Winter is a fun time of year in Arizona for watching our basketball, football, and other Wildcat teams compete. Our alumni demonstrate a great deal of team spirit, even from afar.

In Arizona we also have great professional teams to cheer on in the "chilly" days of winter -- including Phoenix Suns basketball, Arizona Cardinals football, and Arizona Coyotes hockey -- and here in Tucson Tucson Roadrunners Hockey!  

Soccer (including our own FC Tucson club in Tucson) and spring training baseball will be here before we know it. And the Phoenix Mercury women's pro basketball season will arrive next summer.

And many of us in Tucson are hopeful that top baseball teams from Mexico, Japan, and South Korea will decide to train in Tucson in the spring, which would in turn would usher in a return of spring training games with a wide range of US professional teams to the Old Pueblo.

Arizona Law affords students who have a passion for athletics and the law the chance to take classes that make up a foundation for a sports law specialty, including antitrust, employment and labor law, and negotiating and advanced drafting classes, as well as classes on special sports law topics. Visiting speakers and trips to observe professionals in the industry also form part of the experience for students in our active Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS).

We are grateful to the UA athletic department, its former director Greg Byrne, and its present director, Dave Heeke, for their regular engagement with our students and for enabling externship opportunities around the complex regulation and compliance issues for a major college athletics program. I also credit Greg Byrne with encouraging us to call this communication "Wildcat Wednesday."

Sports and Entertainment Law Society students
This week, we profile alumnus Jason Rowley ('01), who leads the Phoenix Suns as president and CEO. His career exemplifies the widely touted versatility of a law degree. 

Jason's career also exemplifies the creativity and versatility of so many of our alums and students. We appreciate the time he has regularly devoted to hosting SELS, providing our students with a window into this exciting work.

Remember, when you give to Arizona Law, now or at any time of year, you lend strength and Wildcat spirit to our innovative programs and help prepare Arizona Law students to leap at the next opportunity. 

Until the footnotes,


Spotlight on Jason Rowley ('01) 
As president and chief executive officer of the Phoenix Suns NBA franchise, Jason Rowley ('01) says he relies on the skills he learned in law school every day.

Jason tells us,

"The value you get from a law degree cannot be overstated." 
From negotiating player contracts to navigating state procurement rules for the Suns' city-owned stadium to understanding dense NBA regulations ("The league is essentially run by lawyers," Jason says), his legal training and skills are essential to running a massive and complex organization.
Jason always knew that he eventually wanted to run a business -- whether his own or someone else's -- and he decided a JD was the best path to achieve that goal. He grew up in a family of business owners and witnessed how essential a good lawyer was to a company's success. He saw himself in the role of trusted advisor, identifying and solving a company's problems and helping contracts come to fruition.
He served in the Navy before joining Arizona Law and found that the discipline and service mentality of the military was a natural precursor to law school. He says,
"A lot of people who go in the military have a certain sense of duty, of justice, of doing the right thing, serving others." 

And he adds that he saw the same qualities in many of his law school classmates. 

"Most people who go to law school want to help others and fight for what's right. The most ethical, honest, and dutiful people I know come from two places: the military and attorneys."
Jason remembers his time at Arizona Law fondly, recalling that "the absolute high point" was taking a class from William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, who regularly taught a spring short course on constitutional decision-making"You had to argue a couple points in front of him and the whole class."
After graduation, Jason joined the firm of Snell and Wilmer in Phoenix, working with corporate clients in industries from health care to energy to retail. He says,
"You have to learn a lot about the business and goals of each of those sectors in order to give good advice, so that work gave me a decent background in a lot of different industries." 


"Because of the pervasive nature of the law, you gain a lot of exposure to a lot of things early in your career. You solve problems for many different people, so your exposure is much broader much earlier."
When a senior partner at his firm began working on the negotiation of the 2004 sale of the Suns franchise, Jason asked to staff it, sensing it was an opportunity too good to pass up. Through that, he made a name for himself within the Suns organization. A few years later, when they needed a new general counsel, Jason landed the job, which created his path to the top of the company.

Phoenix Suns game. Credit: Barry Gossage, Phoenix Suns.

Jason says the law has served him well, giving him a strong and supportive network and ensuring he was equipped to answer the call when his dream job came knocking.
"You make your own luck. Opportunities do present themselves beyond your control, but you make your own luck by taking advantage of those."


Around the College
John Lacy ('67) Inducted into American Mining Hall of Fame
On December 2, the Mining Foundation of the Southwest recognized College of Law alumnus John C. Lacy ('67) as a 2017 recipient of the Medal of Merit for induction into the American Mining Hall of Fame. John is the director of Arizona Law's Global Mining Law Center

John is proud to have built a career taking after his father's. John's father, Willard "Bill" Lacy, a UA mining professor and the first head of the combined department of mining and geological engineering, was inducted into the American Mining Hall of Fame in 1993 -- and John was able to present him with that award. 

John was previously recognized by the University of Arizona with the Distinguished Citizen Award in 1984, the law school's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008, and the UA Alumni Association's Alumni Service Award in 2009 and Professional Achievement Award in 2017. John's teaching efforts were also recognized by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in 2015 with the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award. 

Arizona Law in the News
(subscription required)
The Wall Street Journalcommentary from Dean Marc Miller and current Arizona Law student
The Washington Postanalysis by professor Dave Marcus 

I'll be visiting our BA in Law students at Ocean University in Qingdao, China next week as they wrap up their first term of US law classes.
Here in Tucson we are wrapping up the term and preparing for finals -- and then our students will get a well-earned break. 

Wish our students well, especially the new students who will be taking a law final for the first time. I know they'll do well, and if you've gone through law school you do too -- but it doesn't always feel that way from the keyboard side of exams.



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