Join me, and the entire Arizona Law community, in welcoming our newest law students to campus and to Tucson!

The annual Law Women's Association welcome dinner on Thursday evening.

The new Tucson class includes 159 JD and Advanced JD students, 16 LLM students, 3 SJD students, and 105 MLS students (three-fourths of whom are taking the degree fully online). 

This group joins more than 300 new BA in Law majors in the U.S., at Ocean University of China, and in a smaller program at American University Phnom Penh (AUPP). 

The incoming class represents 32 U.S. states, 20 countries, and 14 indigenous nations or groups from within the geographic boundaries of the United States and from around the world. 

The average age of the JD class is 26, and more than 12 percent of these JD students have already completed another graduate degree. All of the international JD students and the BA in Law graduates now studying for the JD also have extensive prior training in law.

Many are parents and bring their families along with them to Tucson.

Now all of these students are part of the Arizona Law family. And we could not be more excited.

Until the footnotes,
Arizona Law Welcomes New Students

This year's Arizona Law orientation included features that alumni will remember from their own first days on campus, and much that is new as well.

New students gathered bright and early over coffee on Wednesday for a welcome by me, Assistant Dean Nancy Stanley, and the SBA. 

Professors Andrew Woods and Sylvia Lett helped set the stage for what it means to study the law in our Arizona Law community. 

Throughout the day and the following two days, they heard from key members of the administration and faculty, in both formal and informal settings, about all aspects of academics and life as a law student.

On Wednesday afternoon, law student spouses and families were invited to a special reception and panel discussion hosted by the Law Students Parent Club.

The next day, Justice James Beene ('91), of the Arizona Supreme Court, spoke on professionalism before students dispersed to meet in small groups led by over 40 attorneys to discuss professionalism scenarios they may encounter in law school and in their careers. 

Thank you to Justice Beene and all the volunteers who took their morning to be with us. The full list is below.

Students also met with their small sections and attended the student organization fair and library fun fest. 

A highlight once again this year was the welcome dinner at the home of Professor Andrew Silverman ('69) and Starr Sanders, hosted by the Law Women's Association. As the weather turned from hot to mellow and balmy over the course of the evening, the new class continued to build their own new, distinctive community. 

Thank You, Orientation Volunteers!

The success of orientation this year relied on the participation of a wonderful group of volunteers from our alumni and professional community. We extend our thanks to:

Hon. Lisa Abrams ('93)
Malena Acosta ('03)
Art Aguilar    
Peter Akmajian ('84)
Justice James Beene ('91)
Laura Belleau ('92)
Maria Borbon ('87, '02)
Hon. Kyle Bryson  
Joan Bundy ('05)
Joan Casciari
Mark Casciari
Betty Cather ('81)
Hon. Nikki Chayet ('77)
Bunkye Chi ('99)
Thom Cope
Carmen Corbin
Gabriela Corrales ('16)
Alison Crane ('06)
Gordon Davenport III          
Ryan DeJoe
Phil Feigin

Robert Fellrath
Jean Gage ('85)
M. June Harris ('97)
Paul Julien ('86)
Timothy Medcoff ('98)
Andrew Meshel ('13)
Jonathan Mosher     
James Nesci ('94)
John Norling
Rick Palmatier ('80)
Dale Regelman ('92)
Justin Ruggieri ('00)
Nicole Savel ('94)
Matthew Schmidt ('10)
Ted Schmidt ('77)
Dev Sethi ('97)
S. Jon Trachta ('73)
Hon. Joan Wagener ('88)
John Walters ('13)
Rui Wang ('05)
Anna Wright ('08)

Around the College
Get to Know New SBA President Karen Donderewicz (3L) 

Name: Karen Donderewicz
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Undergraduate institution: University of Arizona
Year: 3L (Class of 2020)

What are you looking forward to this year?

Landing my dream job -- or close to it. (More on that later.)

What are your goals as Student Bar Association president?

This year I want to focus on:
  • Developing mental health resources and wellness activities for students
  • Leadership, ethics, and civility
  • Increasing SBA's transparency
  • Providing SBA perks for members
Why should students get involved with SBA (or any other student organizations)?

SBA is an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills, advocate for each other, and work with administration on things that matter most to students. SBA at Arizona Law is unique compared to other schools because we actually have relationships with our deans and faculty members.

I highly recommend students joining any student organization while they are at Arizona Law for three reasons: (1) it's a healthy distraction from your routine; (2) it builds your community and professional network; and (3) you will make lasting memories and/or leave a legacy.

What do you think everyone should experience as an Arizona Law student?

Any law class that gives you "hands-on," practical experience such as a clinic, basic trial advocacy, moot court, or mediation. These types of classes give you a chance to build on your professional skills before you get out in the real world. You will be challenged in ways you cannot imagine.

What do you think everyone should experience living in Tucson?

This is a difficult question because Tucson is such a cool place to live. Everyone should go for an early morning hike in late winter/early spring, stop for lunch at a Mexican restaurant, chill out at The Loft Cinema to watch an interesting movie, and end the day watching the sunset with either a raspado or prickly pear margarita.

Favorite hangout spot on campus?

I love hanging out upstairs [in the law school] in the seating area between the windows.

What three words come to mind when you think of Arizona Law?

Family, Relationships, Opportunities
Any advice for incoming 1Ls?
  • Don't be a jerk, don't lie, and be diligent -- people will notice. Oh, and grades are just numbers and letters, they don't define who you are or your character.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Figure out who you are as a student and how you can improve on your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Build relationships with people who matter and other students who will make a difference.
Biggest accomplishment at Arizona Law so far?

Becoming the first-ever extern for Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel ('82) at the Arizona Supreme Court. I didn't get the job because I have the best grades or I'm a top-ranked student. I got the job because I networked, I was persistent, and I overcame my insecurities.  

What are your future career plans?

I am focused on starting my career in public service such as local government or public interest. I have a particular interest in dispute resolution within the community (e.g., litigation, ADR, mediation), civil rights, and employment protections. In the long term, I aim to one day serve as a judge.

Join the Bear Down Network

Join to access networking and career development opportunities exclusive to Wildcats. Once you've signed up, you can find classmates by looking for the College of Law group.

In the News

The evolution of US antitrust law
CNBC, including interview with professor Barak Orbach

UA partners with law schools to support trafficking survivors

Arizona Public Media, interview with professors John Lacy and Justin Pidot

To all of our new and continuing students, and former students, thank you ... for choosing us.

Bear Down!




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