizona communities. He served on the Law College Association (LCA) Board of Directors from 2004 to 2008 and the LCA Board of Visitors in 2008. He received the University's Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2008.


He returns to Arizona frequently for his work with the Marshall Foundation and is an avid Wildcats football and basketball fan.


You can connect with Cisco on Facebook.


"Death of DOMA" Panel on August 28 Features Toni Massaro and Barbara Atwood


Constitutional law scholars Toni Massaro and Barbara Atwood will speak on a panel titled "Death of DOMA: Implications for Arizona?" on August 28, from 4 to 5:15 pm in Ares Auditorium (Room 164) at Arizona Law.


They'll be joined by attorney and alum Steven Phillips ('71) for what promises to be a lively discussion on the US Supreme Court decisions in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry and the financial and legal implications for attorneys and same-sex couples in Arizona.


Toni, the Regents' Professor, Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law and Dean Emerita, and Barbara, the Mary Anne Richey Professor Emerita, co-authored an opinion piece, "Gay Marriage: Let's Talk," published in the Arizona Republic in March, and have frequently commented on the cases. Steven is a Tucson-based tax attorney specializing in business and estate planning transactions and estate administration.


The panel will be held in a Q-and-A format. Up to 1.25 hours of CLE credit are available. Seating is first-come, first served. Don't miss this timely presentation by two of our most distinguished faculty members and a noted alum.


Derek Bambauer Discusses Gene Patent Ruling on "Arizona Illustrated"


Professor Derek Bambauer discussed the recent US Supreme Court ruling on gene patenting, along with the U of A's BIO5 Director Fernando Martinez, on KUAT's "Arizona Illustrated" program on July 23. You can watch the interview here.


New Master's in Legal Studies for Non-Lawyers


I am pleased to announce our new Master's in Legal Studies for non-lawyers, which we are offering for the first time this fall. The program, which can be completed in as little as one year or as much as four years, is designed for individuals who work or intend to work in a profession requiring some legal knowledge but not a JD. This is the first time the law school has been authorized to offer degrees to non-lawyers.


Professionals who will benefit from this degree include those working in businesses with extensive international trade; auditors; court clerks and others working in the judicial and legal system; financial advisers; immigration officers; health professionals (especially those who are in, or want to be in, management positions); lobbyists; law librarians; and real estate brokers. For more information, contact Professor and Associate Dean Brent White at 520-626-2063 or


Update Your Contact Information


In an effort to stay in closer contact with all of our alumni, we are asking you to update your contact information this summer. Please help us by filling out the brief form at the link below. Let us know the best way to contact you. Tell us more about your career and how we can better serve you. You can find the form here.


Start Them Young!

Career Development Director

Leah Won's family
Michael R. King's ('79, BA '75) grandchild




Dean's Alumni Receptions, New York City, NY - August 6 RSVP


"Death of DOMA" Panel, Arizona Law - August 28


See above; for more information, contact Toni Massaro at 520-626-2687 or


Around the law school, the excitement that comes with welcoming our new class and returning students continues to grow as we turn the corner into August.




Marc Signature  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law

James E. Rogers College of Law

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