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AUGUST 18, 2021


Aug 27

LawCats Live: "Collaborating to Build the Policy Infrastructure for Indian Country"

Sep 4

UA Vegas Takeover

Nov 4-6

Homecoming & Reunion Weekend

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Over the last several days, for the first time since the fall of 2019—two very long years—we were able to host orientation for new law students in person and on campus.

We could not be happier.

This year’s events included the traditional 1L lunch, tours, small section gatherings, and organization fair. There were opportunities to engage with returning students, faculty, numerous alumni, and other members of our Arizona Law community.

The Native American Law Student Association welcomed new students with a dinner in our courtyard—its first use by a student group since March of last year.

The Student Bar Association also stepped in to organize special orientation events for our returning 2Ls, many of whom had not yet been able to meet in person, and many of whom had never been in the law school buildings.

Continuing the excitement, our orientation for new MLS students is happening today.

In this edition, I’m excited to tell you a little about our new LawCats and to share snapshots from the week’s on-campus events.

Until the footnotes,



Arizona Law Welcomes Students During 2021 Orientation


The combined JD and Advanced JD entering class has 141 students representing 63 undergraduate institutions, 31 states, 9 Native Nations, and 8 countries. Women represent 55% of the total, and 31% percent are students of color. Adding in our new LLM and SJD students broadens our reach to 17 countries and 84 undergraduate institutions!

They are joined by more than 1,500 undergraduate students in the nation’s first BA in Law program. This fall there will be almost 450 students pursuing the BA in Law at Ocean University in Qingdao China, several dozen students studying for the BA in Law at American University Phnom Penh, and we anticipate between 50 and 100 students at a new microcampus in Hanoi.

We also have 112 MLS students from 31 states beginning this week. This brings the current census count of active MLS students to over 400.


The new class of JD, AJD, SJD, and LLM law students includes many first-generation Americans, first-generation college students, and first-generation law students. About 13% have already completed graduate study toward MAs, LLMs, PhDs and JDs. Some have spent time at other law schools, and I hope these students appreciate and share what is so special here. 

We welcome many new law students aged 30 or older, and many who are joined on their law school adventure by partners, children, and pets.

Our new class also includes a number of students with more unusual distinctions, among them: 

• 3 collegiate athletes

• 2 former Peace Corps members

• A number of performing artists and musicians (Please ask about the Fender Room!)

• Several published authors

• Fulbright Award winners

• The editor in chief of a comic book anthology

• 1 Emmy Award winner for TV news

• 2 podcasters

All our new students come to Arizona Law with rich lives and personal experiences, relationships, geographies, politics, religions, and perspectives. Our entire community is enriched by each new LawCat. 

Please join me in welcoming them.

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Speakers at the NALSA-sponsored orientation dinner included professor Heather Whiteman Runs Him (above), UA linguistics professor and poet Ofelia Zepeda, professor of practice Pilar Thomas, and others.


Professor of legal writing Sylvia Lett leads a 1L orientation session.

Thank You

We are deeply grateful to the many members of our Arizona Law family who helped with orientation activities last week, among them:

Peter Akmajian (’84)

David Bodney 

Maria Borbon (‘87, ’02)

AZ Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel (’82)

Nikki Chayet (‘77)

Kristy Clairmont (’15)

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover (’05)

Amy Courson (’03)

Alison Crane (’06)

Emily Danies (‘90)

Suzanne Diaz (’07)

State Bar of Arizona CEO Joel England (’02)

Joel Feinman (’07)

Arthur Gage (’84)

Jean Gage (’85)

M. June Harris (’97)

Heidi Krauss (’13)

John Norling

Tamara Mulembo (’05)

Richard Palmatier Jr. (’80)

Christina Rinnert (’19)

Mark Rubin (’81)

Pima County Superior Court Judge Greg Sakall ('01)

Ted Schmidt (’77)

Dev Sethi (’97)

Pilar Thomas

Nathan Wade (’13)

US District Court Senior Judge Frank R. Zapata ('66, '73)

US District Court Judge Jennifer G. Zipps ('86)

Ret. AZ Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Zlaket (’65)

Fall Semester COVID-19 Update


As we start the fall semester, we are eager to welcome Arizona Law students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to campus (both in-person and virtually) and to engage in the important work that unites us as a community. 

If you plan to be on campus in person this fall, please take a moment to review the new College of Law Fall ‘21 COVID FAQ page. These procedures and mitigation measures give us our best shot at keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. It’s also the clearest path available for preserving the best possible academic experience.


Farewell & Best Wishes to Enrique Gómez

MM and Enrique Gomez

Deputy Consul General to the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson and longtime friend of the college, Enrique Gómez, is transiting from Tucson to the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Mexico City.

Enrique has been essential to the success of our Foreign Diplomat Training Program and our relationship with the government of Mexico. I was honored to celebrate his great work as a diplomat with other members of the community. On behalf of the college, I presented Enrique with a small token of our appreciation. We wish him the best and look forward to the opportunities ahead with his successor at the Consulate.

Join Us for LawCats Live, August 27


Join us on August 27 at 12:15 p.m. (Tucson time), via Zoom, for LawCats Live, "Collaborating to build the policy infrastructure for Indian Country."

Arizona Law Regents Professor Rebecca Tsosie and Lohse Fellow Darrah Blackwater ('20) will discuss the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program's policy initiative and ways in which grassroots leadership and advocacy at the community level can inform federal policy.

During this lively conversation they will focus on spectrum sovereignty, broadband infrastructure in Indian Country, digital inclusion, environmental and climate resilience, as well as the comparative research being done across borders on Indigenous health, education, and sustainable economies.


UA Vegas Takeover, September 4


Arizona Law will be well represented in this year's Wildcat takeover of Vegas. Will we see you there? Let us know about your Vegas plans so that we can connect in person.

Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, November 4-6

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Arizona Law’s 2021 Homecoming celebration is scheduled for November 4-6, back on campus!

We are building an exciting schedule of events and activities to engage our Arizona Law community. There will be online, virtual elements as well, so get registered, stay connected, and watch for event details on the Arizona Law Homecoming website

Reunions this year will be double the fun! We are making up for lost time by hosting two years' worth of reunions in one.

Join Arizona Law classmates and friends as we celebrate reunions for all classes ending in 0, 1, 5, or 6 during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2021. 

Want to help shape your reunion experience? Contact for details.

NEW: Registration for the 50-Year Class Reunion Dinner is open.

This dinner celebrates the Classes of 1970 and 1971.

Arizona Sands Club, 565 N Cherry Ave, Floor 5.

Thursday, November 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

RSVP Required.

Learn More and Register for Events


Analysis: As Colorado River Basin states confront water shortages, it’s time to focus on reducing demand

Colorado Sun, by Regents Professor Robert Glennon

The Legal Profession Wants to Help Heal America's Divisions

Governing, by professor Tessa Dysart

With Expansion, Legal Innovation Lab Is First to Span Multiple States and Institutions

LexBlog, featuring Innovation for Justice program

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@uarizonalaw, Twitter

On our website:

Journal of Appellate Practice and Process Releases Special Issue on Judiciary’s Role in Bridging Socio-Political Division

University of Arizona Law Partners with Drug Information Association for Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Science

From the UA:

Signs Will Indicate Where Masks Required on UArizona Campus

UA News, with link to the Aug 11 guidelines and Aug 16 live briefing

Welcoming a new class is one of the great joys of our year—in any year. 

It had indeed been two years since we could meet and greet students in person … and so we did so twice, first for the new JD students, and then in the events led by the SBA for the 2L students.

I believe this is a fantastic time to study law. Surely I’m biased, but in the superb students who have joined us, and in those who were already here, we have some extremely compelling evidence in support of the proposition.

To every new Arizona Law student, and every returning student—thank you for choosing to be part of the Arizona Law family.


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