I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I also hope you had a chance to participate in Arizona Law's Giving Tuesday campaign yesterday. With over 20 donors and nearly $5,000 raised in just the last two weeks, we are well on our way in reaching this year's Giving Tuesday fundraising goal in support of the Huerta Scholars Program.

If you have not yet participated, there is still time to give to the Huerta Scholars and the college's other worthy programs In Favor of Students

This week, we describe the progress of our first-in-the-nation BA in Law program, profile one of its teaching fellows, and provide an update on the growing Sports and Entertainment Law Society.

Until the footnotes,

Bachelor of Arts in Law 
The BA in Law program is going strong! Launched in the fall of 2014, the first and only undergraduate law degree in the country is the product of a partnership between the College of Law and the UA's School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP), part of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). Courses are taught by faculty in both units. The BA in Law program is directed by Professor Najwa Nabti.

Along with government and political science courses provided by SGPP, law majors take law core courses and electives taught by Arizona Law faculty.  The core undergraduate law courses provide a practical understanding of property, contracts, torts, procedure, and constitutional law.  They also encompass a skills-building component, training students to analyze and brief cases. 

Besides these core classes, students have the opportunity to take electives in such areas as international law, immigration law, and criminal law and procedure.

This rigorous foundation will benefit students who go on to law school, those who pursue law-related careers that do not require a JD, and those who follow work and scholarly paths away from the law.

Professor Williams teaches
undergraduate courses linking the core common law subjects.

The BA in Law has proven to be extremely popular, growing from a handful of students in Fall 2014 to nearly 300 this semester.

Of the first four BA in Law graduates in May 2015, two have gone on to law school and the others are interested in pursuing immigration work and joining the Navy.

The first class of BA in Law graduates, May 2015.  

May 2015 graduate Ruben Canastillo (above, left) is now a 1L in Arizona Law's JD program. R
uben says that Professor Rob Williams, who is part of the core teaching faculty, reinforced his decision to attend law school: 

"The way he challenges his students to think critically about problems made me appreciate how important the rule of law is"
(read more here).

Another 2015 graduate, Korey Cowan (above, right), who is now attending Boston University School of Law, described the BA in Law program as: 

"the best educational experience that I had while at the University of Arizona. The opportunity to work with current law school professors teaching at Arizona Law while also learning some of the most basic skills necessary for law school will truly prepare me for success in the next level of my education."

While students can declare the law major upon matriculating at the UA, they need to obtain a minimum 3.0 GPA in order to take the law core courses and complete the major.

Double-majors and interdisciplinary study are encouraged. Current law majors are double-majoring in such subjects as psychology, sociology, Spanish, molecular and cellular biology, economics, history, English, journalism, philosophy, political science, gender and women's studies, environmental studies, theater, and dance. Wow.

The College of Law's Homecoming Centennial Week in October also featured a BA in Law event for undergraduates: "Arizona Law Day" drew prospective law majors and JD applicants from across the UA. The day included a tour of the college, advising sessions, a student panel, and classroom experiences with current faculty.

Arizona Law Day tour
of the College of Law.

"Back to the Classroom"
with Professor David Marcus.


Undergraduates interested in law school enjoyed hearing the perspectives of alumni who attended the "Back to the Classroom" event featuring short faculty lectures and lively discussion. 

As the program grows and more law electives are offered, law majors are eager to work with JD students and faculty in the legal clinics through supportive roles such as interpreters and coordinators. These experiences provide real-world experience, benefit the clinics and their clients, and also create mentoring relationships that we hope will last throughout their legal careers.
Teaching Fellow and JD Alum ('15) Luis Bergolla
Last spring Luis completed an externship at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.
This photo was taken from the rooftop
of the ICC headquarters.
The BA in Law program has provided opportunities for JD students and graduates to gain teaching experience by serving as teaching assistants and discussion group leaders. Such valuable opportunities have traditionally been available only to doctoral students in other degree programs.

One recent JD graduate, Luis Bergolla, has seized this opportunity to diversify his skill set while pursuing his LLM.

Luis obtained his first degree in law in Venezuela in 2005 as a 5-year undergraduate degree. There, he pursued his interests in international law and alternative dispute resolution. 

After moving to the United States, Luis worked for the Organization of American States in Washington, DC, with the Department of International Law. He worked on developing judicial training on "enforcement and recognition of international arbitral awards" and a project related to the rule of law and the Inter-American Model Law on Freedom of Information. 

Luis recalls that, 

"Working on both of these projects allowed me to advance my understanding of international law at the same time I was travelling through the Americas to meet with experts and train local judges."
In Washington, DC, Luis found a mentor who happened to be an Arizona Law graduate, John Wilson ('96). Demonstrating the value of a strong alumni network, his mentor provided professional advice and recommended Luis for the JD program at Arizona Law. Luis says:

"Coming to law school in Arizona has been a life-changing event, and having a JD from Arizona is a credential that allows me to market myself as a dual-qualified attorney in the world of international dispute resolution. Looking back, it all started in my senior year in High School when I had already made up my mind to major in law!"

Now Luis is giving back by teaching UA law majors the fundamentals of contract and tort law in discussion sections for Professor Williams' common law course. At the same time, he is taking courses in bankruptcy, international trade, and mergers and acquisitions to further develop his specialization in commercial law with an LLM. After completing his teaching fellowship and LLM, Luis hopes to join the cross-border dispute resolution practice of an international law firm

Sports and Entertainment Law Society
Arizona Law's sports law program continues to grow as membership in the student-run Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) tripled this year alone, from 10 to 30 students.

This past November, students sat down for a Q&A panel with front office members of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks before taking in the Detroit Pistons vs. Phoenix Suns game. Later in the month, students and faculty went on a tour of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility with University of Arizona Athletics Director Greg Byrne (see photos). 

In addition, SELS hosted several guest speaker events in 2015. Arizona Law alum Matt Muehlebach ('96) and the original (real life) Jerry Maguire, Leigh Steinberg, both spoke to a packed house of captive students and professors about their experiences in sports law.

Looking ahead, our sports law program leaders continue to explore collaborative efforts with the Sports Management Program at the Eller College of Management.

None of this would have been possible without the Sports Law Fellowship created by Jackson Lewis and the hard work of this year's fellow, 2L student Storm Byrd. We look forward to continued successes in this growing program.

Speakers at the Suns event were (from top to bottom on the left side of the picture), Caleb Jay, Arizona Diamondbacks Senior Director of Legal Affairs and Associate General Counsel; Trevor Bukstein, Phoenix Suns Assistant General Manager; and Melissa Goldenberg, Phoenix Suns General Counsel.

Athletics Director Greg Byrne alongside Arizona Law faculty
and SELS members.

Discussing the future of two winning programs
-- Arizona Law and Arizona Athletics -- with Greg Byrne.

Reminder: Opportunity to Help 
Detained Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

We have updated information on the pro bono opportunity organized by the UA Bacon Immigration Law & Policy Program and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. As circulated last week, these two groups are jointly launching an effort to ensure high-quality representation for immigrant women detained in Arizona with strong claims for asylum based on severe domestic violence. 

If you are looking for a pro bono opportunity that will develop a diverse set of legal skills, including brief-writing and oral advocacy, give you the opportunity to work closely with a survivor of domestic violence, gain expertise in asylum law, and be a part of a social justice campaign, please consider joining this effort. Learn more here (PDF).

For attorneys interested in getting involved or learning more, please consider attending a CLE training, An Introduction to Representing Detained Clients with Domestic Violence-Based Claims for Asylum. The training will be eligible for 1.5 hours of CLE credit and will be held in both Phoenix and Tucson. Information is below and on the linked flyers:
PHOENIX: December 9, 3:30 - 5 p.m., hosted by Perkins Coie, 2901 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2000.  See flyer.

TUCSON: December 15, 5 - 6:30 p.m., Rm. 118 of James E. Rogers College of Law. 

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact 
Professor Nina Rabin
 at (520) 621-9206 or or Charles Vernon at (520) 300-4397 or We hope to hear from you!

Remember to join the Arizona Law  online alumni directoryand to encourage your fellow alumni to sign up, too (contact us for instructions). The winner of our weekly drawing from among new directory members is Sharon Haynes ('83). Congratulations! We draw a new name each Wednesday morning, so sign up now!
In closing, I want to say thank you to the firm of Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, LLC. The firm has just completed its final payment on its pledge funding our beautiful Law Commons, begun in 2007. What a difference you have made to students, faculty, and life at the College of Law.



Thanksgiving for 2015 is now in the past, but our thanks for your giving is never in the past. 

When you hear about our amazing students, path-breaking faculty, innovative programs and major intellectual events, know that every story is also about you. 

Law schools don't need expensive machines, or big labs.  We run on the electric combination of just two things: great people and great ideas. 

Your engagement, advice, and support enables and leverages both people and ideas.  We cannot say it enough, at any time of year.  Thank you.

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