ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                       August 14, 2013



This week's featured members of the Arizona Law community are student Bret Shaw, Professor Mona Hymel, and alum Kato Crews.

Until the footnotes,



Student News
Bret Shaw (Class of 2014)


Law students learn of job opportunities in many venues: from career services, from classmates and professors, at career fairs, from alumni, and through networking. Bret Shaw, who has spent the past summer as a clerk at Southern Arizona Legal Aid (SALA)'s Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP), learned of his job on the golf course.

Bret, originally from Richmond, Virginia, earned his BA in government from the University of Virginia in 2004. When he turned his attention to law schools, he says, "My main goal was to move off the East Coast. I wanted a change of scenery and to get a feel for the pace and people of another part of the country. I also looked for good schools with a good sports program, because I'm a sucker for live college basketball. I want a deep tourney run while I'm here, Coach Miller!"

(Bret's referring, of course to Wildcats head basketball Coach Sean Miller.)


After his second year at Arizona Law, Bret returned to Richmond. "I was on the golf course with my dad, when I received an email about a job listing for a clerk at SALA," he says. "The job was too good of a fit to pass up. I had interned with Judge Kyle Bryson on the probate bench at Pima County Superior Court last summer and was familiar with the area of law my position deals with."


Bret has spent the summer working on VLP's Minor Guardianship Court Project at Pima County Superior Court. The project allows volunteer law students and attorneys to aid petitioners seeking minor guardianships before and during their hearing as friends of the court. Every semester, between 10 and 15 of our students gain invaluable experience working as volunteers in this clinical training program, which starts up again on September 9.


Bret is also working on the expansion of VLP's Minor Guardianship Clinics in Pinal and Cochise counties, marketing the clinics and recruiting new attorneys. In a partnership with KARE Family Center, the VLP has run these clinics in Tucson for several years, with volunteer attorneys walking clients through the paperwork and processes required to obtain a guardianship of a minor. Be sure to see our earlier profile of Ernest "Skip" Skinner ('02), who runs VLP's Minor Guardianship Clinics, in "Wildcat Wednesday - Letter of the Law."


Bret will serve as Digital Editor of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law in the coming year. He also will continue working part-time at Southern Arizona Legal Aid.

"Working with SALA has been really rewarding," Bret says, "and I look forward to doing what I can to help more people." Bret's career goal is to work as a staff attorney at an appellate court.


You can connect with Bret on LinkedIn.

Faculty News
Mona Hymel


Mona Hymel defies the stereotype of the bean-counting CPA.

Mona Hymel, third from left, at the 2012 Global Conference on Environmental Taxation in Vancouver, Canada. She will speak at the annual conference again this fall, in Kyoto, Japan.


The oldest of five children, Professor Hymel was raised in a "humongous" family in Louisiana Cajun Country. Her father, one of 13 children, was the first in his family to attend college. Mona would become the first in her family to attend law school. But first, she would earn a BBA in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and spend several years as a CPA at major accounting and energy corporations in Houston, including Arthur Young and Halliburton.

Professional success wasn't enough for Mona. "I realized the only place I'd ever been happy was in school," she says. "I considered getting a PhD in accounting, but decided on a law degree, since much of my work as a CPA was the work lawyers do." At the University of Texas Law School, she quickly settled on law teaching as a career goal.


Mona has taught a variety of courses in tax and business law since joining our faculty in 1995. She holds the Arthur W. Andrews Professorship, established in honor of our pre-eminent emeritus tax law Professor, Art Andrews.


"Art is such a wonderful teacher," she says. "I can't say enough about what it means to hold a professorship in his name."


Mona is known to legions of former students and stays in close contact with many of them. She also is well known for her scholarship and her numerous leadership posts with the American Bar Association Section on Taxation.


Her research focuses on tax and other fiscal incentives to promote environmentally sustainable practices, a relatively new area of environmental law that for Mona goes beyond the academic.


"I want to see more energy-efficient policies for the sake of my two daughters and future generations," she says.


Her most recent article on US environmental tax policy is titled "Environmental Tax Policy in the United States: A 'Bit' of History." She just completed a major revision of Gilbert Law Summaries' Accounting & Finance for Lawyers, scheduled for publication later this year.


Steeped in both law and business, Mona is leading an exciting new initiative we are offering at the law school this fall: the JD Certificate in Tax, offered in collaboration with the U of A Eller College of Management. Arizona Law and Eller College students will take classes together from faculty in both schools, and will benefit from the larger array of professors and classes available to them and outstanding opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning. The JD Tax Certificate is a new addition to the many collaborations between Arizona Law and Eller College.


With her busy agenda, it's no surprise that Mona does Transcendental Meditation to keep things in perspective.


You can learn more about Mona at her faculty web page.


Alumni News

S. Kato Crews ('00) 


Kato Crews is a partner at Mastin Hoffman & Crews LLP, the Denver-based law firm he co-founded in 2011.


Kato, whose father was a solo practitioner, knew by middle school that he wanted to be a lawyer. "Back then I was probably more drawn to what I thought were the theatrics of the courtroom than anything else," he says. "But learning more about lawyers like Thurgood Marshall, and the difference we can make as lawyers in our communities, is what really began to draw me to the idea of being a lawyer and a litigator."


The Colorado native, who earned his BA in journalism and public relations from the University of Northern Colorado, originally left for Arizona "because I thought I was done with Colorado winters." Missing the change of seasons, he returned to Colorado with his JD, but he's never regretted choosing Arizona Law.


"Law school is where I met some of the best friends of my life," he says. "We were our own United Nations, in terms of the diversity of our group, and we all remain close today, even though we practice in different states. We supported each other then, and we continue to support each other now."


Prior to starting his current practice, Kato was one of the youngest lawyers ever elected partner at the Denver-based firm of Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, where he represented employers in federal and state court in employment-related claims. Today, he focuses on general business and commercial litigation, but continues to handle labor and employment law cases as well.


"Starting my own practice has been one of the most rewarding points of my career," Kato says. "My current practice allows me to focus on client service in a way I was unable to do when working at a large firm. The challenges include shedding some of the amenities I once had at a large firm, like a copy services department or a marketing department. But this just means there are times when I have to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty to get things done."


He adds, "Working in a small firm has freed me from the restraints of the billable hour. My time is now my own, which has afforded me the freedom to be there, in the moment, when I'm with my family, and to take the time away from work that I need to be a dedicated and involved dad and husband."


Kato serves on the board of directors of CHOICE Education Foundation, a charitable nonprofit that helps young people from low-income households gain opportunities in higher education to become leaders in their communities.


"I believe that lawyers have an affirmative obligation to give back to the community," he says. "In my experience, nonprofit organizations are starving for legal talent on their boards to assist with their charitable missions as volunteers rather than as pro bono attorneys. Through volunteering, we can pursue our passions while making a positive impact on the community."


He adds, "My hope is always that, through volunteering, I can serve as a tangible role model for minority youth to inspire them to strive for educational and career opportunities that they may not have otherwise believed were conceivable."


Kato has been recognized as a Rising Star in employment and labor law in Colorado Super Lawyers for five consecutive years. 


He and his wife, April, have an 11-year-old daughter, Kylee, and a 9-year-old son, Devin.


You can connect with Kato on LinkedIn.


Movers and Shakers


National Council of La Raza Honors Anna Maria Chavez ('94)   


Congratulations to Anna Maria Chavez ('94), CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, who has received the Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award from the National Council of La Raza for her "significant contributions to promoting the interests of Hispanic Americans." 


Anna Maria (third from left) is pictured here with me, alum Steven Duke ('59), and U of A Alumni Association President Melinda Burke.


Tucson: The "New Portland"


According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Tucson, with its hip cultural offerings--credited in large part to the U of A--is "the new Portland." I think we'd get agreement even from our ever-growing contingent of Portland alumni and friends. You can read the story here.  

Give to Arizona Law
In meeting with alumni around the country this summer, I've been struck by how many of them name former professors as sources of inspiration and some of their most cherished law school memories. Consider a gift toward an endowed professorship at Arizona Law to honor a mentor who inspired you. Visit 


We are now exactly one week away from welcoming new and returning law students from around the state, around the country, and around the globe to Arizona Law. As Kato Crews observed, the discoveries and the connections made at the College of Law last a lifetime.



Marc Signature  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law

James E. Rogers College of Law

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