ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  April 2, 2014



In this week's newsletter we feature 3L student Jane Burch, Professor Rob Williams, and Law College Association Appreciation Dinner honorees Judge James Teilborg ('66) and Maria Baier ('92) .  


Until the footnotes,




Jane Burch '14


"It's never too late to be all that you could have been."


Those words written on a plaque inspire 3L student Jane Burch. But it's not as though she needs motivation from words etched on metal.


She has worked as CEO for New Beginnings, a Tucson organization for homeless women and children. She has also lived with a sibling who is developmentally disabled, resided in Spain under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, cared for a dying parent, dealt with top executives of Fortune 500 companies, and written four books about business in Latin America.


Now, she's completing her studies at Arizona Law. I have enjoyed working with Jane throughout her time at Arizona Law, starting with the insights she brought to the criminal procedure class I taught.


Jane is thrilled to be with us, not only because it keeps her living in Tucson with her husband and avoiding a long-distance law school commute, but because everything about the College fit Jane's hopes and expectations.


Jane nicely captures what helps to make Arizona Law such a special place: "What I didn't realize when I started was how important the school's intangibles would prove to be for a nontraditional student: the small class size, the commitment to each student's success, the genuine warmth of faculty and staff."


She has been a summer law clerk at The McCarthy Law Firm and a judicial extern with Pima County Superior Court. Jane's goal is to practice family law in order to draw on her career as a social worker and community volunteer with families and children. "It's an area that builds on my interest in mental health, advocacy, and poverty alleviation. Also, it's tied to the basics of contributing to society in a way that is meaningful for me."


Originally from the New York City area, Jane considers two weeks in a canoe during an Outward Bound expedition with other adults contemplating mid-career transitions as one of her most amazing experiences. "What I learned about tapping into reservoirs of courage and endurance has transferred directly into three years of law school."


Jane is practical yet hopeful about her new career direction. "Law school has been an extraordinary experience, a dream I thought I would never realize. But it's not an end in itself. I can't imagine how boring life would be without continuing to learn. 


Jane - I know we share that spirit, and I hope you stay closely connected to the College as you follow your path.


Professor Rob Williams

It took a great visit to campus, a world-class Indian law and policy program, a meeting with a provost, and a note and phone call from a university president to bring Rob Williams to Arizona Law in 1987.


"There was a personal side to that decision to put down roots in Tucson and the UA. My wife Joy and I could really see us wanting to raise a family here."


Rob has been hard at work since then. He developed what is now the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program. He also served for three years as UA's Director of the Office of Indian Programs, reporting directly to the Provost and President on the full range of issues involving the UA's relationships with tribes, particularly with tribes from Arizona served by the UA's land grant mission.


He explains that the time in University administration "was a great way to get to know the tribal communities in the state and appreciate their diversity and the range of issues and challenges confronting them."


Students have been taking Indian law and critical race theory classes from Rob for years. Most recently, though, he has been helping lead the College's new FebBar Curriculum. In an innovative pilot project, the Arizona Supreme Court approved allowing qualified 3L students to take the February bar exam starting this year. Read more from last week's Wildcat Wednesday.  


"We had to come up with a 10-credit curriculum for our 3L FebBar takers. A maximum of two credits can be taken by 3L students while they are studying for the bar during January and February," Rob explained. The eight credits, he said, are 'experiential' in nature. "That is, for the students who had already taken the bar, it made sense to design a curriculum that could help them make the transition from the classroom to practice."


Joy (Fischer-Williams) joins Rob's passion for law. She's a 1990 alum of Arizona Law and works for the Pima County Legal Defender's Office. One of their children - Marley -- is in public affairs graduate school at the University of Texas. Their son, Sam, is a pre-med sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis.


Music keeps Rob rocking and rolling, too. "Joy and I joke that I have a bad case of GAS. That's Guitar Acquisition Syndrome." 

Honorable James Teilborg '66

This Friday evening at the Annual LCA Dinner in Phoenix we will honor alumnus James Teilborg with the UAAA Professional Achievement Award. Judge Teilborg serves on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona., having joined the court in 2000 after being nominated by President Clinton on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl. Judge Teilborg assumed senior status after serving on the court for 12 years.  


A native of Colorado, Judge Teilborg also served in the Arizona Air National Guard from 1966 to 1974 and served as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1974 to 1997. Judge Teilborg spent his entire pre-judicial legal career in private practice, first at O'Connor Cavanagh, and then as founding partner of Teilborg, Sanders & Parks, P.C.


Jude Teilborg is married to Connie, his wife of over 52 years.  They have two sons, Andy and Jay, four granddaughters, and one grandson.





Maria Baier '92

Maria Baier has spent the last twenty years working on land, natural resources, and energy issues in Arizona. Her work has included serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sonoran Institute, the Commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD), and a Phoenix City Councilwoman, where among other duties she chaired the Economy, Commerce and Sustainability Subcommittee.


When asked about her proudest achievements, Maria cites first her role as mother to twin daughters about to graduate from high school. She then points to her work at ASLD, where she assisted the department in earning about $560 million in revenues through an active leasing and sales program involving more than 25,000 acres. Included in this land were 16,000 acres in the Arizona Preserve Initiative Program. This land will be used for parks and preserves for communities across the state. Proceeds from land sales and leasing primarily benefit schools and education in Arizona.


Maria has also held several executive positions, including president of MBC, Inc., a sustainability consulting firm specializing in sustainable land use and natural resource management practice; president and CEO of Valley Partnership, a trade organization whose primary mission is to "advocate responsible development," primarily on behalf of the commercial real estate development industry; and director of the Trust for Public Land, Arizona Field Office. She spent 10 years on the Executive Staff of the Office of the Governor, serving two administrations. She worked as senior policy advisor in the areas of natural resources, growth and development, environmental quality, and criminal justice.


Maria also served as deputy director of communications and lead speechwriter with the Governor's Office and as public information officer for the Arizona Attorney General's Office. She is a member of the Arizona State Bar and volunteers on numerous state boards and commissions including the Trust for Public Land Arizona Advisory Board, the Foundation for Blind Children, Great Hearts Academies Board of Directors, and the Urban Land Institute Advisory Board.


On Friday evening the Law College Association will honor Maria and her many achievements with the UAAA Public Service Award.

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.  


Over 200 people plan to attend the LCA Dinner at the College of Medicine. We look forward to reporting on the proud celebration of the achievements of our alumni, and taking a little time to celebrate the great work of the current students and faculty, many of whom will soon join the alumni ranks. 



Marc Signature      

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

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