ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                       August 28, 2013



Fall classes have begun! Our community in residence is back together again.


And it has grown. This past week, the faculty and staff welcomed our strong and diverse new class of 1Ls, our new graduate students in the LLM and SJD programs, transfer students joining the second-year class, the first students in the Master of Legal Studies program, and several students who will visit at Arizona Law for a semester or the year.


These new students bring extraordinary backgrounds, including many with substantial experience as lawyers in other countries or in other aspects of law, regulation, and politics. We all look forward to getting to know these new members of the community.


This week's featured members of the Arizona Law community are student Chase Velasquez, Professor Kathie Barnes, and alum John Phelps.


Until the footnotes,


Student News
Chase Velasquez (Class of 2015)


Chase Velasquez is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and was raised on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in northeastern Arizona. His father, a graduate of Northern Arizona University, instilled in Chase a strong belief in the value of education and the importance of giving back to the community. As a law student contributing to his community on many fronts, Chase is doing his father--and Arizona Law--proud.


"Arizona Law has always been my dream law school," he says. "As an undergraduate, I would walk around the law school campus and visit the professors in the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program, hoping I would have the chance to be a law student." 


Chase spent this summer working as a law clerk with the Pima County Attorney's Office in the Criminal Division and will continue clerking part-time with the county this year. 


"I applied to law school because I want to return to my reservation and become my tribe's attorney," Chase says. "There is a great need for American Indian lawyers to represent Indian tribes, which have experienced bad policy starting in the 1700s, to finally having the right to self-determination in 1974. The tribes are now in an era of rebuilding their governments and sustaining Indian culture. I want to help my tribe and Indian tribes in general."


Chase serves on the board of the National Native American Law Student Association, representing Area 1 law schools, which include schools in Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii as well as Stanford and UCLA. He is also active with our Native American Law Student Association on campus.


Chase and his family face challenges beyond those of law school. His 5-year old daughter is a post-liver-transplant patient who started kindergarten this week--just as her dad started his second year of law school.


"I still cannot believe that I'm a law student at Arizona. I am very humbled that I was given this opportunity," he says.


You can connect with Chase on LinkedIn. 

Faculty and Program News

Katherine Barnes


Like most members of the law school community, Professor Kathie Barnes has always been interested in solving real-world problems.


Kathie received her BA from Swarthmore, her MS and PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota, and her JD from the University of Michigan. Her courses at Arizona Law include the first-year course in Criminal Procedure.


"I love the energy and enthusiasm that first-year law students bring to the classroom," she says. "Criminal Procedure is a fundamental subject that touches on so many deeply held beliefs, and I really enjoy engaging students in discussions about what current law is, versus what, ideally (if possible), the law should be."


She also teaches in the U of A Eller College of Management--just one link in our many close ties with our neighbors at Eller--where her courses include "Law, Economics, and Statistics" and a graduate statistics course. "I enjoy teaching real-world applications in both of these classes and having students apply their new-found statistical knowledge to different policy issues," she says.


Kathie has conducted extensive empirical legal research on racial profiling. In one study, she analyzed traffic stop records from the Maryland State Police and found that police used race and ethnicity in choosing which motorists to pull over and search.


Kathie will continue her empirical legal research this year while on sabbatical. She will spend the fall term in Santiago, Chile, with her husband (Eller economics professor and health policy expert Gautam Gowrisankaran), and three young children, moving on to the American Bar Foundation in Chicago for the spring term and returning to Arizona Law in the fall.


You can learn more about Kathie at her faculty web page


Our New QuantLaw Program


The cross-disciplinary and data-driven nature of Professor Kathie Barnes' work demonstrates the types of research and learning opportunities available to students and faculty in our new "QuantLaw" Program.  


Spearheaded by Professor Jane Bambauer, the QuantLaw Program promotes teaching, research, awareness, and practice relevance in the emerging field of law and data, or "quantlaw." Quantlaw applies a wide range of quantitative and empirical methods to legal issues and addresses how the law is used to regulate information.


Besides Jane and Kathie, other professors affiliated with the program include Chris Robertson, Simon Sepe, Brent White, Derek Bambauer, Jean Braucher, and myself. 2013 JD graduate David Yokum played a hand in shaping the new program, as did Megan Wright (PhD '12, psychology), who served as a Research Fellow in Social Science & Law last year. Relevant courses include Trade Secrets, Information Privacy, Cyberlaw, and supervised independent empirical studies--all requiring students to understand legal responses to the data revolution.

Research and relevance are central goals of the Quantlaw initiative. Both themes are highlighted by the program's inaugural event: a presentation on October 17 by Stanford Law Professor John Donohue III, titled "The Data Speaks: A Closer Look at Gun Violence." Professor Donohue is a pioneer in empirical legal research who has used large-scale statistical studies to estimate the impact of law and public policy in a range of area. For more about his lecture and to register, click here.

The QuantLaw Program will benefit all of our students and better prepare them to practice law, says Kathie Barnes.

"I hear consistently from former students, other lawyers, and, particularly, people who work as expert witnesses that lawyers really need to learn quantitative literacy. From how to understand and critique empirical studies, to influencing policy discussions, quantitative understanding is a key component of the professional lives of most lawyers today."

For more about the QuantLaw Program, visit here.

Alumni News

John Phelps ('86)


John Phelps has been the CEO and Executive Director of the State Bar of Arizona since 2009. His unusual career track to the helm of the State Bar includes serving as a US Army Colonel, emergency responder, and state and federal government official.


Originally from Minnesota, John grew up "all over" as the son of a career military officer and has had his own distinguished career in military and public service.

After earning a BA in government from St. John's University in his home state, he was commissioned as an Army intelligence officer.

"I applied for the Army's Funded Legal Education Program in 1982 and received a full scholarship to law school while on active duty," he says. "I picked Arizona to be close to my family--my dad was stationed at Fort Huachuca, and my wife Barb and I wanted our kids to be near grandparents--even if for just a short period."

John's favorite law school memories include "Torts with Dan Dobbs and one-on-one basketball sessions with classmate Denton Casey ('86) to blow off steam." He vividly recalls "dreading being called on by Professor Dobbs." As for roundball with Denton, "I never could beat him."

John retired from active duty in the US Army after nearly 25 years as a Colonel in the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, in 2003. In addition to his JD, he holds LLMs in Constitutional Law, and Military and International Law, from the University of Virginia and JAG School, respectively.

He has worked in homeland security and disaster relief in Washington, DC, and Phoenix. As Deputy Director of the Arizona Office of Homeland Security, he established the then-new office under Governor Janet Napolitano and led drafting of the state's first homeland security plan.He also helped create the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center.

"I got to meet the real heroes throughout the state: firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical professionals, and emergency management teams," he says. He later worked as COO of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross in Phoenix and Chief of Staff at the US General Services Administration in Washington, DC.

Asked to recall his proudest moments, John says, "I received a folded Arizona flag in a beautiful wooden case as recognition for the work I had done with local disaster teams. Because it came directly from 'the troops,' it meant a lot to me."

But what makes him proudest, he says, is "my 34-year marriage to the love of my life, Barbara, and my two amazing sons, John, 31, and Paul, 28."

John has witnessed the political chaos of Washington and the chaos of disaster relief. And running the State Bar with around 20,000 lawyers amid changing times has its challenges, as well. What keeps him grounded?

"Faith, family, and fitness. To be honest, I have had very few tough times . . . I have been extraordinarily blessed. Many of my colleagues, especially those who have experienced war and disaster firsthand and in very personal ways, have had far more personal and professional chaos to deal with. Whatever contributions I have made in my career truly pale in comparison."

You can connect with John at LinkedIn.

Movers and Shakers
Mike King


Mike King ('79) Listed in "Best Lawyers in America 2014"


Michael R. King, a founding partner with the Phoenix law firm Gammage & Burnham, has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Mike and his partners have provided great counsel and support for the law school, including an office for the use of Director of Career Services Leah Won ('05). 


You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn.


Ryan Williams ('08) Selected for Valley Leadership Class 35

Ryan Williams, an attorney at Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite, has been selected a member of Class 35 of Valley Leadership, a group of Phoenix-area business and civic leaders. Ryan practices in the areas of general litigation and document retention and review.

Give to Arizona Law
From law school scholarships like those Chase Velasquez has received, to government scholarships that made it possible for John Phelps to attend law school, scholarships have long been a vital source of assistance for our students. Support student scholarships by making a gift to the Arizona Law Fund. Visit   


Professor James Hopkins Presentation on Indigenous Water Rights - Thursday, Aug. 29


Professor James Hopkins of the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program will give a presentation, "Chasing the Basin: Indigenous Rights to Water in the Rio Yaqui Valley," as part of the U of A Superfund Colloquium, from 5:15 to 6:30 pm in Drachman Hall, Room A122. For more information, contact


Environmental Breakfast Club Meeting - Friday, Sept. 6

All are welcome. The guest speaker is Gary Woodard, Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer-National Science Foundation (retired). For more information and the 2013-14 schedule, contact Professor Robert Glennon at

Rehnquist Center Hosts Constitution Day Supreme Court Review - Monday, Sept. 16

The William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government will present its annual US Supreme Court review of cases. CLE credit is available. Space is limited, and registration is recommended. Reserve a seat online here. The cases to be discussed are American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, United States v. Windsor, Hollingsworth v. Perry, and Shelby County v. Holder. 


To plan for the many major conferences and lectures, ongoing workshops, and other opportunities to engage the faculty and students at Arizona Law, link to our events calendar. Beyond the formal elements of our intellectual engagement, this will give you a glimpse into the vibrant life here at the College of Law. 





Marc Signature


Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law

James E. Rogers College of Law                                                                                                                                                      
Last week, we welcomed our new LLM, SJD, and JD exchange students in International Trade & Business Law.
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