ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  March 26, 2014



Spring break is over, classes have resumed, and the Cats are headed to the Sweet 16!


In this week's newsletter we feature alumnus Paul Charlton, 3L student Julia Kent Palfreyman, and our February Bar Project.


Until the footnotes,




Paul Charlton '88


On Friday, April 4th, the Law College Association will honor alumnus Paul Charlton for his many years of public service. Paul, a two-time Wildcat ('83,'88), served six years as the US Attorney for the District of Arizona, ten years as an Assistant US Attorney, and two years as an Assistant Arizona Attorney General.


One of Paul's many achievements as the US attorney was establishing the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council. It's a program designed to create more effective communication among law enforcement agencies. Additionally, Paul expanded the staff in his office to better advocate for the rights of crime victims.


When asked about his favorite memories from his time as US Attorney, Paul reminisced, "There are many great memories, but perhaps my proudest achievement might be working with and following in the footsteps of great prosecutors like Mike Cudahy and Stephen McNamee."  


These days, Paul is a partner in the Phoenix office of Steptoe & Johnson, LLP where he concentrates on high-profile and complex litigation, internal investigations, and white-collar criminal defense. 


Paul has been married to his wife and best friend Susan  (Arizona Law '89) for 28 years.   They have two sons ages 21 and 18.  As a family, this group enjoys both traditional and unusual hobbies. Paul describes one of each: "We've climbed Kilimanjaro and Rainier, as a family, but are now, for something completely different, learning to rope cattle."   


I hope many of you will join me at the LCA Annual Appreciation Dinner as we thank Paul for his eighteen years of public service.


Julia Kent Palfreyman '14


When 3L student Julia Kent Palfreyman began to think about law school, her approach had a singular focus. "To be honest, I didn't apply to any other law schools because I didn't want to go anywhere else."


Julia, like so many of our students, is both a student and a parent -- in Julia's case, she is a single parent. While challenging, she believes the experience of juggling parenthood and law school has taught her many valuable skills that will serve her well in practice.


"In general, being a parent in law school means that you have less time than everyone else to accomplish the same tasks, so time management skills are key. You also have to get used to sleeping very little, and be excellent at multi-tasking. I think all of those things will be valuable in our careers, so to some extent, even though it is very difficult, it's valuable preparation for the rigors of a demanding law career."


Julia also credits the experience of being both a student and a parent experience for helping to keep her grounded. "My evenings are Lincoln's time, so even if I need to be working, it's more important that I spend that time playing chutes and ladders. For those hours I don't have to be a student, I can just relax and be a mom."  


Recently, Julia was part of a group of 24 students who chose to take the February bar exam. (You can read more about the February Bar exam below.) Like Julia, many of the February bar takers were parents. "Having to wait until October to work is a huge financial challenge for all students, especially those who have families to support. Taking the early bar allows me to potentially avoid/alleviate some of the stress of having to wait."  In addition to the financial advantages, Julia decided to take the bar early in the hopes of getting a leg up on the job market.


The February bar exam takers may enter the market fully barred immediately after graduation -- months ahead of the majority of law school graduates nation-wide.   The advantage for Arizona bar takers is magnified by Arizona's leadership as one of the early Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) states -- now 14 states, a majority in the West. See


While the February Bar exam has many advantages, studying for the exam was no less grueling than during the normal July cycle. When asked about her experience Julia was very honest about the challenge.


"It is a really difficult prep period, mentally and emotionally, and the exam was also really hard. There were many times when I felt like I couldn't do it all, and I even considered not testing and waiting for July. But thanks to awesome people like fellow February bar taker Matt Randle and Assistant Dean Nancy Stanley, I was talked off my ledge. They encouraged me to just bear down, keep working, and do my best."


Many of the February bar takers studied together -- providing one another mental and emotional support. While Julia admits the experience was challenging she is glad to have had the opportunity. "I am grateful for my fellow February bar takers and everyone else who was so supportive, helpful, and encouraging through that time."


Julia, we are proud of you and all the trailblazers who sat for the February bar exam.





The February Bar Exam

As Julia's story illustrates, our first cohort of early bar students recently competed the February exam.    


In December of 2012, the Arizona Supreme Court authorized, on a two-year pilot basis, law students to sit for the bar exam in February of their third year. To be eligible for the February bar exam, among other requirements, the students may have no more than eight remaining credits toward graduation at the time of the exam, and ten credits in the final semester.


We had 24 students in this year's 3L class who opted to sit for the February exam. These students returned to a special set of "Feb bar" classes on the Monday following the exam. The Feb bar classes run the gamut from "Advanced Professionalism and Law Practice" to "Trade Secrets" and are open to all students.  All the post-exam courses focus on experiential learning, encouraging the students to apply the wide variety of skills and knowledge they have acquired. On successful completion of the remaining eight credits, the February bar exam takers will graduate on May 17th with their classmates.



The February bar initiative has provoked deep rethinking about the purpose and goals of the third year of law school.   These changes include: 

  • Giving a more coherent focus to the 3L year as the transition from theory to practice.
  •  Providing a series of courses, clinics, and externships in the third year, and especially in the spring term, all of which have an experiential focus.
  •  Providing broad pre-exam skill and knowledge assessments to all February bar exam takers, and making the same detailed assessments available to all members of the 3L class.


Leadership for this innovation has come from many people in and outside of the law school.  Those who have taken formal roles in developing the initial proposal, framing the potential for new educational and curricular options, developing the new curriculum and courses, and working through the administrative challenges of this kind of major reform include Professors Rob Williams and Susie Salmon, Deans Sally Rider and Kirsten Engel, and staff members Lissette Calderon and Seanna Howard.  The College of Law partnered with Kaplan Bar Review to design our own intensive 2-unit pre-bar course and assessment tools.


Our February bar takers will receive their bar examination results in May. Some have opted not to receive results until after graduation. Students passing the exam will have the opportunity to graduate from law school with a bar card in hand and immediately enter the market. 


We are proud of the students who made history last month by sitting for the February bar exam. Being a trailblazer often includes a higher degree of pressure and stress than selecting the more routine course.  While it is always hard to predict the future, I expect over the years that future students will look back at the students who took the February bar as bold pioneers.


The February bar pilot project has already drawn attention from other courts, state bars, and law schools.  While still a pilot project, this initiative represents an exciting opportunity for Arizona Law students and the College.



Coming soon!


Law College Association Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Phoenix   

Please join us for the presentation of awards honoring and celebrating the remarkable achievements of:

  • Charles (Chick) Arnold '70 - LCA Award for extraordinary service to society
  • Maria Baier '92 - UAAA Public Service Award
  • Paul Charlton '88 - UAAA Public Service Award
  • Steven Lainoff '77 - UAAA Professional Achievement Award
  • The Honorable James Teilborg '66 - UAAA Professional Achievement Award  


Friday, April 4, 2014 5:30 - 9:00 -- U of A College of Medicine, 550 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ  85004 

Register here.  


 * * * 


Networking Nosh


The next Networking Nosh is Thursday, March 27th. All students and alumni are welcome. To RSVP:


 * * *


Volunteer Lawyers Program


The Volunteer Lawyers Program will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the VLP Advocates Student Program on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 here at the College, and it's an auspicious occasion. VLP's nationally regarded programs allow our students to get important client counseling experiences and to learn from (and network with) the cadre of volunteer local lawyers who supervise them. 


VLP's Stacy Rupprecht Butler ('02) and Randi Barnett ('07) do a remarkable job in making the experience meaningful to our students. We're very thankful for their efforts. 


The celebration will feature keynote speaker Gene Nichol of the University of North Carolina School of Law. All law students who have participated in the VLP are invited to attend the event. Please RSVP here by March 26.


 * * *


Veterans Court Southwest Symposium & Workshop 

Friday, March 28, 2014 - 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

James E. Rogers College of Law (Room 164)


Veterans Courts have been operating in the US for almost a decade now - each approaching issues of procedure, treatment, sanctions, and rewards differently. It's time to gather, share lessons learned, and problem solve together common issues arising in Veterans Courts.


Featured Speakers and Workshop Leaders include:

  • Will Gunn, General Counsel, US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Ted Vogt, Director, AZ Department of Veterans' Services
  • Hon. Robert Russell, Veterans Treatment Court, Buffalo, NY (established the nation's first veterans court)
  • Hon. Michael Pollard, Regional Municipalities Veterans Treatment Court, AZ
  • Hon. Maria Felix, Pima Country Justice Court, AZ
  • Brig. Gen. Gregg Maxon, (ret.), AZ Supreme Court Adviser for Veterans Courts
  • Lori Lewis, Senior Assistant Prosecuting City Attorney, Tucson, AZ
  • Thomas Winkel, Director, AZ Coalition for Military Families
  • Dr. Cynthia Dowdall, Director, Behavioral Health and Community Services, Northwest Fire/Rescue District, Tucson, AZ 



Click here to RSVP for the Veteran's Symposium. Space is limited.




 Bear Down -- and leave the Aztecs in San Diego!

Marc Signature      

Marc L. Miller 
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law 
James E. Rogers College of Law    

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