In the Arizona Law world, today is what passes for "breaking news." Just a few hours ago I welcomed members of the entering class of 2018, a fascinating group of students from all over the U.S. and all over the world who will shape and change our community just as so many of you did.
It's bustling here this week. Returning students are on hand to teach newcomers how to navigate law school life. Faculty doors are open wide. The library and lobby are buzzing with conversation. 

And numerous dedicated alumni, including many of our college's professors of practice, are speaking with new students, providing a wealth of inspiring and practical knowledge. Among other things, these alumni are meeting with new students in small groups to begin the process of helping explore what it means to be a lawyer or legal professional.

We thank our alumni for sharing their knowledge and insights, and for giving our students a strong start.
This week's Letter of the Law is just the first step in inviting you to get to know this great group.

Until the footnotes,


A "First Pass" at the New Entering Class

Though we are just getting to know them, I can share some collective characteristics of the new class of Arizona Law students. 

First, reflecting changes in the profession, their career trajectories are different: 135 are studying for the JD, including 18 foreign-trained lawyers who seek the JD in our special program. 

In our MLS program, 18 students -- along with 27 enrolled in a mirrored online program -- are working towards a Master of Legal Studies (MLS). Three students are studying for the SJD -- the doctorate of law -- and seven the LLM. 

Second, at 135 students, this is a larger JD class than in recent years, not just because law school applications are up nationally about ten percent this year, but also because we have worked very hard to make law study more accessible and affordable. 

Our strategies are paying off in terms of diversity in its broadest sense, with the new members of our community representing 25 countries (including the U.S. and 9 indigenous nations), 26 states, and 103 educational institutions. At those colleges and universities, about one in five of our new Wildcats earned an advanced degree. 

Their respective paths to law school were as individual as fingerprints, and we now add a carpenter, a university dean, a midwife, a long-distance hiker (2,400 miles from Canada to Mexico), and a rock-and-roll concert photographer to our fold. 

In future editions, we will of course share their personal stories, but today we couldn't be happier to have them here.

An Orientation Week to Remember

Fall 2018 global programs orientation
Orientation for incoming Global Programs students began on Monday.

It's been a little while since many of you went through orientation. For some, these earliest days of your law school career may represent some of your fondest memories. For others, arriving at Arizona Law may be a fairly blurry recollection!

Our Global Programs Orientation began on our campus Monday, though many students arrived earlier for UA main campus activities. Today, all of our JD students begin a three-day orientation.

Students were welcomed today by Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Willie Jordan-Curtis. 

Our new community members then had the special experience of a lecture from Regents' Professor and Dean Emerita Toni Massaro. Arizona Supreme Court Justice John Pelander ('76) also addressed the new class.

This year's orientation included an intensive session dedicated to professionalism designed by Assistant Dean for Admissions Cary Lee Cluck and the admissions team, in cooperation with Ann Ching, ethics counsel to the State Bar of Arizona and John Phelps ('86), Executive Director of the State Bar. We are grateful that 25 alumni attended, speaking informally with students over lunch and in breakout sessions based on real-world scenarios.

On Thursday, new students will hear from Regents' Professor and Indigenous Peoples' Law and Policy program Faculty Co-chair Rebecca Tsosie and a panel of returning students, then dive into the annual Library Funfest and Student Organization Fair, as well as attending those memorable first small section meetings. 

Thursday evening, Professor Andy Silverman ('69) and Starr Sanders open their home, as they have for many years, to host the Law Women's Association dinner. Wrapping up the week, on Friday, students are invited to visits with judges at the Pima County Juvenile Court and the Pima County Superior Court.

Welcoming New Faculty, New and Returning Professors of Practice

Arizona Law is also pleased to welcome nine new faculty members this semester. Their scholarship, teaching and advocacy span a wide range of areas, from the psychology behind legal decision-making to civil justice reform, from the management of natural resources to changing family law, and from the regulation of health care research and innovation to cybersecurity.

These exceptional teachers, scholars and practitioners further enrich the college's intellectual core and animate the impact and importance of law and policy for our students.

Albertina Antognini joins us as an associate professor of law and will teach courses in Family Law, Property, Trusts and Estates as well as a seminar on the regulation of the modern family. 

Stacy Butler ('02) has been hired as director of innovation for justice, a new position that will focus on improving access to justice with the use of design theory, technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Christopher Griffin joins as a visiting professor of law, coming from Harvard Law School, where he is the research director for the Access to Justice Lab. 

Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) alumna Akilah Kinnison (LLM '13, JD '12) returns as an assistant professor and IPLP program graduate advisor. 

Shefali Milczarek-Desai ('01) joins us as director of the Workers' Rights Clinic and professor of practice.

Tara Sklar joins as a director of graduate health sciences programs. She will be based in the DC area, and will teach online courses in Clinical Research Ethics for Regulatory Science and Regulatory Aspects for Health Care Delivery. 

Bethany Sullivan ('11) returns to the college as the Lohse clinical director for the new Natural Resource Use and Management Clinic.

Tammi Walker is a new associate professor of law with a joint appointment as an associate professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Science.

Andrew Woods joins as associate professor of law. He will teach courses in Contracts and Technology Policy. 

Some of our newest faculty members are professors of practice, offering deep expertise and broadening the curriculum. 

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Catherine O'Grady commented on the role of professors of practice at Arizona Law:

"As we begin a new year at Arizona Law, we are thrilled to bring professionals and practitioners who are leaders in their fields into the classroom. Their expertise helps prepare our students for the real-world practice of law. Professors of practice are an integral part of the legal education curriculum at Arizona Law and we are so lucky and pleased to have such a talented group of professionals join us this year." 

Twenty-five of our professors of practice pictured during this year's Orientation Week.

In all, we are thrilled to welcome these nine new faculty members and our numerous professors of practice. They greatly enrich the Arizona Law community.

Around the College

"Meet the Employers" Receptions Held in Albuquerque and Phoenix
Arizona Law hosted "Meet the Employers" receptions for alumni and students in Albuquerque and Phoenix in early August. 

The events were a success, with many alumni also representing the employer side of the equation. Thank you to all who participated. It was a pleasure to see so many fruitful connections being made between job-seekers and employers in both cities.
For more information on future employment events in your area, contact the Arizona Law Career Development Office.

In the News

KVOA, quoting Dean Marc Miller 

The New England Journal of Medicine, "Perspective" by professor Chris Robertson
Ars Technica, quoting professor William Sjostrom

The New York Times Magazine, quoting professor Robert Glennon

Tucson.com, referencing professor Robert Glennon

TaxProf Blog, quoting Dean Marc Miller

Each academic year at Arizona Law represents a new beginning as well as longstanding Arizona Law traditions like orientation, welcoming receptions, and the first meetings of small sections. 

We love the electricity of the new school year, new classes, new mentorships, and new friendships. It promises to be a great 104th year at the University of Arizona. 





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