The last few weeks of the spring semester are full of anticipation -- and not only for our graduating JDs, SJDs, LLMs, MLSs, and BAs. 

Our 1Ls, like Ruthe Belachew and Ana Islas, have worked closely with the  Career Development Office to arrange exciting and meaningful summer employment. These opportunities will both solidify and challenge our students' understanding of their chosen field of law. It's an invaluable part of the law school experience.
Spring brings numerous celebrations, culminating in the 2017 College of Law Commencement on May 13.
Last Friday evening, the UA Black Alumni (UABA) Association recognized our alumnus Benjamin Taylor ('04) with its UA Black Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award during the 3rd Annual Sneaker Ball.

Until the footnotes, 

1Ls on the Move this Summer

Ruthe Belachew
Meet 1L Ruthe Belachew! 

This summer Ruthe is headed to the Midwest to be a law clerk for the City of Chicago in its constitutional law and commercial litigation division.
Ruthe is originally from Ethiopia, but grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. She earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in business administration majoring in entrepreneurship.
She says that she has always wanted to be a lawyer but, after completing her undergraduate degree, she first became a real estate agent. She enjoyed the field and the opportunity to own her own business as an agent.
Once she decided it was time to continue on to law school, she says,
"I choose Arizona Law for many reasons including the great experience I had with Katie Beringson in Admissions when I came to visit the law school at the beginning of 2016. I went to five different states (Illinois, California, D.C., Oregon, and Georgia) to view different law schools before making my final trip to Arizona to visit the James E. Rogers College of Law. I was very precise about what I wanted, and I was looking to be comfortable wherever I enrolled."
Ruthe says that two big factors in her decision to choose Arizona Law were the great location and the cost of tuition and fees. She also made a solid connection with Katie Beringson and the Admissions team. Katie not only answered her questions; she even helped her to find an apartment on the same day as her visit.
Given her undergraduate degree, Ruthe is interested in pursuing coursework and experiences that expand her knowledge in the business field. As of right now, she says, she is leaning toward transactional business and corporate law.
In searching for her summer internship, Ruthe knew she wanted to go work either in Chicago or Las Vegas. She arranged a meeting with a Career Development Office counselor during the very first week of the spring semester for guidance. In addition to helping locate opportunities, the counselors there worked with Ruthe on her resume and cover letter and conducted practice interviews. In addition:
"I took their advice and made sure I sent out my resume to as many employers as possible. I also participated in the Sonoran Desert Career Fair interviews, which I felt helped improve my interviewing skills."
Ruthe says the CDO was key to her search for a position and her success in finding one. And now she's poised for a great summer.
Ruthe looks forward to putting her new analytic, writing, and legal research skills to work in the City of Chicago in its constitutional law and commercial litigation division.
Ruthe, I'm sure you will love Chicago in the summertime, including the great museums, restaurants, blues clubs (where I spent my occasional play time when I was in law school in Chicago), and the lively public arts and entertainment scene in Millenium and Grant Parks by the lake and throughout the city!

Ana Islas
First-year Ana Islas is excited to be on her way to a fellowship at the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at the Yale School of Law this summer.
Ana is originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, but has lived in South Tucson since the age of four. She attended the UA for undergrad, with a double major in Latin American Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She then came directly to law school:
"I chose Arizona Law because of the amazing immigration program they have here, and I just love Tucson."
Ana first learned about the fellowship at Yale through a listserv. She says:
"At first, I didn't think about applying because, well ... it's Yale Law School. But I decided to apply because the worst thing that can happen is for them to say no, right?"
A couple of weeks after applying, Ana followed up with them and told them that she had received another job offer but was still very interested in the Yale fellowship. The next day, a faculty member of the clinic contacted her to schedule an interview. Ana continues:
"After the interview, I felt that I bombed it -- in a bad way -- so I decided to email the person that interviewed me. In the email, I thanked him for taking the time to interview me and told him again why they should pick me. Two days later, I got an offer and, of course, I accepted."
It is wonderful to see Ana's preparation, persistence, and personality lead her to this great opportunity. These same qualities will take her far this summer and beyond.
Benjamin Taylor ('04) is UABA Distinguished Alumnus

Last Friday evening, the UA Black Alumni (UABA) Association recognized College of Law alumnus Benjamin Taylor ('04) with its UA Black Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award during the 3rd Annual Sneaker Ball. The Sneaker Ball raises funds for scholarships.
The UABA was founded in 1982 to promote academic excellence among African American students at the University of Arizona. In addition to the UA campus chapter, there is a chapter in Phoenix. 

There are deep connections between the College of Law and the UABA. Our own Keyshia Conner, the college's associate director of financial aid and scholarships, is the current president-elect of the organization.
Benjamin is a partner at the law firm of Taylor & Gomez, LLP, in Phoenix. His practice focuses on personal injury, family, criminal, and death penalty cases and he has also been a media legal analyst. 

Benjamin has worked for the Pima County Attorney's Office and the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. 

Benjamin's dozen-plus years of practice have demonstrated his engagement with the legal community. He is also a board member of the Maricopa County Bar Association. He was part of the 2010 class of the Bar Leadership Institute.  Benjamin is currently seeking a leadership role by running for the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors (read more in today's Footnotes).
Benjamin with UABA President-elect Keyshia Conner (l) and current President Tanisha Price Johnson (r).

Benjamin celebrates with his parents, 
Cecilia and Benjamin Taylor.

In honor of his parents, he recently established the Benjamin and Cecilia Taylor and Benjamin Taylor II Esq. Justice Scholarship, which will support students pursuing law at the University of Arizona. The scholarship was also announced at the Sneaker Ball, to his parents' great surprise and delight.
We join the UABA in congratulating Benjamin on this award and his leadership in creating this new scholarship.
Congratulations, Baby

Tommy George ('09) wrote from Denver with news of the birth of his daughter, Natalie, earlier this month. Congratulations to the entire family! Proper Wildcat attire is on the way...

Alumni Running for Board of Governors


Two of our alumni are seeking seats on the Arizona State Bar Association Board of Governors. Benjamin Taylor ('04) and Ryan Patterson ('06) are running to occupy two of nine Maricopa County positions to be filled. The online election is open May 4-19.

We're always pleased to see our alumni actively participating in the State Bar and we wish Benjamin and Ryan the best! 

Advance your Leadership -- Apply for the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy

Emily Rajakovich ('08), Senior Program Manager, Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, wrote in to share a great opportunity.
The Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy is now accepting applications for its 2017 cohort. Flinn-Brown is designed for accomplished Arizonans who want to expand their leadership by becoming state-level elected officials, agency executives, board and commission members, and policy advisors within the next three years.

UA Law graduates have participated in the program in previous years, including Alexis Danneman ('12), Fred Lomayesva ('90), Frances Sjoberg ('11), Alfred Urbina ('08), Brad Vynalek ('99), and Cheyenne Walsh ('12). 
The nonpartisan academy, which begins with participation in a 12-session seminar series in the fall, helps Fellows further prepare to govern and contribute to public policy at the state level. About 35 Fellows will be selected over the summer through a competitive application process. The deadline is May 15. Find more information and begin an application here
There is no cost to attend. Mileage and hotel costs are covered for those traveling from outside of the Phoenix-metro area.
Graduation Weekend Events
We invite the Arizona Law alumni community to celebrate graduation with us. The RSVP system for these events will be live beginning on May 1.
Friday, May 12, 2017
1:30 p.m. Certificate Ceremony for curricular programs (lower level, Daniel Cracchiolo Library).
4 p.m. Student Awards Ceremony (lower level, Daniel Cracchiolo Library).
5-7 p.m. Graduation Celebration (Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Lobby). All graduates, guests, and faculty/staff are invited to attend this reception, with music, light appetizers and beverages (limited hosted bar)  RSVPs are required (RSVP link is scheduled to be live starting May 1).
Saturday, May 13, 2017
2 p.m. Convocation Ceremony, Centennial Hall. Doors open for audience seating at 1 p.m. The reception begins immediately after the convocation. 

The commencement speaker will be Arizona Supreme Court Justice John Lopez.

In addition, Pima County Superior Court Judge Sarah ("Sally") Simmons will be acknowledged for her honorary degree, which is to be presented at the main UA ceremony on May 12.
4-5 p.m.  Convocation Reception, across the street from Centennial Hall on the lawn of Arizona State Museum.

As you can see, celebrations, and summer, are in the air!


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