This week we wrap up classes. Our Centennial Graduation is just over two weeks away.  Between the two, the inevitable necessity of exams and papers must pass.


While there is much intense studying right now, there is also time for celebration. Last Saturday we gathered for a remarkable Law College Association Annual Dinner.  As throughout this year we celebrate strolls down memory lane. And we celebrate the efforts of this year's graduating class to reinvigorate the annual Class Gift, a quintessential Arizona Law tradition in which our graduating students give back to the College at the same time that we thank them for their time and many contributions to Arizona Law and launch them into the profession to serve clients, and to transform the world.  


Until the Footnotes,



The 41st Annual Law College Association Annual Appreciation Dinner

Last Saturday, roughly 200 members of the Arizona Law community gathered together at Tucson's picturesque Tanque Verde Guest Ranch to honor and celebrate the achievements of five of its extraordinary members -- Jim Rogers ('62), Professor Jim Anaya, Judge Sally Simmons, Desmond Kearns ('72), and Rebeca Pérez-Serrano ('95).


The evening was spectacular.  The evening threatened rain and excessive wind, but, guided by a higher Wildcat,  let up just as the dinner began.  The outdoor setting -- a grove framed by the Rincon Mountains and rolling hills full of saguaros and the sound of Tanque Verde's ponies settling down for the evening -- was beautiful and distinctly Arizona.   


The introduction for each honoree was pre-recorded and played back via video.  The honorees were inspiring, humble, and joyful in their accepting remarks. 


Stephen Golden ('02), current president of the Law College Association, was our emcee.  He kept the whole event on track -- and indeed, almost without precedent, ahead of schedule -- in a playful manner. 


The dinner was a celebration of five great individuals, and of the spirit of Arizona Law.  I invite you to review the photos below and, of course, to begin making plans to attend our 42nd Annual LCA Dinner, which will take place next spring in Phoenix.





Centennial Class Gift

This year's graduating class, our Centennial Class, is working to bring back an important Arizona Law tradition -- the class gift.  


The class gift tradition has been a part of Arizona Law for many years but was elevated to a new level by the Class of 2001. The Class of 2001 started a full-fledged and systematic campaign enlisting the help of Arizona Law stalwarts Jim Rogers ('62) and George Rountree ('60). 


The 2001 class achieved 70% class participation and raised over $65,000 in cash and pledges.


Following their lead, every class from 2001 to 2009 participated in a class gift campaign, and each year the graduating students challenged themselves to raise more than the class before and to achieve a higher level of participation. The class of 2003 reached an all-time high of 80% participation in their class gift campaign.


Unfortunately, with the economic downturn that we all experienced in 2009 and 2010, the Class Gift program fell by the wayside. The last two graduating classes began to rebuild the legacy established by prior classes by participating in small but important Class Gift campaigns. This year's class has challenged itself to return the Class Gift program to its glory days.


The Centennial Class has chosen to leave a memorable legacy at Arizona Law through Careers for Cats, a fellowship fund that will support future law students' job-search related expenses.


This year's Class Gift Committee called on the entire student body in a voting process that ultimately selected employment from three potential fundraising campaigns as the foremost priority for the College and future generations of law students. With over 200 votes, the energetic campaign voting process involved those who will be most impacted by the Centennial Class Gift and got the student community talking about the critical importance of philanthropy.  


With the goal of raising $100,000 from at least 100 members of the class and other supporters, Careers for Cats aims to provide 100 current and future law students with $1,000 fellowships to assist with job-search related expenses such as travel and interview preparation.


Two gifts were made at the Annual LCA dinner in response to a call from Centennial Class Gift Committee member Lauren Talkington ('15). In addition to Lauren, the hard working 2015 Class Gift Committee members (pictured at right) are 3L students Tony Caldwell, Aaron Gbenwonyo, Heather Goodwin, Tristany Leikem, Avaleen Liu, and Rebecca Mascot.


The Committee will continue its efforts through graduation on May 16th with the hope of maximum class participation. Students have the opportunity to make a one-time gift at any level or five-year gift pledges.


The campaign is off to a solid early start with 10 donors and $6,100 raised so far. The Class Gift Committee has tremendous gratitude for all of those who have already participated and supported their efforts.


In celebration of 100 years of careers launched at Arizona Law, and as they did at the annual LCA dinner, the Centennial Class is inviting all alumni to participate in its efforts. Your additional support will help them reach their ambitious fundraising goal, encourage philanthropy amongst this newest generation of alumni, and help law students secure employment for years to come. 


To participate, please click here and add "Class Gift" to the notes. We will keep track of the graduation years of all alumni contributors and provide you with updates on the leading classes and the leading decades. 


If your career has been enhanced in any way by your Arizona Law education, please make a contribution to the Centennial Class campaign. Let's show the students that the entire alumni community is behind them and their efforts.

Centennial Snapshot 

This week's Centennial Snapshot is a celebration of a sports rivalry from 40 years ago.


In 1976, the law student newspaper The Advocate described a heated intramural rivalry among 4 law-school teams. As reported:


"The Felons were led offensively by Scooter Burns and defensively by Dean Elson. Dean was hit in the eye while attempting to field a hard hit grounder, but still had to present his final oral argument for the moot court competition. The judges were impressed with his eyepatch, but criticized him for not having enough eye contact" ("Law Students Form Four Softball Teams," Steve Hernandez, The Advocate, 1976).


Last week we told you about the Fegtly Moot Court competition. The very same Scooter Burns, aka, J. Scott Burns, class of 1976, sponsors the F. Britton Burns Awards to honor his father (class of 1941). The awards go to the two students who present the best oral arguments in the final round of the competition.


Scott has been donating to this award for thirty-one consecutive years! He regularly attends the competition to present the awards, and this year, he brought with him a piece of softball (and moot court!) history, a team snapshot of The Felons. Scott is third from the left in the top row and the aforementioned Dean Elson is in the bottom row, second from the right. 


The Felons. Top row (l-r) David W. Rees ('77), Thomas R. Althaus ('77), J. Scott Burns ('76), John C. Giomi ('77), Harold E. "Hal" Campbell ('77), Robert "Bobby" Clark ('77); Front row (l-r) Mark Haynes ('76), Joseph M. Boyle ('77), Gerald R. "Jerry" Grant ('77), Dean Elson, Sid A. Horwitz ('78)


Scott, congratulations to you and your fellow Felons. I hope you will all return to Arizona Law for our Centennial Homecoming in October and relive your victory in person. And a hearty congratulations and thank you for thirty-one years of donations. We believe this may be a record!



Do you have photos or memories of law student life? We would love to hear from you. Please contact Emily McGovern, Centennial Coordinator, to share your stories.


Sports at Arizona Law

Scott and the Felons, I am sure you will be pleased to learn that intramural sports continue to be a big part of the Arizona Law experience.  In fact, this year's teams have had several successes.


The Arizona Law soccer team named Truth Bader Winsburg went undefeated on its championship run (we believe 6-0 was the record). 



From the back row starting from the left is Alex Kembitzky (1L), Mark Ryan (1L), Jordan Hartman (1L), Greg Powell (PHD), Brian Mistler (2L), Matt Hoxie (1L), Patrick Reill (2L), Michael Koehler (Undergrad), and Victor De La Flor (AJD). On the bottom row from the left is Brendan Lenihan (1L), Wes Cox (1L), Nate Curtisi (2L), and Wes Stiner (1L).


The Arizona Law men's basketball team won the championship. On that team was Dom Rizzi (2L), Benji Parsalaw (2L) and Aaron Gbewonyo (3L).


And the co-ed basketball team earned top honors, ending its season as champions. The players were: Lacey Collins (2L), Dom Rizzi (2L), Matt Skelly (2L), Patrick Riell (2L), Lexi Brooks (2L), and Nicole Lopez (2L). 


It is good to know that working hard and playing hard is a longstanding part of Arizona Law culture. Congratulations to all of our teams this year and from the past. 


In keeping with our theme of Celebration, I would like to congratulate and celebrate the recent achievements of our Arizona Law Community.


Congratulations to alumna Nicole Ong '08 on her inauguration as the Arizona Asian American Bar Association President.


Congratulates to alumnus Jim Shea '82 on his new role as President of the American Bankruptcy Institute.  You can watch Jim's acceptance speech here.  

Arizona Law in Southern California

Join me and local Arizona Law alumni and friends for a cocktail reception at Irvine Valley College in Irvine. Catch up with fellow alumni and learn about what's new at Arizona Law.  


Special thanks to Keith Shackleford ('87) for helping to put this event together.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

5:30 PM to 7:30 PM 


Irvine Valley College

Performing Arts Center Lounge

5500 Irvine Center Dr

Irvine, CA  92618



I am sending this from Los Angeles, where we are visiting the many wonderful Arizona Law alumni and friends.  Pictured below is a conversation -- just 30 minutes ago! -- with Pankaj Ravel ('09), who has built an extraordinary practice (




If you are local in Tucson, please think about joining us at graduation at McKale on Saturday, May 16, at 2 pm.


Wherever you are, please send your cheers and good wishes to another extraordinary graduating class -- our Centennial Class. 







Marc L. Miller  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
Shaping the next century of legal education 
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