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December 15, 2021


On Monday I was delighted to welcome five graduating students to our alumni ranks. They are midyear graduates whose career paths may not allow them to return for our formal May ceremony, so we marked their accomplishments with a smaller but highly celebratory event.

Global students who come to Tucson for a JD, LLM or SJD quickly become part of our community. This week, we feature two global graduates who leave a legacy for their fellow and future students as they head off to to new and promising careers. We wish them well.

And, even though our semester is concluding, our January in Tucson Program kicks off on January 3. I hope you'll consider joining us for another outstanding season. 

Until the footnotes,



LLM Grads Become Enthusiastic Global Ambassadors

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Aranyak Pathak and Lia Chen took starkly different paths to University of Arizona Law, but both graduate this month with shared pride and enthusiasm.

A graduate of Taiwan National University, Lia worked briefly as a research assistant in Taiwan’s Department of Health and Welfare and later as corporate counsel for a medical device startup, where she was responsible for regulatory science, IP, and corporate law. Her husband’s work brought them to Tucson in 2019, and Lia enrolled in the LLM program specializing in health law, a decision she describes as “perfectly fitting my career plan.”

Aranyak Pathak was searching for a good fit in a graduate program as well. With a decade of general law practice in Delhi, India, he was intrigued by the college’s International Trade and Business Law program as his next professional step.

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Both found an academic environment that prepared and challenged them, beginning with strong faculty support. When asked to name a favorite course or teacher, Aranyak becomes animated:

“Not just one! International Business Transactions, International Trade Law, Property Law, and Business Organizations. My favorite professors are David Gantz, Sylvia Lett, Sergio Puig, Andrew Shepherd, and Barak Orbach.”

Lia agrees that the question is daunting, but says:

“My favorite class was the legal writing course, in which I learned many useful skills when I drafted a legal opinion in my judicial externship. My favorite professor is Ashley Silberhorn, my writing lecturer, who gave me a lot of helpful advice for my writing skills.”

Beyond the classroom, Lia saw the need to better connect LLM and SJD-level students with each other, as their curricular programs do not necessarily share courses, common activities or educational timelines. Working with college administrators, Lia founded the LLM/SJD Law Student Association last spring. Aranyak joined the group in August and set up meetings with practitioners and jurists, among them Judge Stephen McNamee (‘69), Judge Peter Eckerstrom, and lawyer Louis Hollingsworth (‘86).

“We’re so thankful for the work that Lia and Aranyak have done to get the LLM/SJD Students Association up and running, “ says Ernestina Taleb, Program Coordinator for Global Programs. “Apart from being skilled practitioners, they are both natural networkers. They should be very proud that their efforts will continue to benefit students in important ways.“

LLM/SJD Students Association programs are being planned for the spring semester and beyond. Global students, in particular, value the opportunity meet with, and learn from, their American counterparts in practice and on the bench. Anyone interested in meeting with the group or mentoring LLM/SJD students should contact Ernestina Taleb at


College Celebrates 4th Cohort in Foreign Diplomat Training Program

The Foreign Diplomat Training Program, in partnership with the Foreign Ministry of Mexico and Mexico's Diplomatic Academy, recently celebrated the graduation of our 4th cohort of students.

Representing a broad cross-section of Mexico's Foreign Service Professionals, our graduates have additional tools and enhanced skills to assist their citizens living, working, and traveling in the United States. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!


Faculty and Program Leadership at the Instituto Matías Romero in Mexico City

January in Tucson Brings in the New Year

The January in Tucson Indigenous Governance Program will host its annual session from January 3 -22, 2022. The broader Indigenous Governance Program offers in-person and online courses throughout the year to University of Arizona graduate students, tribal leaders, tribal members, legal practitioners, scholars, and other professionals interested in developing a deep, practical understanding of Indigenous governance and rights. January in Tucson offers intensive training for anyone interested in these issues. 

Courses will be held in a hybrid format for those who are not able to attend in person. A complete schedule and registration information are available here.

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#Giving Tuesday Update

Your investment helped us reach and surpass our Giving Tuesday 2021 campaign goal of $30,000 to support Huerta Scholars. As of today, $35,403 has been raised from friends and our own NALSA alumni.

Huerta scholars receive $2,000-$2,500 1L stipends to help pay for books, computers, moving expenses, apartment security deposits and all the other things that can make the transition to the first year of law school so financially and emotionally stressful for our entering Native students. These stipends help us attract the largest number of Native students (13 this year) of any top-tier law school in the country. 

You can still support Huerta Scholars

Undergrad Mock Trial Team Wins on Home Turf

The college has long been ‘home’ to undergraduate students participating in Arizona Mock Trial, a large and nationally acclaimed student club. The group recently hosted the 7th annual Arizona Cactus Classic Invitational Tourney, hosting with 16 teams from 11 universities including perennial nationals competitors such as UCLA, USC, and Hillsdale College.

Ted Schmidt ('77) delivered closing ceremony remarks for more than a hundred attendees, and many local attorneys judged a weekend of competition rounds. The University of Arizona's team, “Pulp Fiction,” coached by Matt Ashton ('18), won first place and will display the trophy in the Cracchiolo Law Library until next year. 



The University of Arizona will be closed campus-wide starting Thursday, December 23 until Sunday, January 2 -- and will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022.


If you would like to make a year-end philanthropic contribution, here are some helpful tips to ensure your gift is counted in 2021:


Gifts by check: All checks should be made payable to the Law College Association and mailed to The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721. Checks will be processed and receipted according to the postmark date on the envelope. Please allow extra time for USPS delays. To receive a charitable gift deduction in 2021, your envelope must be postmarked by December 31, 2021.


Gifts by credit card: Credit card gifts will be receipted on the date the charge hits (posts to) your credit card account. This means to receive a 2021 charitable gift deduction, the charges must be made with sufficient time before December 31, 2021 to allow the donation to post by December 31, 2021. You can make a gift securely at:


Gifts of stock: Stock gifts will be processed and receipted on the date the stocks are transferred into our account. To receive a 2021 charitable gift deduction, stocks must be transferred by the end of the day December 31, 2021. If you are planning a stock gift please call 520-626-1330 so that we can prepare for your gift.


If you would like to make a gift another way – wire transfer, qualified charitable distribution from an IRA, documenting through an estate plan, or something else – please contact Megan O’Leary at 520-626-1330 or


Legal education innovations emerge as regulatory landscape changes

American Bar Association, featuring Stacy Butler

Algorithms are making many of your decisions, and you might be OK with that, Morning News, featuring Derek Bambauer

Montana Gov. Gianforte, AG Knudsen try to stop American Prairie’s bison through political pressure, Yahoo News, featuring Justin Pidot

In these waning days of a challenging and many times unpredictable year, I remain thankful for the constants -- students who make the most of opportunities and navigate these complex spaces with grace, faculty and mentors who counsel and inspire their success, and a broad community of alumni and friends who stand beside them ready to help.

Thank you all for the many ways you make us strong.


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