Were you part of a clinic in law school? 

Across a wide range of specialty areas, clinics continue to be an important part of the student experience, providing training and helping to create practice-ready new lawyers. Indeed, we are now ranked among the top US law schools for experiential education!
This week, we share fresh news from the college's Wrongful Conviction Clinic, which is expanding its capacity to help clients through a grant from the National Institute of Justice. Join me in congratulating the clinic's director, Professor Vanessa Buch, new assistant director Kristen McKeon, and the ten students currently working in the clinic.
You can support clinics, scholarships, and other programs that benefit our students with your year-end gift to the college (give here).

Until the footnotes,


Grant Awarded to Arizona Law's Wrongful Conviction Clinic to Help More Clients Through DNA Testing

The Wrongful Conviction Clinic team attended the Innocence Network's annual conference earlier this year. Pictured (l-r) are: Ana Islas, Olympia Torres, 
Joshua Messick, Kristen McKeon, Professor Jason Kreag; front row, Professor Vanessa Buch.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has awarded the Wrongful Conviction Clinic at the University of Arizona College of Law a $278,000 grant (read original news release). The grant will allow the clinic to pursue DNA testing in criminal cases where testing has the potential to resolve claims of actual innocence.
The Wrongful Conviction Clinic was established in 2014. Since then, 34 law students have participated in the yearlong clinic, in which they investigate and litigate wrongful convictions and claims of actual innocence on behalf of inmates throughout Arizona.
Professor Vanessa Buch, director of the clinic, said,
"This grant expands our capacity to fully represent our clients. It also gives our students the chance to learn about the science of DNA testing and its increasingly important role in the criminal justice system."
The clinic currently has cases awaiting DNA testing and has identified more than 50 potential DNA cases for further review.
Former clinic student Fernanda Muñoz ('18) said,
"Students interact with many experts in areas like DNA and ballistics. The clinic opens your eyes to the amazing technological advances in the criminal field today."
Grant funds will also be used to hire an assistant director for the clinic. Kristen McKeon, a clinic fellow, will be stepping into the role at the first of the year. 
The Wrongful Conviction Clinic has had a busy fall semester. In terms of case work, by the end of the semester, the 10 clinical students will have devoted over 1,300 hours to reviewing case files and transcripts, drafting investigative memos, interviewing witnesses, visiting incarcerated clients, and consulting with forensic experts.
In addition to direct training, coursework, and its caseload, clinic students have had multiple opportunities to learn from criminal law professionals and those who have themselves been wrongfully convicted.

Professor Jason Kreag (l) with exoneree Darryl Howard (r),
who spoke at Arizona Law in September 2018.

In September, the clinic hosted exoneree Darryl Howard, who shared with our students his firsthand experience of wrongful conviction as well as his perspective on the criminal justice system. Mr. Howard, who was exonerated in North Carolina 2016, was previously represented by Arizona Law Professor Jason Kreag while Professor Kreag was an attorney at the Innocence Project. He spoke to students as part of the weekly Program in Criminal Law and Policy (PCLP) lecture series.
Also in September, DNA analyst Chris Wilson gave clinic students a tour of the Tucson Police Department Crime Lab. At the lab, students learned more about the work performed by forensic analysts in the fields of toxicology, latent prints, firearms, and DNA.
The clinic also attended a presentation on death investigation by chief medical examiner Dr. Greg Hess at the Pima County Medical Examiner's office in October.

Around the College
1Ls Participate in Arizona Law's First Legal Writing Escape Room
The Legal Writing Program held the first-ever University of Arizona Law Legal Writing Escape Room over the weekend. Twenty-nine teams participated, for a total of 136 1L students. First place went to the team of Fabian Eichentopf, Sarah Myers, Myrna Selter, and Zeke Peterson, who completed the challenge in 36 minutes. Way to go!
The competition took place in the college's appellate courtroom, where a mock trial was "temporarily suspended" due to a missing witness. Each team was required to solve a series of clues by applying legal research, writing, and analysis skills, which culminated in a call to stop the witness from boarding a plane. They had up to one hour to "make the call."

The first-place team (l-r): Fabian Eichentopf, Sarah Myers,
Myrna Selter, and Zeke Peterson.

Students consulting the Redbook, Manual on Legal Style.

Students determining hierarchy of authority of selected cases.

Participate in Year-end Giving

Students at the annual Scholarship Lunch shared their stories and their
thanks with donors.

As the end of the year approaches, please consider making a gift to the Law College Association of the University of Arizona in support of our students!
Our vision is that no student will be kept from a legal education because of cost.
Now more than ever, the world needs effective, ethical legal professionals. Arizona Law offers more options than any other institution to help students realize their dreams and create meaningful careers. By financially supporting Arizona Law, you help create an enduring impact for our students.
We keep our tuition lower than almost all other top-tier law schools, and two-thirds of students receive additional financial assistance. Our students tell us that financial support is one of the most important factors that influences their decision to attend Arizona Law.
By investing in the next generation of legal professionals, you can make a real difference in the careers and economic well-being of worthy students.

If you have any questions or concerns about your gift, please call 520-621-8430.

Just For Fun -- Send Us Your Photos!
Calling all alums! We'd like to hear from you over the holiday break. To help ring in the new year, we're looking for photos of Arizona Law alumni celebrating accomplishments from 2018 -- and celebrating your connection to the UA and your fellow Wildcats.

Are you getting together will fellow Arizona Law alumni over the holidays? Is UA gear part of your holiday tradition? Are you doing something extra adventurous to celebrate the new year? And what about photos celebrating those big 2018 accomplishments and memorable moments?

We'll share as many alumni images as we can in our January 9 edition. Send your photo via email to Emily McGovern by Friday, January 4.

In the News

Arizona Law provides all sorts of innovative opportunities in legal education, including practical experiences like the Wrongful Conviction Clinic, and, for the first time this year, the Legal Writing Escape Room.

To learn more about our innovative spirit and initiatives, follow this newsletter, visit, or let us know when you would like to meet. We want to deeply engage and constantly learn from all of our alumni, friends, and supporters.





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