This week we hear from two of a large group of Arizona Law JD students who worked in Washington, DC, over the summer. They share their experiences -- Darrah Blackwater with the Udall Foundation's Congressional Internship program and Josiah Rabon as an intern with the US Navy JAG Corps at the Pentagon

This fall, we bring three of our signature lecture series to campus (flyer).

On October 4, the Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice features Steve Susman

On October 18, Erwin Chemerinsky will deliver the annual McCormick Society Lecture. 

On November 14, the Darrow K. Soll Memorial Lecture will be given by Stephen Bright

Find details and registration links below.

Also in this edition, we note with sadness the passing of 1953 alumna and longtime Tucson attorney Joana Diamos.

Until the footnotes,


Darrah Blackwater (2L) Ventures to Capitol Hill as a Udall Foundation Congressional Intern
Second-year Arizona Law student and Huerta Scholar Darrah Blackwater spent her summer in Washington, DC, as part of the Udall Foundation's Congressional Internship program. The Udall Foundation chooses 12 applicants each year from all over the country to participate in the internship. 

Darrah worked within the Department of Interior for the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs (ASIA). She explains that the ASIA office oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and handles any other issues that implicate any of the 573 federally recognized tribes in the United States. This includes water, land, trust, treaty, and natural resource issues.
Also as part of the internship program, the Udall Foundation set up meetings with many organizations and people on Capitol Hill, including local law firms, New Mexico Congressional candidate Deb Haaland, U.S. Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, and U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona.
"The experience taught me that the world of law and politics is small, and no professional position is out of my reach. It added momentum to my belief in myself."

Senator Tom Udall congratulates Darrah on the completion of her internship.

Darrah is originally from Farmington, New Mexico, a town dominated by the oil and gas industry on the edge of the Navajo Reservation. She graduated from Farmington High School, and then earned a BA in psychology from Fort Lewis College in Colorado. Before she moved to Tucson to start law school, she was living in the little mountain town of Durango, which she describes as "the place that feels most like home to me."
Darrah says that she didn't grow up thinking she was going to be a lawyer, but came to consider law after travel and other life experiences.
"In 2013, I was living in Zhongshan, China, working as a tennis professional and volunteering at a foster home for children with disabilities. I returned home to enroll at University of California, Berkeley, where I had been accepted into the Masters of Social Work program. [But] life interfered, and I didn't end up beginning the program because of illness. Looking back, I am thankful that didn't work out because it gave me time to consider other professions, including law. Studying law makes sense because lawyers have the power to create systematic change and help people in a unique way."

Looking toward her future practice, Darrah is pursuing interests in tribal law, international law, and criminal law through her coursework.
"I am taking Federal Indian Law and Criminal Law this semester, and I'm excited about both. I am still figuring out what to do with my degree. I would like to live outside of the United States again after law school."
She describes a thread running through her life -- a passion for serving the underserved.
"This has taken on different meanings at different times: coaching Special Olympics, volunteering with children with disabilities in China, teaching in rural areas on the Navajo Reservation, and caring for tribal elders in Colorado. Thankfully, there are myriad possibilities to serve minority and at-risk populations within the legal profession. I am currently trying to figure out where to start."
Summer internships are an important opportunity to explore areas and issues of interest, and to get advice about potential career pathways. As Darrah's experience attests, the Udall Congressional Internship Program brilliantly serves those goals.

Josiah Rabon (2L) Continues his Service in DC

Josiah Rabon, currently a second-year student at Arizona Law, is a native Tucsonan, but he's travelled widely through his service in the U.S. Marine Corps and, this summer, to intern in Washington, DC. 

Josiah attented high school in Tucson and then enlisted in the Marines. He was stationed on the East Coast. 

After he left the military, Josiah decided to return to Tucson with his wife so that he could earn his Bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona. He says that he began college intending to work in state or federal law enforcement upon the completion of his degree. However, his interests gradually changed.

"In my junior year, I was selected for a competitive internship at the Arizona House of Representatives. I worked alongside the Deputy Chief of Staff and her team of policy advisors to provide critical research and information that helped the majority leadership make informed decisions about state legislation." 

Working in the Arizona capitol had a big impact on Josiah:

"This experience introduced me to a different side of the law that many people do not get to see. My time as an intern at the state capitol was pivotal in my decision to pursue a career as a lawyer."
Then, in the summer after his 1L year at Arizona Law, Josiah was selected to intern with the Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAGC) in Washington, DC, at the Pentagon. As an intern, he managed projects across diverse areas of law including the law of armed conflict, intelligence law, operational law, and fiscal law. He drafted products that supported briefs to senior judge advocates and fleet attorneys across the Navy. And, he says, he was able to connect with the attorneys that he worked with because of his prior service in the Marines. 

"There is a lot of overlap between the two branches, so I was able to easily adapt to their culture. The internship also focused on showcasing the capabilities of the other areas of practice that the Navy focuses on, so I was given a broad picture of the Navy JAG Corps as a whole while I was there."
Josiah now has his sights set on a career in public service. After earning his JD, he hopes to commission in the United States Navy and join their JAG Corps.

"To me, becoming a lawyer is all about helping other people and I would like to continue doing that by going back into the military. Military service members and their families have unique needs and problems, ones that I have experienced first-hand and can easily relate to."

Currently, Josiah works in Arizona Law's Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic. He says that one of his priorities is to help other veterans with their legal issues and that he is grateful to be able to do just that while still a student through his work with the clinic.

Around the College
Plan to Attend Signature Lectures at the College of Law

October 4
Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice
with Steve Susman
Why We Need to Preserve Jury Trials and How to Do It
October 18 
McCormick Society Lecture
with Erwin Chemerinsky
How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable
November 14 
Darrow K. Soll Memorial Lecture
with Stephen Bright
Human rights and capital punishment expert

In the News
In Memoriam, Joana Diamos ('53)

College of Law alumna and 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Joana Diamos passed away on August 31 in Tucson, Arizona (read more here).

The text of her Lifetime Achievement Award reads:

"Joana D. Diamos, a native Arizonan born to Greek immigrant parents, obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. A trailblazer in the law, she graduated in 1953 from the University of Arizona College of Law.
Fluent in both Greek and Spanish, Diamos went on to a distinguished legal career in criminal law and to a life of extraordinary public service. While she served both in the United States Attorney's Office and in the Federal Public Defender's Office, her heart was in criminal defense. After working as Assistant U.S. Attorney and a brief period as Interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, she became the first woman to serve as Assistant Federal Public Defender in Arizona. Diamos helped establish the first Tucson office in the late 1960s and continued to represent indigent criminal defendants into the 1980s.
A tenacious and creative advocate, she tried over 350 jury trials and handled over one hundred appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Devoted to public service and improving the justice system, Diamos has served on numerous national, state, and local boards. Governor Ernest McFarland appointed her as a Commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, the first woman in Arizona to hold that position. Governor Jane Hull later appointed her to the Arizona Commission on Neighborhood Preservation and Investment.
A consummate public servant, Diamos has been a true citizen of her community. Among other projects, she helped found CODAC Behavioral Health Services and guided the founding and opening of the Southern Arizona Mental Health Center, two key programs serving individuals with addictions and mental illness.
She was honored as the Arizona Daily Star Woman of the Year in 1964. Diamos has worked selflessly to ensure equal opportunity and quality of life for all members of society."

Each fall, it's wonderful to hear from students like Darrah Blackwater and Josiah Rabon about their meaningful summer work experiences. 

Each fall also brings the opportunity to hear from influential legal thinkers like Steve Susman, Erwin Chemerinsky, and Stephen Bright through our signature lecture series. 

Please join us for all of these major talks.

And, in the meantime, remember that the Constitution Day panel takes place this coming Monday, September 17, and we have a provocative day of panels on the interaction of technology and law at our TechLaw @ Arizona Law conference less than two weeks later on Friday, September 28.





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